Schools have started all over the country, and back to school means back to making lunches early in the morning! That first week of preparing lunches is super hard – thinking of what to make for the kids firstly, then ensuring that all the groceries are there for the lunches, next – pre-prepare anything required so that the mornings are easy to package the lunches.
Kimbap is a Korean Seaweed Rice Roll that may seem similar to sushi but it is not. Kimbap has pickled diakon, ham, eggs, meats, and veggies or any other items that you may like.
I saw the foldable kimbap trending on Tiktok, where they make the kimbap by layering 4 sections of a nori with eggs, spam, carrots, and rice, or items of your own selection. Then they make a slit in the middle, until the center and fold each fold on top of one another to create a packet. The foldable kimbap came about because of the difficulty in rolling the normal kimbap.
Since this would be such an easy and filling lunch for my kids, I decided to make the foldable kimbap for them for lunch. I even make extras and keep them as an after school snack. The kids feel satiated and are able to get on with their homework and other activities without any fuss. It is important to feed kids nourishing foods, so that their brains can function – just like us as adults! We all need the fuel!
Contents of Kimbap:
Rice that I typically use is sushi rice linked here. It is really sticky and good and works perfectly in this kimbap. I season it with toasted sesame oil – that is traditionally used in kimbap.
Use any vegetables that you like. Typically lightly cooked carrots are used, and pickled diakon. I have a Korean colleague who was telling me all about the kimbap and how they traditionally eat it. I have been putting cucumbers and avocado in my kids kimbap, giving it the Californian touch!
My kids are vegetarian so I add tofu in their kimbaps. I marinate the sliced tofu in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, gochujang, and grill it on the pan for a few minutes, until lightly charred. I get the hard tofu since it holds it’s shape overnight till they go to school and are ready for lunch time. You could use spam or any meats of your choice.
I have seen cooked eggs in kimbaps, but since I already put tofu in the kimbap, I skip the eggs in mine.
Typically there are no sauces, but my kids have been loving the Japanese mayo, linked here. It is SO good and you really do not require anything else. My daughter does like Sriracha – a touch of heat in her kimbap. We Indians do like our heat and spiciness! My son however likes teriyaki sauce and mayo in his! Ok this is by no means traditional but live and let live!
Sesame seeds and furikake
I love adding black sesame seeds and furikake on the kimbaps too for added flavor.
And finally all the above ingredients are placed on sushi nori sheets which you can get at any asian supermarket or I have linked it here.
Now I know this is not traditional, so please do not come after me! My kids love all kinds of Asian cuisines, from Chinese to Japanese, Indonesian to Thai, to Korean! I customize it to their tastes and likes and at the same time introducing them to new cultures and foods. Being vegetarian I do have to find ways to substitute the meat with tofu, fish oil with none, and so on and so forth. In the end, I know my kids are getting healthy, delicious, nourishing, home cooked meals and that is what matters to me the most!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on this blog post!