Kimbap, or gimbap, is a Korean rice and seaweed roll that can have a variety of different fillings. The classic kind usually has some veggies, meat (bulgogi-style meat, fish cake), eggs and pickled radish. In this version I use cheese and tuna for a different twist. Kimbap is popular as a snack, picnic food or for a quick lunch. For the traditional version, try this kimbap recipe.
1 can of tuna (5 oz)
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp black pepper
10 sandwich slices of your favorite cheese (I use cheddar)
3/4 cup of kimchi (optional)
4 cups of rice
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame seed powder
1 tsp sugar
10 sheets of dried seaweed, gimbap style (preferably unseasoned - no salt or oil) - this kind is usually a bit thicker/denser than the kind for normal eating
Cook 4 cups of rice on sushi setting or regular cook but using a bit less water than you would usually.
Squeeze the juice out from the tuna. Mix with soy sauce and black pepper. Heat a frying pan and cook tuna on medium heat stirring occasionally until it gets brown. Set aside.
When rice is done, fluff it around and scoop it out into a large bowl to cool.
Mix 2 tsp salt, rice vinegar and 1 tsp sugar. sprinkling it over the cooling rice.
Slice cheese into thin strips, about the width of a finger. If you are using kimchi, you can also squeeze out the juice using your hand and slice into small strips.
Roast your seaweed if it is unroasted.
Prepare your workstation - set out a bowl of the seasoned tuna, the cheese strips, rice, seaweed, kimchi (optional) and a bamboo roller. Also set aside a small dish of sesame oil.
For each roll, spoon about 2-3 tbsp of rice on one half of seaweed sheet, spreading thinly. Lay a few cheese strips (4-5) as well as a line of tuna mixture. Start rolling from the rice end, squeezing tightly. Before you close the roll, add a little bit of rice at the end with no rice to keep the roll stuck together. Usually oiling your knife makes it easier to cut (as well as oiling the roller).
When you are done with one roll, you can cut it into small discs and taste -- the great thing is you can adjust for more cheese, more tuna, or even more of anything else you can think of if you want. If you haven't added kimchi yet, you should add and taste to see if you like the flavor.
Kimbap is great for a snack or picnic since it doesn't really have to be refrigerated. Actually you shouldn't refrigerate because the rice gets hard and it's pretty difficult to get warm again. Just make enough to eat.