One thing I have always wanted to instill in my kids: lifelong learning. I strive to lead by example because there is always so much to learn! This month I learned that what I have always called 'Fresh Spring Rolls' is more often called 'Summer Rolls.' And what I have always called 'Kimbap' is...well, not. You'll see the summer roll recipe soon. But for today, let's talk about kimbap.
I have always made my version with a vinegar-seasoned rice, akin to sushi rice, just swapping out the fishy fillings for vegetables, eggs, and sliced beef. That seemed to make sense to me. However, kimbap has an entirely different rice base. Whoops!
Instead of a vinegar-seasoned rice, kimbap is made with rice simply seasoned with sesame oil and salt. But as we really like the tang of vinegar, I made a hybrid version of the seasoned rice with vinegar and sesame oil for this.
Ingredients serves 8
- 4 cups short grain rice (sushi rice)
- 4 cups water plus more for soaking
- 1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar or other white vinegar
- 5 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil to taste
- Also needed: paper fans, wooden spoons, and a non-aluminum pan
Wash rice and soak in water 2 hours or longer. Once you're ready to cook, drain the rice and set aside.
Put water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add drained rice. Mix well, cover, and bring to a boil again Turn heat very low and steam 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes after turning off heat. Turn the rice into a large, wide bowl or pan.
Heat vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool and whisk in 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Fold into hot rice being careful not to mash the rice grains. Fan the rice and cool completely. The rice should be coated with the vinegar and glossy. Taste and, if needed, add in another teaspoon of sesame oil.
I made an assortment of rolls that included my version of beef bulgogi, egg omelet, a variety of pickled vegetables, and my non-traditional version of seasoned rice.
Place a sushi rolling mat on a work surface and top with a sheet of nori. Scoop 3/4 cup rice on the sheet and press rice to the edge of the nori.
Arrange a small amount of fillings in a row about 1-1/2" from bottom edge of nori sheet.
Roll up rice mixture over filling, using the bamboo mat to lift and compress the mixture while rolling until you have a uniform cylinder.
Place the roll, seam-side down, onto a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the rolls into eight pieces.
I served these one evening when Jake had invited a co-worker over for dinner. Over this kimbap sushi hybrid, inari, bowls of saimin, and plates of rhubarb crumble, we listened as Andrés recounted his recent travels to Venezuela and several treks across the country from Michigan to the West Coast to Florida and back.
I talked about my year in Italy, hosteling all around the country and sleeping on boat decks and beaches; we recalled the boys' first international trip to Costa Rica when they were little and our Christmas visit to Denmark a few years ago. It made me miss traveling so much! But I was grateful for the tabletop adventures last night.
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