Myulchu Gimbap

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Have you heard of myulchu gimbap (멸추김밥)? It’s a relatively new variation of gimbap (or kimbap) that was created by a gimbap franchise in Korea. Basically, it’s gimbap made with myulchi bokkeum (stir-fried dried anchovies) as the main filling. The myulchi bokkeum filling is made with generous amounts of gochujang (chili pepper paste) and gochu (chili peppers). The word myulchu is a portmanteau that combines myulchi and gochu, and limited in use to the name of this gimbap at this point.

Extra small anchovies (called jirimyulchi or janmyulchi) are best for the gimbap. You can also add some other typical gimbap ingredients, such as yellow pickled radish (danmuji), burdock root (wueong), carrots, fish cake (eomuk), eggs, cucumbers, spinach, etc. I had some asparagus in the fridge, and thought it would be a good springtime addition. The sweet, spicy, and chewy anchovy filling gives nice flavor and textural contrasts to the rice and other fillings. It really hits the spot!

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For the rice:
  • 2 cups (standard measuring cup not the cup that comes with a rice cookeruncooked short grain rice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil  salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
For the myulchi bokkeum:
  • 1 cup extra small dried anchovies (jiri myulchi)
  • 3 to 4 green chili peppers, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey or corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons gochujang, red chili pepper paste (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
For other ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick sticks or julienned
  • 5 spears thin asparagus, blanched (cut in half lengthwise if thick)
  • 10 perilla (kketnip) leaves, cleaned and pat dried
  • 5 strips yellow pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 5 strips burdock roots (wueong), sold prepared for gimbap 
  • 5 sheets gim (nori)
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Heat a pan, with the vegetable oil, over medium heat. Add the anchovies and stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the chili peppers, and stir-fry for another minute.

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Reduce the heat to medium low, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well until the anchovies are evenly coated. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds.

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Beat the eggs in a bowl with a spoon or a fork. Stir in a pinch of salt. Heat a small non-stick pan with a little bit of oil over medium low heat. Add the egg to the pan, and swirl it around to cover the pan. When the top begins to set, flip it over to make a half-moon shape. This is an easy way to make the egg thicker. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch thick strips.

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Heat the pan with a little bit of oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the carrots until softened. Lightly season with a pinch of salt.

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When all the other ingredients are ready, remove the rice from the rice cooker. While the rice is still hot, add the sesame oil and salt. Mix well by lightly folding with a rice paddle, or large spoon, until evenly seasoned. Add more salt to taste. The rice will cool down during this process and be ready to be used.

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Put a sheet of gim, shiny side down with the longer side toward you, on a cutting board or a bamboo mat if available. Spread about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of rice evenly over the gim using a rice paddle or preferably your fingers.

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Lay two perilla leaves on top of the rice, close to you, and then the myulchi bokkeum and other prepared ingredients.

Myulchu gimbap recipe 12 - Myulchu GimbapLift the entire bottom edge with both hands, and roll over the filling away from you, tucking in the filling with your fingers. Put firm pressure over the roll with the help of the bamboo mat, if using, to close everything in tightly. Then, continue to roll again, putting pressure evenly over the roll using both hands.

Myulchu gimbap recipe 13 - Myulchu Gimbap Rub or brush the roll with a little bit of sesame oil for extra flavor and a shiny look. Apply a little bit of sesame oil to a sharp knife. This will keep rice from sticking to the knife. Repeat as necessary after each cut. Wipe the knife with a damp towel if the rice still sticks. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch bite sizes.

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