Today, I will introduce a very popular kimbap in Korea called “Chungmu kimbap.” It is easier to make than normal kimbap and the flavor is awesome. Chungmu kimbap is a local food that originated from one of the Korean cities called Tongyong, but the city was named “Chungmu” when this food was invented. Many people were fishermen in that area. The husbands would go to sea and stayed there all day to catch fish. Wives felt sorry for their husbands who worked hard, but couldn’t eat well while out in the sea. They started to pack lunch boxes for them. Sometimes, they could make normal kimbap, but the ingredients inside of kimbap spoiled easily, so instead they rolled the kimbap with only seasoned rice – with no other filling ingredients – and prepared a delicious side using radish and squid. The spicy, sweet, and savory sauce make the pickled radish and squid a perfect match with the plain rice kimbap. When I read the story of the origin of this Chungmu kimbap, I thought the wives were very sweet and wise. This special kimbap eventually spread all over South Korea and there are many restaurants that specialized in this particular kimbap. Of course, people make it at home too, so try this delicious yet fun kimbap someday at home with your kids. 🙂
Yield: 3 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- GyoWhoi (교회) = Church
- SeogGyeong(성경) = Bible
- 4 Cups Cooked Short Grain Rice (½ tsp Salt + 2 tsp Sesame Oil)
- 2 Generous Cups Korean Radish (10 oz)
- 2 Medium Squids (12 oz)
- 4 Sheets Dried Laver
- ¼ Cup Green Onion
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- Some Extra Sesame Seeds (Garnish)
- 1 Cup Water
- ¼ Cup Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- ¼ Cup Hot Pepper Powder
- 1½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- ½ Tbsp Fish Sauce
- ½ Tbsp Vinegar
- ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 2 tsp Garlic, Minced
- 2 Pinches Black Pepper
Obtain about 2 generous cups (10 oz) of Korean radish. Cut it into bite-sized pieces. Hold the radish with one hand and turn it around as you cut the edges at an angle with a knife in your other hand. Be careful not to cut your fingers when doing this.
Combine all the brine ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl: 1 cup water, ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 Tbsp salt. Stir it until the sugar and salt dissolves.
Add and mix the radish into the brine mixture. Set it aside for about 45 minutes to pickle the radish.
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl: ¼ cup hot pepper powder, 1½ Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp sugar, ½ Tbsp fish sauce, ½ Tbsp vinegar, ½ Tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, and 2 pinches of black pepper. Set it aside.
About 45 minutes later, drain the radish. Do not rinse the radish pieces.
Obtain 2 medium-sized squids. I got the frozen ones that were already prepared and just thawed them.
Cook the squid in boiling water for about 5 minutes on medium-high.
Cut the squid into nicely sized strips for eating.
Put the pickled radish, cooked squid, and the sauce in a large mixing bowl. Mix everything to get everything evenly covered with the sauce. You will get about 1 quart.
Add 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds and ¼ cup green onion and mix gently.
If you want some more sesame oil flavor, you can add a little more in this step.
Add 4 cups of cooked short grain rice, ½ tsp salt, and 2 tsp sesame oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix it gently. Many people ask if they can use long grain rice for kimbap; my answer is that you need to use short grain rice, so that the rice will stick together and stay in your kimbap when you roll or cut it later.
Obtain 4 sheets of roasted dried laver. Dried laver is called “Gim” in Korean. Laver is also known as nori when making Japanese sushi or rolls. If your dried laver is not roasted, you can roast it at home. To do so, preheat a pan without oil on medium and then place each sheet of dried laver in it. Once it is preheated, reduce the temperature to medium-low. Flip the dried laver quickly – only few seconds – several times to roast it evenly without burning. Stack new sheets in the pan, and repeat.
Cut the sheets in half lengthwise. To do it easier, Stack all 4 sheets together, and gently fold them in half to make a guideline and then cut it by following the line with your scissors.
Place a bamboo mat on a cutting board. Place one piece of dried laver on the bamboo mat. Spread about ½ cup of seasoned rice on the laver evenly.
Leave little bit of space at the end of the dried laver, so when you roll the laver with rice, the rice will not come out of the laver.
Roll the kimbap with a bamboo mat and gently squeeze it to make it stay firm.
If you want, cut a little bit off both ends of the kimbap to get a nice, sharp end. Then, divide each roll of kimbap into 3 to 4 pieces, depending on your desired size. This recipe will make 8 rolls and that will be about 24 to 32 pieces after you cut them. I said this recipe makes 3 servings, but you can get an idea of how many servings you can get from this depending on your situation.
Place some of the leftover seasoned radish and squid mixture on the side and stack the kimbap as a pyramid on the other side to serve. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of both of them. Eat the kimbap and squid or radish together. It looks very appetizing and it is very delicious. Enjoy!