Hello everybody! Let’s learn how to make jumeokbap today!
Jumeok literally means ‘fist’ and bap means ‘cooked rice,’ so jumeokbap is the Korean word for any kind of dish that consists of hand-shaped rice balls, no matter the size, ingredients, or seasonings used.
There are many kinds of jumokbap (just like there are many kinds of gimbap – seaweed rice rolls) and its simplicity lends itself to experimentation and invention. For example, if you’re a bacon lover, you can add chopped and cooked bacon inside the rice ball, press and shape it with your hands, and say, “Oh, I made bacon jumeokbap!”
Put some chopped kimchi in it too, and you can say, “Oh, lovely kimchi jumeokbap!”
Jumeokbap is very simple, quick, and cheap to make, and it’s also delicious, light, savory, and pretty filling. I used to make it all the time for my children’s dosirak (lunch box). It’s something that you can make in the morning before they go to school, or if you don’t have children, for yourself before you go to work or out for the day.
The beauty of this recipe that I’m going to show you is that it’ll stay crispy and crunchy for hours in a lunchbox until it’s ready for lunch!
You can make the seaweed flakes ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can use them in jumeokbap, or make a nutty and flavorful bibimbap with it. Just add some of the flakes to a bowl of warm rice in a bowl and mix together. Add a bit of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil if you have it, and it makes a quick meal.
This recipe is my own jumeokbap variation that I invented. I call it gimgaru jumeokbap, or rice balls in seaweed flakes. I have many more jumeokbap recipes that I used to make for dosirak for my family. I’ll share the recipes with you over time, and you can make them for your family, too!
Ingredients for the seasoned seaweed flakes
- 10 sheets of gim (seaweed paper), toasted on both sides
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Ingredients for 1 dosirak
- 2 cups of fluffy white rice
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 to 3 teaspoons hot pepper paste
- 1 hard or semi-boiled egg, cut into halves
- a few florets of steamed broccoli
- 4 to 5 small Vienna sausages, pan-fried with a few drops of cooking oil
- Yellow pickled radish (homemade or store-sold), chopped
- A few small cherry tomatoes and lettuce (optional)
- salt, cooking oil, and toasted sesame seeds (check out this recipe to see how to toast sesame seeds)
- Tear the toasted gim a few times and put it into the food processor along with the sesame seeds and salt.
- Process until it turns into coarse powder. Put the flakes into a glass jar or a plastic container. Set aside.
- Place the rice in a bowl with the sesame oil and mix with a wooden spoon. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Divide the rice into 2 portions, and make 2 rice balls. When the rice is warm, it sticks together well. Shape each ball into 4 inch wide discs.
- Heat up a nonstick pan over high heat. Add a few drops of cooking oil and swirl to coat evenly. Put the rice discs onto the pan and cook for a few minutes until the bottom turns crispy. Turn them over and cook for a few more minutes until the both sides are light golden brown.
- Cut the Vienna sausages in half and make 2 slits crosswise into one end of each piece. This way, the ends will split into flowers when they cook.
- Put the sausages into the pan and with a drop of cooking oil. Cook until the ends open up into flowers. Remove from the heat.
Put it all together
- Put the jumeokbap into your lunchbox container on a bed of lettuce if you have it. Spread a teaspoon or so of gochujang on the top of each rice disc, and then sprinkle a few tablespoons of seaweed flakes over top.
- Add and nicely arrange the egg halves, broccoli, Vienna sausages, chopped danmuji, and cherry tomatoes (if used).
- Eat right away, or save for lunch. Just open the dosirak and enjoy!