Today, I will make a trendy Korean food that is fun to make and very delicious. It is a rice burger, which is called “bap burger” in Korean. Bap means cooked rice, and you know what burger is. Instead of using buns for making the burger, we will use cooked rice shaped as buns, as well as using Korean flavored ingredients inside to make this very delicious rice burger. There are many different versions of it, but this time, we will make a tuna-kimchi rice burger, 참치 김치 밥버거. The flavors of tuna and kimchi are great together, so they are used together in many Korean dishes. It sounds like a guaranteed success for this recipe in that point. Plus, it can be a standalone meal, without the need for other things, making it a good choice to pack and carry for a trip or to use it in a lunchbox. 🙂 If you like this rice burger idea, I can share other versions one by one in the future. Let’s get started.
Yield: 2 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- JiGu (지구) = Earth
- UJu (우주) = Space
Rice Bun Ingredients:
- 2 Cups Cooked Short Grain Rice
- 2 Packs (0.14 oz Each) Seasoned and Roasted Dried Laver (½ Cup Total)
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
Tuna Filling Ingredients:
- ½ Cup Tuna from a Can
- 1½ Tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Onion
- ⅛ tsp Sugar
- 2 Pinches Black Pepper
Other Fillings Ingredients:
- ⅓ Generous Cup Fried Kimchi
- 2 Thin Slices Spam
- 2 Slices Yellow American or Cheddar Cheese
Now, we will prepare 4 things that we will use for the filling. We first need to make some tuna filling. Add ½ cup of tuna from a can, 1½ Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp worth of finely chopped onion, ⅛ tsp sugar, and 2 pinches black pepper to a small mixing bowl.
Mix everything together well. Then, divide it in half. We are going to make 2 rice burgers for this recipe, so each portion will be used for one rice burger. Set it aside.
For the second filling, prepare some spam. Since this burger has different fillings inside, if you do not want to make your rice burger to be too salty, use spam light with less fat and sodium, as I did. Slice the spam thinly. We will need 2 pieces for this recipe. In a heated pan, fry both sides of the spam slices until they become crispy and golden brown for few minutes on medium-high.
In addition to the tuna and spam fillings, we will also need about ⅓ generous cup of fried kimchi and 2 slices of yellow American or cheddar cheese. I already posted a good recipe for the fried kimchi in my last video: 3 Quick Korean Side Dishes. Please check it out.
So, all the fillings are prepared. Now let’s prepare the key ingredient for this rice burger, which is the cooked rice. You want to use short grain rice so that it will stick together better to function like buns. I also recommend that you to use freshly cooked warm rice. When the rice is warm, it will stick together better and hold its shape longer after you shape the rice bun.
To give the rice more flavor, I will mix in some seasoned and roasted dried laver. This one little pack (4 oz) can be good for 1 rice burger, so I will use 2 of them for this recipe. Put the dried laver in a zipper bag, and crush the sheets into little pieces. Put 2 cups of freshly cooked short grain rice into a mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, and the crushed dried laver into the rice. Mix everything gently. You do not want to mash your rice.
Divide the rice mixture into 4 groups. We will need 2 groups for one rice burger.
Finally, let’s assemble our rice burgers. 🙂 Get two wide-bottomed soup cups or bowls. If the bottom is slightly rounded, it will give you a nice and cute shape. The size of this is about 3 inch across. Cut a piece of plastic wrap that is large enough to cover the bowl or cup. Then, put it inside of the bowl. Do the same thing for the other bowl. To make the rice bun, take 1 lump of the seasoned rice and put it into the bowl. Push it down gently to form a shape like a hamburger bun.
Do the same thing with the other bowl. So, we will get 2 rice buns, one for both the top and bottom.
Put half of the tuna filling on top of the rice in one bowl. When you push it together later, the tuna will spread out over the rice, so I like to leave little bit of space around the edge when I spread it.
In the same way, put about 3 Tbsp of fried kimchi on top of the tuna filling.
Next, place one slice of cheese on top of the fried kimchi.
Then, put one slice of fried spam in the center.
Cover the fillings with the other rice bun.
Wrap up the rice burger with the plastic wrap in the bowl. Gently push down on it and then take the rice burger out of the bowl with the plastic wrap. Form it gently into a better shape. You can serve or take somewhere as is, or for those who can’t wait, you can open the plastic wrap and eat it right away. 🙂
Make the other rice burger with rest of the ingredients. So we made 2 delicious rice burgers today. 🙂 In Korea, there is a rice burger franchise named “Bonggus Burger” which is very popular for students and workers who need a quick and tasty lunch or supper. So, I tried to make a recipe similar to a Bongus rice burger. I’m very satisfied with the result. 🙂 Please try it someday.