Making Korean Gimbap + my introduction to SoMac (Soju bombs).
One of my favourite things to do is to cook with friends, and I have been blessed with friends from all around the world in Melbourne. This has the excellent side effect of cooking nights with every cuisine imaginable.
A few months back, my Persian friend Pouya taught me to make a number of dishes from Iran (post on that night here), and tonight, Edward, who previously lived in Korea, set up a cooking night with his Korean friends. We were making Gimbap, steamed white rice rolled with various fillings in dried seaweed.
The ingredients are fairly basic:
Raw vegetables cut into strips such as carrots, cucumber, peppers. Pickled radish and edible burdock root can generally be purchased from Asian grocers already cut into strips.
For the protein component, imitation crab meat, sliced and fried fish cakes, and/or a basic omelette cut into strips. Canned tuna is mixed with a little mayonnaise and finely sliced perilla leaves (also known as shisu, silam, suzi), but as perilla is difficult to find, tuna with mayonnaise is adequate.
Short grain white rice, cooked and then lightly seasoned with salt and a drizzle of sesame oil just to moisten.
Sheets of dried seaweed, or sushi nori, cut in half.
Roll these all up together with whatever fillings you choose, and accompany with some cheongju (Korean rice wine) and SoMac.
What is SoMac you ask? Well, heard of a Jagerbomb? SoMac is basically a glass of beer with a shot of soju dropped in the top. Our relaxing, quiet evening of gimbap rolling gradually evolved into a table of empty beer cans, rice wine bottles, and me continually failing at the etiquette required to drink SoMac respectfully.