An Expert's Tip For Rolling Perfect Kimbap Without A Bamboo Mat

Close-up of rolled and cut kimbap on a plate
Close-up of rolled and cut kimbap on a plate - Dmitrii Khvan/Getty Images

You're craving kimbap, that delectable Korean dish made of rice and various ingredients -- usually cooked or pickled -- rolled in dried seaweed or nori sheets and sliced into bite-sized pieces. While somewhat similar in appearance to sushi, kimbap isn't usually made with raw fish and its rice isn't seasoned with sushi vinegar. Instead, kimbap rice often carries the nuanced flavor of sesame oil.

Now, say you're at home and you have all the filler ingredients spread before you -- imitation crab meat, Spam, pickled radishes, mushrooms, and chopped eggs -- but there's one problem: You don't have the bamboo mat typically used to roll kimbap in the rice and seaweed. Fret not! In an exclusive conversation with Tasting Table, Chef Ji Hye Kim, founder of the Korean restaurant, Miss Kim, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, revealed the perfect hack for all you kimbap aficionados"Though the bamboo mats make things easier, you don't need to rush to a store in the middle of making kimbap for it," Kim states. Instead, she offers a simple and effective substitution: "Use a clean gallon-size Ziploc bag the same way you'd use a bamboo mat."

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Making Kimbap At Home Using Tips From Chef Ji Hye Kim

Chef Ji Hye Kim smiling
Chef Ji Hye Kim smiling - MLive/YouTube

If you don't have access to a Ziploc bag, Chef Ji Hye Kim suggests another method involving food-grade gloves. "Put a few drops of sesame oil and rub the gloved hands, especially the fingers. Once you have the rice [lined up on] the seaweed sheets, take care to move one end of the rice-lined sheets evenly by holding two corners closer to you, instead of moving just one corner at a time, to roll the kimbap." With this hack, you'll have perfectly even rolls and will be savoring sesame oil with each bite.

So, what if you don't have food-grade gloves, zip-top bags, or a bamboo mat at home? Before you start ordering things online or head out to the supermarket, simply wash your hands thoroughly. Kim's next advice is straightforward and ingenious: "Just oil your fingers and palms! The key is that you want to avoid the rice and the seaweed sheet from sticking to your fingers and ripping. The oil will prevent sticking and carefully moving two corners of the seaweed sheet will help [prevent] ripping." Now, you can prepare and savor kimbap at home any time. All you truly need are the ingredients and a few common items from your kitchen -- or just your own clean hands.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.