Working at Saveur HQ in Manhattan’s Koreatown certainly has its perks, the two most important being karaoke and kimbap. Kimbap (also known as gimbap) is similar to Japanese sushi, except the ingredients in it are typically all cooked or pickled, even the cucumber and carrots. Kimbap is a popular street food, though it’s also commonly found in picnic lunches. It’s not often that I leave the office during the day for lunch (we’re turning out some great dishes here on the regular, so I’m not that hungry during office hours), but when I do, I make the trip for kimbap. I’ve come to love it so much that I crave it at home in the evenings after work, and so I came up with a recipe for home. I like mine stuffed with bulgogi (although you could use can tuna or something vegetarian) and dipped in a mixture of whatever chili sauce I have on hand, plus soy sauce. It’s the perfect light meal (or snack).
- 3 cups short grain rice
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 1⁄2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 6 oz. sirloin, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. rice wine
- 4 burdock roots (about 4 ounces), peeled and quartered
- 1 cucumber, julienned lengthwise
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned lengthwise
- 1 pickled radish (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch julienne
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 sheets dried laver
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. chili sauce
- Combine rice and 3 3⁄4 cups water in a 4-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, the garlic, and scallion in a bowl; add beef, toss to coat, and marinate 15 minutes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet over high; add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a bowl, wipe the skillet clean, and return to high heat.
- Combine remaining soy sauce and sugar, plus the rice wine and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl; add to skillet along with burdock root and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Transfer the burdock root to a bowl, wipe the skillet clean, and return to high heat.
- Meanwhile, toss cucumber with remaining salt and let stand for 10 minutes; rinse the cucumber and squeeze dry.
- Add remaining vegetable oil to the skillet; heat over medium-high and cook carrot and cucumber 30 seconds. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, wipe the skillet clean, and return to medium heat.
- Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until almost set, 2-3 minutes. Flip the omelet in the skillet and cook until completely set, about 1 minute more. Transfer the omelet to a cutting board and let cool. Roll the omelet up like a cigar and cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch thick strips.
- Working with 1 sheet laver at a time, place laver on sushi mat, shiny side down. Using wet fingers, press 1⁄4 rice onto laver in an even layer, leaving a ½” border on the side furthest from you. Working from the side closest to you, arrange 1⁄4 each beef, burdock root, cucumber, carrot, pickled daikon, and egg side-by-side over the rice.
- Using the mat as a guide, lift edge of mat closest to you to roll laver up and over ingredients, forming a tight cylinder (take care to pull back the edge of the mat so as to not roll it into the kimbap). Transfer kimbap to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining laver, rice, beef, burdock root, cucumber, carrot, pickled daikon, and egg. Slice crosswise into 10 equal pieces.
- Mix soy sauce and chili sauce together in a bowl and serve with kimbap.