Vegan's Chronicles + Vegan

No Bab Kimbab

It's been a while since I had kimbab. First, I rarely get kimbab at Korean fastfood joints (Kimbab Chunggook or Nara) because it's so annoying having to remind the ajuma that fishcake, egg, crab-meat, and mayo are actually not vegetables, and should not be included in the 'vegetable kimbab'... And then second, ever since I read 'Eat to Live,' I've reduced my intake of white glutinous rice quite a bit. And kimbab has a lot of white rice in it. In fact, do you know what Koreans like to call kim (the thin, toasted nori sheets)? Rice Thief. Because you end up eating so much rice really fast, without even knowing it. It's true!

So as a vegan trying to be as healthy as possible, I decided to get a little creative and make my own kimbab rolls, without any bab (rice). I guess without the 'bab,' it's technically no longer 'kimbab' but hey, it's my blog and I can call it what I want. ^^

So, in order to make mine actually look like traditional kimbab with the familiar white ring around the veggies, I used steamed white cabbage instead of the rice. After I steamed the cabbage, I separated the layers and spread them out to cool down, and for the moisture to evaporate. It's important that the steamed cabbage leaves aren't all wet and soggy because otherwise they will make the kim sheet all yucky and wet when you're trying to roll it up. It might even help to lightly pat the cabbage leaves dry with a paper towel or something. To assemble the kimbab, I pretty much just laid some of the cabbage leaves down on the kim sheet, followed by a layer of perilla leaves. Then I just added all the other veggies, which included cucumber, red bell peppers, carrots (slightly cooked in a fry pan), lightly sauteed strips of eggplant, and sprouts (which I grew myself!). Finally, I rolled it all up into a log and cut it into pieces! Voila~ No bab Kimbab!

Who nibbled off the corner of my kim sheet?! Oh wait, that would be me... heh heh... ^^

You can't really see the layer of cabbage underneath the perilla leaves... I love perilla leaves, but if you're not a fan of the strong, peppery flavor, you can use regular lettuce or kale/collards, or omit the greens altogether. Oh, and most people think a bamboo mat is essential for making kimbab/sushi rolls, but I think they're kinda overrated. I mean, have you ever seen an ajuma at Kimbab Chunggook using a prissy bamboo mat? No. It just ain't hardcore ajuma style.

I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top, and dipped them in soysauce with wasabi. I love wasabi!

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Relevant to: No Bab Kimbab + Vegan