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Do you enjoy picnicking during the warmer months of the year? If so, try adding kimchi jumeokbap, otherwise known as Korean kimchi rice balls, to your picnic repertoire! Or, instead, you can also make these for a simple meal at home.
In South Korea, people often make these quick and easy rice balls as a rice-based filling ingredient in packed lunches. Previously, I wrote about Korean rice balls when I published my basic jumeokbap recipe. Now, I want to introduce you to these kimchi-based rice balls! These are a favorite in our household, as my husband’s mother always made these for him when he went on school field trips!
What Is Jumeokbap?
Like I stated in my basic Korean rice ball recipe, the term ‘jumeokbap’ (주먹밥) literally translates from Korean to English as ‘fist rice.’ The word ‘jumeok’ (주먹) means ‘fist,’ while ‘bap’ (밥) translates to ‘rice.’
To make this Korean rice-based dish, you form a handful of cooked rice into the shape of a ball inside your fist. Some common ingredients include canned tuna, ground meat, dried seaweed, spam, corn, carrots, and more! There is no rule–You can add anything that you think will taste good!
Like kimbap (such as our cheese kimbap or tuna kimbap), triangle kimbap, or mayak eggs, jumeokbap is a common ingredient in ‘dosirak’ (도시락), otherwise known as a Korean packed meal or lunchbox. People often pack these dosirak to eat on school field trips, picnics, and more!
Kimchi Rice Balls Tips & Tricks:
Now that we learned about jumeokbap, we wanted to give some tips & tricks to help you make this kimchi rice balls recipe! Interestingly, you make this recipe much like you would making kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap)!
Let us know if these tips help you prepare this recipe at home! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email us at [email protected].
Kimchi Jumeokbap Tips & Tricks:
- Use Souring Kimchi: In South Korea, people typically eat fresh kimchi raw. They often use souring kimchi to fry or cook with! Souring kimchi and its juice give this jumeokbap extra flavor!
- Chop All Filling Ingredients Into Bite-Size Pieces: Chopping the ingredients into bite-size pieces allows the ingredients to hold together more easily. Not only that, it makes these kimchi rice balls easier to eat!
- Use Fresh or Leftover Rice: For this recipe, you can use old, leftover rice or freshly cooked rice. Either way, you will fry the rice with your caramelized kimchi and other ingredients.
- Use Biodegradable Disposable Gloves: The rice used to make this dish is incredibly sticky. In Korea, restaurants provide plastic gloves so the rice does not stick all over your hands. People also use them when preparing this dish at home. We recommend using biodegradable gloves if you do not want to handle the rice and clean your hands.
- OR, Prepare a Warm Bowl of Water: If you do not wish to use disposable gloves, you can prepare these kimchi rice balls using your bare hands. If you do, I recommend keeping a glass of warm water next to you. Dip your hands before handling the rice. It helps to partially prevent the balls from sticking.
- Use a Measuring Cup to Help Press the Balls: If you are struggling to make the rice balls, I recommend filling a measuring cup and pressing the rice tight. Then, remove it from the cup and press with your hands into the proper round shape. Also, this helps you make the balls the same size!
Kimchi Rice Balls Frequently Asked Questions:
Now that we learned some tips & tricks for making this recipe, we want to answer some questions you may potentially have about kimchi rice balls as well! If we do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email us at [email protected].
How Big Should I Make These Rice Balls?
You can make these rice balls any size. In our basic jumeokbap recipe, we made the rice balls smaller, the size of one or two bites. Here, we made the rice balls larger. I made the pictured kimchi rice balls by packing a ⅓ measuring cup full of the rice mixture before forming them.
How Should I Store the Leftovers?
To store leftovers, place the rice balls into an airtight container. Then, place the container in the refrigerator. To reheat, cook the rice balls into the microwave.
How Long Can I Store the Leftovers?
I recommend eating the leftovers within one or two days. Rice gets harder the longer it stays in the refrigerator.
What Should I Serve With These Kimchi Rice Balls?
Often, people serve protein and banchan next to jumeokbap in packed lunch boxes. You can add items such as:
- Pan-Fried Spam
- Pan-Fried Tofu
- Gyeran Mari (Korean Egg Roll); Or
- Mayak Eggs (Soy-Marinated Eggs)
We Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make These Kimchi Rice Balls!
In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning how to make this kimchi rice balls recipe! If so, let us know in the comment section!
If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.
How to Articles:
- How to Peel Garlic Quickly and Easily
- Can You Freeze Garlic? How to Freeze Garlic
- Can You Freeze Ginger? How to Freeze Ginger
- How to Toast Sesame Seeds
Further Carving A Journey Korean Recipes:
If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].
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