The first food I ate in Korea was kimbap.
It was long after midnight and the only thing open near our hotel was a 7-11. We hadn’t eaten since the plane ride hours ago, and I was desperately in need of something to munch. (Have I mentioned the dude’s new nickname for me is “Snacks”? I think it’s well-deserved..)
Enter my golden little triangle.
These little rice triangles are quick and even cute to eat, the store-bought versions with 1-2-3 easy unwrap instructions, and fillings like spicy kimchi or creamy tuna, all wrapped up in a ball of rice. Think of them as the Korean equivalent of a quick-grab pizza slice… minus the gluten and dairy. For the first week in Korea, I subsided mostly on kimbap triangles… at least until I found kimbap rolls, and started eating those for breakfast. And lunch. Ah, my Korean comfort food.
Unfortunately neither white rice nor purchasing food at convenience stores really appeals to me, so it was off to my midget-sized kitchen for a lesson in assembly failure and, subsequently, patience!
But finally, success…. And now I’m considering renaming this blog Kimbap and Kass. What do you think?
Kimbap Triangles (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)
Ingredients: (You’ll have to guesstimate—if you want exact amounts, check out this tutorial)
Seaweed (nori) sheets
Cooked brown rice
Vinegar (preferably sushi vinegar)
Filling(s) of your choice (I used avocado)
1. In a bowl, mix ~1 cup of cooked rice with 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of sesame seeds, and the filling of your choice. I used half a cubed avocado, but other common fillings would be tuna and avocado, kimchi or other pickled vegetables, or beef. Set bowl aside.
2. Slice a nori sheet in half lengthwise. Try and actually do it in the middle. (Durr)
3. Take half of the rice mixture from your bowl and, with your hands, form it into the shape of a triangle, flattening the top and bottom. Place at the top of one of the nori sheet halves and press down to make sure all the sides are flat.
4. Fold the bottom half of the nori sheet up and over the rice mixture. It should come just to the top of the rice, if not, shorten the nori sheet as needed. Press the sides of the nori sheet against the rice mixture until it sticks. A little water can help the nori sheets stick together.
5. Flip the triangle over and tuck the sides of the nori sheets on top of the rice like you’re wrapping a present. No scotch tape, please. Now do the same for the other side. Press the triangle together, making sure it is secure. Again, moisture really helps the seaweed stick.
And voila! You have a kimbap triangle! These would go great with some tofu soup or seaweed salad to make a meal. Or you can saran wrap them and carry as snacks, they transport surprisingly well. Apparently you can also buy kits to wrap them in the same cutesy way the convenience stores do, but this works just fine for me.
I’d love to see what you put in your kimbap, so please post on Facebook or Twitter if you try these out! Your packed-lunch-rut will thank you.
Oh! And to my friends at home, happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Hope you enjoy lots of candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes and … I’ll stop now. Yum.