05 March 2004

Kim Bap

Kim Bap is synonymous with Korean food. There are even Korean pop songs written about it! Kim bap can be found literally everywhere in Korea - look around the corner and you'll probably find a kim bap store.

Kim bap is a generic name for rice rolled up with laver (dried seaweed) - kim meaning laver and bap meaning rice. It can be taken as a snack-on-the-go, or as a complete meal in itself. There's plain basic kim bap, kimchi kim bap, bulgogi (beef) kim bap, sausage kim bap, cheese kim bap, and the list goes on. My personal favourite is the tuna kim bap and the mixed (mo deum) kim bap, which has a little of everything.

The basic "toppings" are always the same - laver, steamed rice, pickled radish and cucumber, carrot, green vege, crabstick, fishcake & fried egg omelette; all cut into long strips. On top of these basic ingredients they then add the "extras" of your choice - like kimchi, sausage, cheese, tuna etc.

The store I usually frequent is called Jong-Ro Kim Bap, which is a popular franchised chain. You can eat in, take-away or have it delivered to your home.

This is a typical kim bap assembly plant. At my store, we have a four-handed lady who does great kim bap.

Today, I'm having the tuna kim bap (KRW2,500 per roll).

This is called odeng - which is basically fish paste or fish cake. It should be familiar to those living in South East Asia. Cost KRW2,000.

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