whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Fusion cooking: Kimchi quinoa kimbap 김치쿠이 노아 김밮

with 6 comments

I’m a bit of a mixed bag. More a mixed bag of nuts as I’m kinda nutty, more crazy than quirky.

I grew up in a very Australian household enjoying barbecues several times a week, salad optional; minimum 2 varieties of meat essential, vegemite sangas and sao’s with cheese and tomato. With my Scottish mum designated to preparing meals,(very typically reflective of most baby-boomer nuclear households) there was also a strong British influence. I have very strong and fond memories of casseroles, soups and mince and tatties; not to mention Coronation Street, Heartbeat and whisky.

By face value, I apparently have a very Korean face, but my fashion sense and makeup is not very Gangnam style, or actually my face – no plastic surgery here….yet!

But anyway, I’ve been described as a banana before, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Actually a term of affection or endearment….not as derogatory as it sounds or to be confused with being FOB-by (Fresh off the boat – an Asian in a western country, not assimilating and acting, well, very Asian….I don’t make these things up!!)

So I thought it finally time to embrace my banana-like, Konglish, fusion culture and make food reflective of my own culture. To share my relatively new found love of Korean food mashed together with all the best, fresh elements of Australian food.

Kimchi quinoa 김치쿠이 노아 with sesame leaves 깻잎, tofu 두부, cucumber 오이 and lotus root 연근

Kimbap 김밮, directly translating to seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) is as revered as tteokbokki 떡볶이 in the hearts and s(e)oul of all Koreans, bringing back memories of childhood, picnics and uni days. Both are cheap, tasty eats available at all street vendors or quickly slapped together by mothers as a snack food with limitless variations.

Tteokbokki 떡볶이: soft, chewy rice cakes simmered in hot pepper sauce with fish cakes.
Pretty tasty. Extra tasty after soju.

Kimbap is the equivalent to a sandwich. Similar to sushi, (but don’t mention that to hardcore patriotic Koreans, may as well ask them if Dokdo belongs to Japan) Kimbap is rolled rice, usually short grain white rice seasoned with sesame or perilla oil and with a variety of fillings; usually the ubiquitous yellow pickle, sweet marinated lotus root, bulgolgi ham, egg, tofu and sarimi stick. Due to the heavy lashings of sesame oil, no other seasoning is usually required making it the perfect snack/meal on the run.

Traditional Kimbap 김밮: yellow= egg, orange = carrot, dark brown = marinated lotus root, pink/brown= ham, translucent yellow = pickle, green = ? cucumber? probably another bloody pickle?

Quality varies from the GS25 roll or Samgak kimbap 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbap); that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, to the skinny, uniform rolls at any street vendor, battered, deep-fried and deep-fried again as you please! New restaurants such as School Food are revamping humble Korean staple foods by substituting white rice for black rice and more gourmet fillings.

Fancy pants School Food kimbap


Still-life artistic triangle kimbap shot

And then, there’s me, committing cardinal Korean food murder, fusing together well-known foods from Australia, like quinoa and cashew chive pesto and salad fillings such as mixed greens and cucumber with traditional Korean ingredients. Yet to try a hamburger with the works style with beetroot, bacon and a fried egg, but never say never, right?

Some worked, some didn’t.

I liked them all, and so did some friends and random taste testers, but when you’re messing about with very traditional Korean food, with tastes that are ingrained and reliably taste the same wherever you go in Korea, there’s going to be some resistance.

It’s like changing a cheeseburger. Or leaving out the beetroot on a hamburger.

You’re messing with the food gods.

But it’s a start, and generally feedback was good, although the flavours need to be very strong for the korean palette. The kimchi infused quinoa was more popular, as there was some familiarity.

Looking forward to more experimentation with new flavours, bases and fillings, let me know if you wanna be a taste tester!

Kimchi Quinoa kimbap: Attempt #1
Kimchi and green pepper to be mixed with quinoa.
Marinated lotus root for filling

Added in green pepper, kimchi, sesame seeds and yellow capsicum to the cooked quinoa

Pressed out the kimchi quinoa onto the kim (roasted seaweed)
Added some marinated sesame leaves in soy sauce  깻잎 장아찌

Added the marinated lotus root 연근조림 – yeongeun jorim
Should have divided this quantity with cucumber to provide a refresher from the spiciness of the peppers and kimchi.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Arg, is that Limp Bizkit? I don’t even like Limp Bizkit…..Except for that Faith cover.
I should delete that.

Continuing on…I don’t have a bamboo mat for ease of rolling, so you can sub with greaseproof paper or seran wrap just fine.

Second variation: quinoa cooked in coconut milk mixed with capsicums and a crunchy mix of toasted peanuts, sunflower and chia seeds.

Added lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts

Kimchi variation #2
No peppers this time in the quinoa, added fresh sesame leaves, tofu, lotus root and cucumber.

Ta daaaa!
Make sure you cut the kimbap with an extremely sharp knife.
Running the knife under hot water will make your life easier

Bottom kimbap was quinoa mixed with cashew chive pesto and black sesame seeds with cucumber, carrot and tofu

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 07:30

6 Responses

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  1. just fyi it’s spelled 김밥 🙂

    Na-dan

    February 2, 2013 at 03:37

  2. i tried it to make “김치 퀴노아 김밥” last Sunday! it is very delicious and convenient !
    thanks! ^_^

    김수연

    February 20, 2014 at 04:01

  3. FYI, Traditional Kimbap’s ‘dark brown’ is not ‘lotus root’.
    it’s burdock root.

    KOKAGE

    May 1, 2014 at 14:29

  4. Where can I buy quinoa in Korea and how it is called in Korean. Is it 노아 ?

    Imelda P

    October 8, 2014 at 03:20


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