The Japanese call it sushi, the tanned, a california roll, but in Korea it is the original fast food made by the thousands in orange restaurants every morning; Gimbap.
Gimbap traditionally has animal meat, imitation shrimp and sometimes tuna and mayo. But if you’ve the creativity and dexterity you can roll your own and call it whatever you want.
Kim 김 / Roasted seaweed
Cooked sticky rice (about 3/4 cup per gimbap)
Thinly sliced carrot
Thinly sliced cucumber
Slices of avocado
Slices of marinated fried tofu
Whole leaf lettuce
Soy sauce (for serving)
Red wine (for drinking while rolling )
A bamboo rolling mat
Cooking the rice can take between 30-50 minutes depending on the type you use. You can choose to steam the cucumber and carrot if you wish, but I prefer mine raw. By placing a piece of kim on the centre of the bamboo rolling mat, spread a thin layer of rice covering 2/3 of the kim leaving a small amount untouched at the end. On top of the rice, starting with the lettuce leaf and ending with the cooked tofu, place a small amount of each vegetables side by side.
Begin rolling the bamboo by folding the end with the vegetables away from yourself and towards the untouched end of kim. Roll one full circle. You should have a little extra kim at the end, the part without any rice or vegetables on it. Pull the gimbap in tightly towards yourself to pack everything in solidly. Remove the bamboo mat before folding the gimbap over once more and dabbing some water along the edge to seal it.
Put some hot water on a sharp knife to cut the Kim easily as the sticky rice can make the third and successive slices difficult. Enjoy solo or with a little soy sauce to be authentic. Perfect for a picnic or for lunch as it keeps well in the fridge or a bag.
1 Gimbap serves 1 person (roughly 400 kcal.)