This recipe is one of my favorite from Banchan Workshop #4. It’s very well-known street food in Korea currently selling at Kwang Jang Market in Seoul. And it happens to be vegan! I like this a lot because it’s so much easier to make this at home than regular Korean gimbap using less ingredients. It’s a hand-rolled gimbap with seasoned rice and vegetables, in this case spinach, carrots and pickled radish.
You can replace the fillers if you’d like, cucumbers and avocados are also great replacements. I think the key to this dish is making the mustard dressing to dip.
‘Mayak’ actually means drugs in Korean. I’m sure Koreans named it as such because it’s that addictive? The name is definitely catchy and makes you want to try them! Well, you don’t have to go all the way to Korea to eat this. You can make this at home! Check the recipe below and if you do get to try making them, make sure to leave a comment on how you like them?!!
KWANG JANG MARKET MAYAK GIMBAP (광장시장 마약김밥) – 2-3 servings (makes 16 pieces) – recipe adapted from Korean Bapsang
1/5 cup uncooked short grain rice
4 unseasoned gim (aka nori for sushi) sheets
1 sm bunch spinach
1 large carrot, julienned
4 yellow pickled radish (danmuji) strips
3 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Korean hot mustard paste, gyeoja
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
For the sauce: Finely grind the sesame seeds in a spice grinder or mortar bowl. Mix with the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved and the ground sesame seeds are evenly distributed. /Cook the rice using a little less water than usual. (Fresh cooked rice is best for gimbap). /Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the spinach, wash and drain immediately in cold water, then squeeze the water out. Run a knife through the squeezed spinach a couple of times. Season with the sesame oil and salt. /Julienne the carrots (I use the shredder). Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat. Stir fry the carrots until slightly softened. Lightly season with a pinch of salt. /Cut the pickled radish crosswise in half, and then cut lengthwise in half. When all the ingredients are ready, while the rice is still hot, add the sesame oil and salt. Mix well by lightly folding with a rice paddle or spoon until evenly seasoned.
Cut 4 sheets of gim into quarters. Put a quarter sheet of gim, shiny side down and shorter side toward you, on a cutting board. Spread 1 tbsp to 1.5 tbsp of rice evenly over the gim, leaving a little bit of space on the side away from you. Lay the prepared ingredients on top of the rice, closer towards you. Lift the entire bottom edge with both hands and roll over the filling away from you, tucking in the filling with your fingers. Rub or brush the roll with a little bit of sesame oil for extra flavor and a shiny look. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top before serving.
Photography by Lisa Wong Jackson, Good on Paper