1.200 Gim Bap

-Cycle 1, Item 200-
24 (Sat) July 2010

Gim Bap


by Kim JA's nanny

at Sanjang Recreational Park (산장관광지)

-Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-

Gim Bap (김밥) is a Korean rice dish.  It consists of vegetables (e.g., carrot and spinach and burdock root and radish) and meat/fish (e.g., beef and/or ham and/or fish cake and/or (artificial) crab meat) and egg and rice, all rolled in a sheet of dried laver and sliced into cross-sections.  While similar in appearance to a Japanese-style sushi roll, gim bap doesn't include vinegar in the rice.  The name means "dried laver (kim) rice (bap)."   Each bite represents a self-contained well-balanced meal (without dairy, though some versions do include cheese).  The number and variety of the individual ingredients make preparation extremely time and work intensive, thus symbolizing care and dedication when done at home.  Once everything is ready to go, however, rolls can be quickly assembled in mass quantity, especially at snack shops and quick-fix eateries.  Easily wrapped in a sleeve of aluminum foil, no utensils required, and best at room temperature, gim bap is the food of choice for picnics, meetings, and other situations requiring convenience, arguably one of the most popular food items in Korea on a daily basis.  In many ways, it's not unlike a burger.

The gim bap featured here is remarkable for the single-layer precision of the rice, which allows the other ingredients to shine.  Not at all conventional, but the smaller size is great for kids.  Always a welcome contribution to our camp outings.

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