김밥 (Kimbap)

김밥 (Kimbap)

It seems like many cuisines have their own ‘package’ food. Mexican food has burritos, Indian food has samosas, Japanese food has onigiri, Korean food has kimbap. This is a really common food for lunches, for picnics, times when you just need something that can be eaten easily without having to re-heat it or cook anything. It’s really a whole meal in a roll. The name simply means “seaweed rice”, and that’s basically what it is.

This is one of those dishes that can be almost anything you want it to be – it would be simple to make it vegan, vegetarian, or with meat. This recipe uses fried fish cake, but is otherwise vegan. It would be a great way to use up scraps of vegetables you have just sitting in your kitchen, or you can buy things specifically for it and make it special. It’s a good idea to mix flavors, colors and textures so that you really get a great experience not only tasting it, but looking and it and even just chewing it as well.

Ingredients

  • Pickled korean radish (3 long chunks)
  • Pickled burdock root (3 long slices)
  • Fried fish cake (6 long strips)
  • 2 carrots, cut in matchsticks
  • 1 Korean pickled cucumber, cut in matchsticks
  • 1 bunch of spinach, mostly de-stemmed (it’s not necessary to be really careful about de-stemming it)
  • 1 can tuna or tuna salad made with 1 can tuna
  • 2 cups cooked rice (2 cups when measured dry, measured with the rice cup measurement, not the normal cooking cup)
  • 3 sheets seaweed (김)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt

Directions

  1. First prepare your fillings. The pickled Korean radish can be purchased whole or already cut into long chunks (see the yellow vegetable in the above photo). Same with the burdock root. If you purchase them whole, cut them as seen above. Cut the fish cake into strips, and the cucumber and carrot into matchsticks.
  2. Cook your two cups of rice according to the directions on the package. This should be Korean or Japanese short to medium grain rice.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, drizzle in a small amount of sesame oil, and salt to taste, and mix it well with a fork, chopsticks or a rice paddle. Set the rice aside to cool.
  4. Fill a bowl with cold water, and then in a small pot, bring plain water to boil. Toss in the spinach and let it sit for just one minute, until it is soft.
  5. Remove the spinach from the hot water, and put it in the cold water to stop it from cooking further. Once it has cooled, remove it from the cold water, and squeeze it firmly to remove most of the water.
  6. Toss the spinach with a small amount of sesame oil and salt.
  7. Once the rice has mostly cooled (it can still be warm, but you don’t want it to be wet or steaming much), lay out a sheet of seaweed, and thinly cover it with rice. Try to get the rice as close to the edges as you can.
  8. Lay out the fillings you are putting in perpendicular to your line of sight (parallel with the counter), towards the side of the seaweed closest to you. Don’t put too much in, or it will be difficult to wrap the whole thing around it.
  9. Lift up the edge of the seaweed closest to you, and fold it over the fillings. Tuck in the edge of the seaweed around the fillings tightly so that they are not loose inside the roll. Make sure the whole edge of the seaweed is evenly tucked in.
  10. Finish rolling the seaweed until you get to the end and have a finished roll. Set the roll seam-side down and let sit for a few minutes to solidify.
  11. Either lightly wet your knife, or lightly coat it with sesame oil, and slice the rolls into bite-sized rounds.
  12. That’s it, you’re done! Enjoy!

김밥

김밥

김밥

김밥

김밥

김밥

Šaltibarščiai (Cold Borscht)

When we went to make this for dinner the other night, I was flabbergasted that we hadn’t posted it here yet. This is one of our very favorite summer meals, a Lithuanian cold beet soup, usually served with boiled potatoes and/or pickled herring. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and very tasty, though the color is a bit shocking to people who aren’t used to it :) This recipe probably serves about 4-6 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 32oz bottle plain kefir (you can use buttermilk if necessary, but kefir is much better)
  • Beets (you can use raw or canned, this recipe uses raw)
  • Green Onion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 large cucumber
  • Dill (fresh if possible, but dried is fine, too)
  • Salt

Directions

  1. If you’re using canned beets, skip the steps about cooking them and just chop them up in either a dice or a julienne – otherwise, continue as written :)
  2. Peel the beets, and chop them into small-ish pieces. Boil them in water until soft all the way through.
  3. While beets are boiling, hard-boil your eggs.
  4. Chop your green onion, cucumber and dill and set aside.
  5. Once beets are soft, drain them, but keep the cooking liquid as you will add some of it to the soup later. Let beets cool.
  6. Once the beets have cooled, cut them up. You can either dice them or julienne them.
  7. Add the beets to a large mixing bowl (over 32 oz).
  8. Add cucumber, dill and green onion to bowl.
  9. Peel and chop your eggs, and add to the bowl.
  10. Pour in full bottle of kefir.
  11. Pour some of the cooking liquid from the beets into the kefir bottle and shake it around to make sure you get all the kefir out, then pour into soup.
  12. Mix everything together well, and add more cooking liquid from the beets to taste.
  13. Salt to taste.
  14. Serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with dill, or pickled herring and onions (or both).

Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai Šaltibarščiai