A Korean snack food, eaten at all times of day, the rolls, or kimbap, make a colorful appetizer. Also popular picnic foods, they are taken along as energy snacks on hikes. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can try substituting your favorite cooked vegetables or tofu. Look for laver, a type of dried seaweed sold in Korean markets, or substitute Japanese nori, also sold in sheets, available in most Asian markets.
- 2 cups short-grain Korean or Japanese rice, soaked for 20 minutes
- ¼ cup white vinegar plus ½ cup for soaking
- 5 Tbs. granulated sugar plus ½ cup for soaking
- 3 tsp. salt
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 2 long carrots, scraped and trimmed
- 1 pickled yellow Korean radish or Japanese daikon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 bunch (about ½ lb.) spinach, rinsed, trimmed and blanched
- 8 dried Korean pyogo or shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. cooking wine
- 10 sheets laver or Japanese nori, about 7 inches square
- Sesame oil for brushing
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Pickled ginger slices for garnish
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil in large saucepan over medium heat, and stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in small saucepan, about 2 minutes, and stir into cooked rice. Let rice cool 10 minutes.
- Cut cucumber, carrots and pickled radish same length as laver sheets. Cut same vegetables into strips ¼-inch thick and ¼-inch wide. Soak cucumber and carrot strips in ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt until ready to roll.
- Beat eggs with ½ teaspoon salt until foamy. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat, and cook eggs in sheet dimension of laver. Using spatula, remove from heat, and cut into strips same size as pickled radish.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Squeeze water from spinach, and mix with ½ teaspoon salt. Remove stems from mushrooms, and slice thinly. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cooking wine to mushroom soaking water, and cook over low heat 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Place laver on cookie sheet, and toast lightly in oven, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on bamboo sushi-rolling mat or flat surface. Spread thin layer of cooled rice on sheet, leaving about one-third of far side of sheet uncovered. Lay one strip each egg, mushroom and vegetables at center of rice, about one-third way up sheet. Place pieces side by side for those width of laver and egg, and end to end for smaller pieces. Roll tight, adding some water to seal edge.
- Brush outside of roll with sesame oil. Cut rolls into ½-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle slices with sesame seeds, and garnish with pickled ginger.
- Serving Size: Serves 4 to 6
- Calories: 370
- Carbohydrate Content: 67 g
- Cholesterol Content: 140 mg
- Fat Content: 6 g
- Fiber Content: 3 g
- Protein Content: 10 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
- Sodium Content: 1420 mg
- Sugar Content: 13 g