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Korean Gimbap



For the Filling:

1½ packed cups raw spinach

tsp. sesame oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

Neutral oil

½ medium or large carrot, peeled and julienned

8 slices of ham or sautted spam

2 eggs, beaten

4 strips of Takuan (pickled yellow radish)

For the Rolls:

4 nori/gim sheets

3 cups freshly cooked short-grain rice (sushi rice)

tbspse. same oil, plus more for brushing

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste


Step 1

Prepare the spinach: Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach until it turns bright green, about 45 seconds. Transfer the spinach to an ice bath, or transfer it to a colander set in the sink and run the spinach under cold water. Squeeze it to remove excess water and place it in a bowl. Season with 1½ teaspoons sesame oil and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Mix well and set aside.

Step 2

Prepare the remaining ingredients for the kimbap filling: In a large, well-oiled skillet, sauté the carrots, season with salt and pepper to taste, until just tender and lightly golden. Set aside. Cut the ham in trips and set aside.

Step 3

In an oiled nonstick skillet, cook the beaten eggs with a pinch of salt. Swirl the pan to cover the entire surface area and as soon as the bottom is set, about 2 minutes, use a rubber spatula to carefully flip the egg like a pancake, doing your best to keep it in one piece. Cook just until the egg is no longer runny and has just set, another 30 seconds. Slide the cooked eggs onto a cutting board and let cool. Once cooled, cut into long, thick strips and set aside.

Step 4

Prepare the rice: Place the warm, freshly cooked rice into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Mix well with a large spoon.

Step 5

Assemble the kimbap: Lay 1 sheet of nori on a bamboo mat. Spread the rice across two-thirds of the seaweed sheet in an even layer, leaving the top third of the seaweed empty. Spread the prepared ingredients horizontally in rows, starting from the side closest to you.

Step 6

Roll the kimbap: Using both hands and the help of the bamboo mat, starting from the side closest to you, lift up the bottom of the seaweed and fold it up to cover the filling, tucking in the filling with your fingers. Use the bamboo mat to apply even and firm pressure, pressing to ensure the filling stays in place. Continue rolling until you reach the end of the rice.

Step 7

To close the kimbap roll, using your fingertips, spread a small amount of water at the edge of the empty seaweed and roll to seal. If the kimbap doesn’t close, spread a little rice to use the rice as an adhesive.

Step 8

To serve, lightly brush the rolls with sesame oil.

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