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help with kimbap

so I'm half korean and 23 and I still don't know how to roll kimbap. I pretty much suck at it.

it took me 2 years to realize that you dont roll kimbap with the seasoned seaweed, you are supposed to use the shiny roasted seaweed. I always wondered why my kimbap always came out so "limp"

soooo I have a few questions.

do I put the shiny side up or down?

how do I get all the food to stay in the middle after I roll it?

just to let you know, I don't have a bamboo mat to roll it up so I am using a silpat baking sheet to help me out. It doesn't work as well as a bamboo mat, but it does the job. I also don't have any takuan so I am using quick pickled green daikon instead and I have no egg either. Its pretty much a "kitchen sink" whatever is in the fridge sort of kimbap

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  1. Shiny down on the mat, Tuck the fillings in as you begin to roll -then press and continue to roll. use a whole sheet not a half. hope this helps

    1 Reply
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Yup, the trick is like what the grade school gym teacher use to say, "tuck & roll!" Make sure u just tuck in the kimbob & not your rolling sheet. As your tucking in the kimbob, try to pull out/tighten the rolling sheet, if that makes sense. During college, we didn't have a bamboo mat either so just went with good 'ol aluminum foil.

    2. oh and which way do the preforated (sp?) lines go? perpindicular to me or parallel to me when I am rolling?

      thanks, I looked on about 20 webpages and none tell me which side of the kim/nori is supposed to be on the mat.

      btw, I knew you would help me out..thanks

      1. At the sushi restaurant we fold the nori to halve it using the lines as a guide, so maybe perpendicular? Will you be using bulgogi or fishcake, bitsubeats? No Takuan! ;) Please say you got some spinach namul!

        1. no spinach namul. I haven't been to the grocery store in a LONG time. no bulgogi or odeng either. I know, it doesn't even qualify as kimbap.

          I am using spam, some green daikon thats been julienned and tossed with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. I'm also using blanched julienned carrot and some random japanese pickled cucumber that is purple. I have no idea what it is, but tastes very yummy.Then I put smeared kewpie mayo mixed with siracha on the spam. I also put some goma shio in the rice and THEN......... I rubbed the outside of my kimbap roll with sesame oil, lovingly like a old korean grandmother making kimbap for her lovely grandchildren's lunch. awwwwwwwwwwwww so sweet

          it tastes better then it sounds.

          so you are japanese, right? what is this purple pickle concoction I am eating?

          1. I think it might be shibazuke - where did you get it?
            No I am just a white boy who thinks korean sushi (and food) tastes better than Japanese.

            The sesame oil makes the kimbap!

            1. wow, really? I always thought you were japanese because of the kare raisu thing...odd. Most non asians find korean and japanese curry to be gross cause they taste nothing like authentic curries.

              its actually this: http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/index....

              its fantastic and I think its made with lots of ginger or something. I also bought some "stem lettuce" pickles (whatever that is) and some cucumber pickles that are pickled in soy sauce. Its weird how japanese pickles come in plastic bags instead of in jars or plastic tubs like kimchi.

              1. Did you see that Japanese curry was like 6 on Saveurs 100 list? crazy. Working at a Japanese restaurant the most frequent and economical employee meal is kare, and I dont tire of it. Kinda like that guy that ate nothing but jajangmyun for 20 years.

                Is it hard to come across Japanese pickes in your neck of the woods? I have a kimchi takuan in the fridge right now, that disappears almost as soon as I open it - I love it so much.

                1. I just got a year subscription to saveur for christmas...and I still haven't received my first issue. I think I will just go out and pay for that issue because I heard its pretty awesome. I hear there are alot of awesome things on that list.

                  eating jajangmyun for 20 years? never heard of it....thats some messy eatin too.

                  its not hard to come across japanese pickles. there is one grocery store in boston that sells them and I have seen about 7-10 different kinds. I have no idea what any of them taste like so I pick the "pretty ones" and so far all taste great. Korean takuan is defintely easy to find. I can even find it at the chinese grocery store.

                  takuan drizzled with vinegar and eaten with jajangmyun is heaven. Its also good if you dip it into ja jang sauce.

                  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jajangmyeon

                    I actually think I like it better than the namesake.

                    Intresting enough, I found a chinese fast food restaurant (a la Panda Express) run by ethnic Chinese-Koreans just down the street from me. Turns out they have a secret menu. Ive been served JJM in a beautiful ceramic bowl with all the accoutrements ever since, much to the chagrin of the tired looking guy next to me slurping up some steam table ickiness from the stryofoam box. *Hey, whats that black sludge that guys eating?*

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      Hey kare_raisu. Where is this jja jjang myun place? It's so hard to find a place that serves a decent version, so I've resorted to making my own.

                      1. re: MeowMixx

                        I live out in Riverside County so it may be too long of a haul for you Meow if you live in LA proper. There is a place near Shik do rak in LA - its emblem is a mask - reccommended by korean friends to me. Where are you located in LA? JJM seemed popular at the K-C joint at the food court in the KTown Galleria as well

                    2. alright, after following all of your suggestions (and eating an entire roll of kimbap) I am done! It turned out pretty good and tastes damn good as well.

                      thanks for all the help! sleepy time

                        1. When I was little, my grandmother tried to teach me how to make kimbap. She told me to roll with the bamboo mat, so I did exactly that - just jellyrolled the whole thing up. You should have seen her face when I asked her how to get the mat out of the kimbap. Since then, I've gotten much better :)