Make Mayak Kimbap

This recipe is for my South Korean food loving mother. She spends her every waking day watching Asian Street food cooking on YouTube.

Kimbap (also spelled gimbap) are rolls of cooked rice wrapped in seaweed. They’re a versatile, fail-proof snack or light meal found everywhere in South Korea from households to convenience stores. The traditional kimbap fillings include fresh or marinated vegetables, omelet-style eggs, cooked Spam, or pre-fried fish cakes, but you can also find less classic combinations. Kimchi and cheese kimbap, anyone? Heck, you don’t even have to put any fillings in at all—like bread and butter, seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) are a duo that goes a long way on their own.

To make your own mayak kimbap, take 4 nori sheets and cut them into quarters. (A pack of roasted seaweed snacks also works! Just don’t cut them.) Then grab 1 cup cooked short-grain rice prepared from your rice cooker or stovetop. Using a small spoon, place a heaping spoonful of rice onto a piece of roasted seaweed. Spread and flatten using the back of the spoon or slightly damp fingers. Lay a few pieces of julienned daikon radish, sautéed spinach, and shredded carrots side by side in the middle of the rice bed. Use both hands to tightly roll the kimbap up, starting from the shorter side, and then give it a light squeeze to shape and tuck the entire roll in place. Repeat with the remaining rice, seaweed, and fillings to get 16 mayak kimbap rolls. Once you have all of your kimbap, place on a serving plate, and brush lightly with toasted sesame oil, then sprinkle tops with a teaspoon or two of sesame seeds.

To make the dipping sauce, combine 1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp. kosher salt, and 1 tsp. granulated sugarin a small bowl. Stir vigorously with a small spoon until the mixture is fully incorporated.

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