I love food, but I’m not a great cook. I can fix some meals that taste good — my boyfriend says he loves my shepherd’s pie and that my chicken fettucine alfredo is the best there is, but I think he’s half-lying to make me happy! :) — but overall I don’t really know my way around the kitchen and I definitely need help material, most notably a magazine or my smartphone, to guide me. That said, I love trying and I feel quite proud of myself when I do try. Let’s be real and forget about actually succeeding, it happens only 60% of the time.
We usually spend a lot of money on eating out at the restaurant, so as an attempt to cut back on our expenses, my boyfriend and I decided to try cooking something new every week-end. We’re being both frugal and creative, ooooo. So as you can see from the main image of this post, our first cooking adventure involved making kimbap. Kimbap is similar to sushi but only because of the rice, seaweed and overall appearance. But the similarities pretty much stop there. Kimbap is typically made with meat and veggies, as opposed to raw fish for sushi. The rice is flavoured with salt and sesame oil, and no dipping sauce is required. I find one roll of kimbap quite filling, as opposed to a roll of sushi that leaves me hungry an hour later.
There is no strict rule as to what a kimbap roll should contain, so we went with just about everything. Vegetables included cucumbers, carrots and perilla leaves. Apparently, perilla leaves are commonly used in Korean cuisine. I had never tried before, but they are quite flavourful and delicious. The protein components were tuna, sausage, crab sticks and eggs.
The mix of the several meats seemed off-putting at first — ‘What do you mean you’ll put all of them in each roll?!’ — but it actually didn’t taste so bad. I found out that I was not very good at making rolls with the bamboo mat, but I did quickly master the art of cutting them! We ended up with enough kimbap to feed 15 people, and since it’s better to eat them in the first 24 hours, a lot of them were given away to my boyfriend’s coworkers the next day.
Kimbap actually requires a lot more work than I thought. It’s not hard by any means, but for someone like me who takes about 20 minutes to cut a vegetable into strips, it’s time-consuming. Regardless, it was very fun to make something I’d never tried making before, and I did learn a little bit about Korean cuisine in the process.
By the way, we probably spent more money buying the ingredients for this meal than we would have eating out. Creativity, check. Frugality? Better luck next time.
As an end note, Bonus lounging cat photo to make this post worth of the internetz.