Alison: We need to practice making our Superbowl treats. What do you think we should make? I think it should be something healthy. All I ever see at parties is junk food or unhealthy choices.
Susie: Practice? I don’t think so! Everything I make is wonderful!
Alison: Practice makes perfect!
Susie: Well, in that case we should make something already perfected! Kimbap! You can always use an extra excuse to make one of our favorite foods again!
Alison: Kimbap is pretty good, although I like it better freshly made. Cold rice just doesn’t do anything for me.
Susie: Whatever, you’re just picky and spoiled. Not everyone gets warm food all the time.
Alison: I know that, but I still like it fresh!
Susie: For anyone wondering, kimbap is kind of like a sushi roll. Only it’s a Korean style with cooked meat in most versions. Ours is a bit different with vegetables you’d find here easily. Our recipe calls for bulgogi though which is yummy marinated meat.
Alison: Seriously! So delicious that we have a hard time not eating it before we get to making the rolls.
Susie: I bet Mariano’s would have everything we need to make kimbap. I just checked the ad online and they’ve got Black Angus skirt steak on sale.
Alison: Lucky for me the Arlington Heights store is practically in my backyard. The Mariano’s in Arlington Heights is the very first store in the new grocery store chain. It’s been open about two and a half years now and pretty much no matter what time you go, the store is packed with customers.
Susie: They’ve got a phenomenal produce department. Including lots of organic fruits and veggies. For our recipe, we need carrots, cucumber and radishes. But feel free to put your favorite veggies in yours. Try to pick something you can cut thin and still has a crunch to it.
Alison: Mariano’s also has an amazing butcher counter. It’s really, really big. They have a large selection of meats, make their own sausage and will even steam your shrimp for you.
Susie: Most helpful, they immediately offered to cut us a pound when there wasn’t a piece close in the case.
Alison: Mariano’s also carries a good selection of local beers. We’ve been checking these out more and more lately as we’ve been perfecting our beer bread recipes.
Susie: Another bonus, you’ll notice that unlike some stores, Mariano’s does tend to carry local brands like Revolution, Great Lakes, Two Brothers or Five Rabbit.
Alison: Other things you’ll need for our kimbap recipe can be found in the Asian part of the International aisle. We easily found sushi rice, seaweed sheets and mirin.
Susie: It’s great that they actually have these items. Or else we’d have to go out of our way to a specialty store. Check out our entire shopping trip in our Google+ album.
Alison: Time to get home and get cooking. Before heading home, we had to pick up some beer and spent grain in Elk Grove. While on the way, we stopped to see the Elks. They’re right on Arlington Heights road not too far past the expressway.
Susie: Not a bad end to a trip. Although, it’s sad that I just figured out why it’s called Elk Grove. In my defense, I didn’t grow up in the area around these elks. Like someone I know…
Alison: I love the elks. I used to see them when I was little too.
Bulgogi – beef and marinade
1 pound beef, cut into thin strips (we used a natural NY strip steak)
1/4 cup low sodium sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon mirin (can be substituted with cooking sherry)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, grated or finely minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2/3 cucumber, peeled and julienned
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 cups sushi rice, uncooked
10 sheets of seaweed
bamboo sushi rolling mat or silicon baking mat
Place the beef in the freezer while you make the marinade. This will make it easier to slice. Combine all the rest of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Remove the beef from the freezer and slice thinly on the diagonal against the grain. Add sliced beef to marinade and stir to coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sushi rice. Place rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Place rice in large microwave safe container and add 3 cups hot water. Cover and microwave either using the rice setting on your microwave or for 20 minutes. We’ve found this the best method to make rice, it always comes out fluffy and perfect. When rice is done cooking, remove from microwave and fluff with fork. Set aside to cool.
After 30 minutes, remove marinated beef from the refrigerator. Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat, add half of beef mixture. Cook without stirring for a couple of minutes, flip beef and add rest to skillet. Cook until nicely browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool
To assemble your kimbap: Place a sheet of seaweed on your rolling mat.
Scoop two fairly good spoonfuls of sticky rice onto the bottom half of the seaweed sheet. Thoroughly wet your fingers and spread rice into an even layer.
Add your veggies all across the rice.
Add a line of bulgogi.
Holding the end of the bamboo mat, start to slowly roll up the mat readjusting your hold as needed. When the seaweed is completely rolled up, give it a final squeeze to firm up the roll.
Here’s a quick video of how to roll up the kimbap.
All that’s left is to slice the kimbap roll into bite-size pieces. Use a serrated knife to easily cut through the seaweed. This recipe makes 10 kimbap rolls. You can easily cut each roll into 10 slices. That gives you a 100 piece appetizer.
Susie: The best part of this recipe is that it doesn’t need to be entirely precise. It’ll still taste great because you’re using raw vegetables with a marinated meat.
Alison: Ta-da! A healthy Superbowl snack that will disappear during your party.
*I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.*