Admit it: by this time of summer, you’re just a little tired of hamburgers and hot dogs, and other “standard” picnic fare. Well, here’s a way to use up some of those dogs in your refrigerator drawer by wrapping them up in a delicious Korean-style sushi roll.
Yes, you heard me right. Hot dogs in sushi.
Not unlike the more familiar SPAM musubi (or corned beef, if you’re an Irish Hapa), hot dog kimbap is a legacy of the US military presence in Korea. Sylvie Kim mentions hot dog kimbap, as well as other processed meat hybrid-food creations, in her extremely interesting Hyphen Magazine piece,The End of SPAM Shame: On Class, Colonialism, and Canned Meat:
American food was not imported for resale, so my mother’s family and neighbors bought it illegally, typically through Korean women who had married and were living with American soldiers in town.
While SPAM might carry too much baggage, hot dogs are quintessentially American and virtually universally loved. Wrapped up seaweed and seasoned with tangy pickles and rich sesame oil, hot dog kimbap is sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy and umami all rolled into one tasty finger food. What more could you ask for?
Hot Dog Kimbap
(recipe adapted from www.hapabento.com)
- Nori (seaweed sushi wrappers)
- 2 c. short grain white rice
- 3 Tbs. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bunch spinach
- 3 carrots
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 hot dogs
- Takuwan (pickled daikon radish) and pickled burdock root (optional, if you can find it at an Asian market)
- You will also need a bamboo sushi rolling mat
Cook rice according to directions, or with slightly less water, to keep the grains from turning mushy.
Blanch or steam spinach and carrots until barely cooked. Slice the carrots into 1/4″ strips.
Fry the eggs in a lightly oiled skillet like an omelet. Let cook until set on one side, then flip the entire thing over without breaking it. Slice into thin strips.
Heat the hot dogs in a skillet until they turn slightly brown and plumped. Slice lengthwise into quarters.
The takuwan and burdock root should be sliced into thin strips as well.
Have all the ingredients ready when the rice finishes.
While rice is still warm sprinkle with salt, sugar and sesame oil. Gently mix the rice and seasonings by turning sections of it with a rice paddle or large spoon, to not smash it into a paste.
Place a sheet of seaweed on the bamboo mat. Spread a thin layer of rice on the bottom four or five inches of the seaweed.
Without lifting up the bamboo mat, grab the bottom of the seaweed sheet and wrap around the rice and fillings, forming a roll. You may need to press loose fillings in as you do this to keep the roll looking nice. The plan end of the seaweed should form the outer perimeter of the roll. If necessary, sprinkle a little water on the inside of the seaweed to help it stick.When you have formed a roll, then wrap the bamboo mat around the whole thing and gentle squeeze. This helps the kimbap to hold together without sticking to your fingers.Repeat with the remaining ingredients, then slice into 3/4″ rounds.
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