Korean Kimbap the equivalent of Japanese nori maki rolls

                My rolling game is tightening up

I’ve been watching Netflix’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo and her fave food is Korean gimbap aka kimbap., what Japanese call nori maki or sushi rolls. This morning I was just gonna make some sushi rice for later, but it turned into chopping and sauteing celery, carrot, kale, tofu and making a very flat cheese omelet, all to be cut into strips for the rolls. I wrapped my bamboo roller in a clear ziplock bag, topped with a nori sheet, shiny side down, then blobbed my cooled rice (mixed with a little sesame oil and soy sauce) in the center and spread it thin. Topped with strips of each item as well as pickled ginger, drizzled with spicy mayo, I made 2 perfectly tight rolls. And they were delish.

10 years ago I was really into it, but prep is time consuming and lotsa chopping. It took me an hour start to finish today to make 2 nice rolls, the chopping is what takes time. 

Just like tacos and burritos, it’s a bunch of chopping vegetables into slivers and having them ready in stackable plastic containers so you can lay them out in front of you when you’re making the roll.

I’ve gotten a lot better at making the rolls smaller and tighter. 

It’s a balance since I want them compact but I don’t want the rice compressed.   I thought it would be like pancakes where the first thousand get thrown away, but I had it down about a dozen rolls later.

I start by filling the fridge with stackable plasticware containing uniform strips of the vegs that will go in the rolls.

Julienne strips of carrot, scallions, cucumber (seeds removed,) scallion, daikon radish, yellow squash, zucchini, along with sliced avocado, and leaves of Thai/holy basil, coriander and mint.   FRESH HERBS MAKE ALL THE DIFF. Wash, dry, slice and stack when you get home from the store and you won’t take up all that room in the fridge.

You can also add strips of chicken, fish, meat or shrimp. 

I’ve done it with sardines. You can do it with sushi grade raw fish if you can find it.  You can sprinkle with sesame or sunflower seeds if you’d like. I wonder how an apple, blue cheese and walnut nori would taste.

You can cut into matchsticks any vegetables you like

Try them in different combinations.  You’ll use only a thin stripe of veggies in the roll, much less than a full serving.  Start with about two fingers worth of veggies and see how big your roll wraps up.  Avocado is a great binder and source of fat if you are not using meats. 

My typical ones contain carrot, celery, kale, omelet, ginger, pickled cabbage, sometimes beets or tofu, scallions if I have them.  I usually sprinkle with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and eat with extra pickled ginger.

Besides using different combinations of veggies, here’s an odd one I like:


I like to spread softened cream cheese atop the sushi rice, then add a stripe of alfalfa sprouts, a scallion stick and roasted red pepper strips.  Wrap, cut and serve with soy sauce or this sweet chili dipping sauce.  My cousin cheated and added bacon to his roll.

Makes 1 Serving of Sauce

1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp palm sugar (or any sugar)
1 tbsp Three Crabs brand fish sauce (or any brand)
1 tsp of sambal oleck or chili garlic sauce (substitute might be crushed red chili flakes, chili pepper, sriracha)

Makes 1 Cup of Sauce

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons 3 Crabs brand fish sauce
1/2 cup hot water
4 tablespoons palm sugar, more to taste
2 limes, juiced, more or less to taste
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp red chili paste, such as sambal oleck

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