Fruit Kimbab 과일 김밥 (Fruit Rice Rolls)

It was a nice surprise today to be greeted with some kimbab that was made by a dear friend. Though I have never made or attempted to make kimbab myself, I know how time-consuming it can be. Kimbab is one of the more popular and healthy foods that Koreans love, especially those who are on the run and need an easy snack to much on. In Korea, they have “fast food” kimbab chains that have them ready-made and they are extremely cheap (a basic roll costs around a buck). Don’t be surprised to find variations like salad kimbab with mayo, spicy kimbab, seafood kimbab, tuna kimbab, noodle kimbab, cheese kimbab….you get the point right?! As for the basic roll, it is what I call a makeover of ingredients of the popular California roll found in many of the Japanese restaurants. Obviously the best part about kimbab is that you are able to choose ingredients to your liking, or you can stick with the original ingredients of bulgogi (thin slices of beef), spinach, pickled radish, carrots, and eggs. Whatever you choose, you will certainly satisfy your taste buds without feeling any guilt because they’re that healthy!

Servings: 8 rolls of kimbap
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5~10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups cooked rice, slightly warm
  • 1 bunch spinach, parboiled
  • 2 carrots, julienned and sauteed
  • 1 danmooji (yellow pickled radish)
  • 2 sheets fish cake, cut into strips and sauteed
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck or bulgogi (Korean beef)
  • 2 imitation crab meat strips
  • 2 kiwis, cut into this strips
  • 1 apple, cut into matchstick pieces (optional)
  • 4 fried eggs, cut into long strips
  • 1 package gim roasted seaweed sheets
  • 1 tsbp olive oil

Directions:

  1. On a non-stick pan, drizzle some olive oil and stir fry carrots and any other hard vegetables until soft and tender, just enough to take the crunch out of them. Parboil the spinach in boiling water, rinse under cold water, and remove excess water by squeezing into a ball. For the fish cakes, cut into long strips and saute until slightly browned.
  2. Cut danmooji yellow radish into long, thin strips (see pics above).
  3. Mix the warm rice with the sesame seeds and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and set aside. Avoid using just cooked rice as it will shrivel up the seaweed sheets when being spread out.
  4. Place one seaweed sheet on a bamboo stick roller/mat.  Place rice on half of the seaweed sheet and add set aside toppings. Add optional ingredients according to taste. Roll in a log while keep rolling mat pulled back and not in the kimbab itself. Roll and squeeze tight until fully enclosed. Rice can be used as glue to help close the kimbab.
  5. Brush a little sesame oil on the seaweed roll and cut into desired pieces. Be sure to have a sharp knife here, otherwise the sticky rice will tear into pieces and create not so appetizing kimbab. Enjoy!
*Kimbab rolls make for excellent snacks for picnics, short road trips, and lunchbox additions. With the exception of fruit kimbab (which should be eaten quite soon after making), they can last up to a day, 2 days max. at normal room temperature but make sure to give them a test smell before eating. 
 
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