Today’s recipe is my all-time favorite quick emergency side dish, seasoned seaweed sheets (gim-muchim 김무침). Sometimes when I want something easy to make and eat, and all I have on hand is kimchi, this is a side dish I can make fast and then serve with kimchi and rice.
It’s basically just toasted gim mixed with seasoning sauce, but every time I make it, my family loves it. The best part of this dish is the wonderful sea breeze aroma. The unique flavor of gim is amplified by the sesame oil and garlic. It tastes a little salty, a little sweet, and garlicky with an airy, chewy texture. And it’s just a few ingredients and so quick and easy to make. Just mixing!
The flavor is so wonderful, you’ll keep eating rice with it, and then even more rice. That’s why this is one of the dishes Koreans call a bap-doduk, or rice thief, because before you know it all your rice will be gone from your bowl. Who is the thief? That’s the gim-muchim, isn’t it?
These days a lot of Koreans try to cut down on carbs, but in the old days white fluffy rice is very important in Korean cuisine and culture. I’m a little old-fashioned so my mouth waters whenever I smell freshly made rice in my house. Things may change in Korea, but I never change. Probably you noticed that in my videos rice is always there, and always first to eat! : )
For best results serve this dish immediately after mixing it up, because everything will still be fresh and crispy. It will still be ok for a few hours in a lunchbox, or even a couple of days in the fridge, too.
How about making a bap-doduk today? Will you join me? : )
How to toast gim:
Both sides of your gim need to be toasted and crispy, otherwise the side dish will turn out too chewy and tough. Toasting gim makes it more flavorful, brings out the wonderful aroma and also makes them a brighter green color. There are many ways to toast gim, but here are 2 options.
- On the skillet
Heat your skillet up to medium-high. Put one sheet on the skillet and flatten it out with your spatula so it toasts evenly. When the bottom is crispy turn it over. Add another sheet on top while you toast the other side of the first sheet.When the bottom is crispy then turn both sheets over. Keep adding sheets and flipping until all your sheets are crispy on both sides.
- Over an open flame
Grab the whole stack of sheets and flap and swipe them over a medium-sized flame (not too large), crisping both sides of the stack. Keep moving the sheets over the flame so it’s not always crisping one spot, and once the side of the gim is toasted, change your hand position so the part you were holding also gets toasted. After one side of one sheet is crispy, turn over the sheet and crisp the other side. Keep flapping and sliding and rearranging until all your sheets are crispy on both sides. It will be hot, so your hands needs to be tough, or you need to wear an insulated glove. If a sheet of gim catches fire, don’t panic! Blow it out quickly, like a candle.
- 10 toasted, unseasoned seaweed sheets (gim)
For seasoning sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus a little extra for garnish
- In a large bowl, mix the seasoning sauce ingredients together until well incorporated.
- Tear the sheets of gim with your hands into small pieces over the seasoning sauce and gently toss all together.
- Transfer to a serving plate or bowl. Serve with rice and other side dishes, or pack in a lunchbox.