Crunchy Korean fried tofu gimbap balanced with some spicy peppers and topped with a delicious sauce combo for a super easy and cheap lunch made by the Korean celebrity, Lee Sang Min!
Lee Sang Min is a former Korean singer turned into famous Korean variety show star. He’s on a lot of random TV shows as guest, cast or MC. He’s also famous for being majorly in debt for some of his past business failures. It’s public knowledge so often, he shows how to try to live a frugal life as he is paying back all the debt collectors.
On Kim Soo-Mi’s Side Dishes, he shows off a way to make tofu seem like meat and make a easy but cheap gimbap! And so, that brings this fried tofu gimbap! The tofu is lightly fried which leads to a slightly crunchy skin outter layer for a great crunchy/chewy outside texture but still a soft inside. The addition of peppers (and scallion) meshes well to bring out a brightness in the gimbap and the mayo+teriyaki sauce combo works great.
*Lee Sang Min only uses spicy peppers but DrJuh doesn’t have the highest heat tolerance and so mixing in the scallions made for a good balance. Of course he wouldn’t admit that! He also makes one container of tofu into just two rolls of gimbap but it was a bit too much for me so I made it into three which was the better size for me! You can do it whichever way you wish!
Clips from the show! Yum!
Fried Tofu Gimbap - Lee Sang Min
- 2 ½ cups of cooked white rice
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- 1 ¼ tsp rice vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 package firm tofu about 16 oz
- 2 scallion chopped
- 2 spicy peppers chopped (jalapenos or serrano peppers)
- 3 sheets gim
- Oil for shallow frying
- Japanese mayonnaise
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Make the seasoned rice. Place the rice in a medium sized bowl and mix in the sesame oil, rice vinegar and salt. Mix thoroughly so the seasoning is evenly distributed.
- Place the tofu on a cutting board and tap the tofu with a paper towel to dry out the liquid. Too much water will make the oil splatter when placed in the oil to fry. Cut into 1 cm (⅖ incsquad width strips. (I cut into about 26 or so strips of tofu).
- In a medium sized frypan, add enough frying oil to just cover the tofu strips. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. Once heated, shallow fry the tofu in batches. Fry until the tofu strips are golden brown. It took about 3 ½ - 4 minutes for me.
- Optional: Lightly roast the gim directly on the heat or on a non-oiled frypan.
- Put a sheet of gim, shiny side down. Spread ⅓ of the rice (about ¾ cuonto the gim evenly. Leave about 1½ - 2 inches at the top empty.
- Preferred: If using, lay the gim on top of a bamboo mat. This will help to roll the gimbap. If not, lay gim on a flat surface like a cutting board. It will be slightly harder to roll but still doable! Lay ⅓ of the tofu on to the rice.
- Top with a squirt of mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce. I used about 1 Tbsp each but you can adjust to your preference.
- Lay the scallion and jalapenos on top of the tofu. Lift the bottom bamboo edge (or giwith both hands, and roll the mat over the filling tightly - away from you and tuck in the filling with your fingers.
- Press it firmly as you roll the gimbap. Brush a bit of sesame oil on the outside for shiny look, if desired.
- Repeat, 2 more times! Cut the gimbap into ½ inch slices. Enjoy! Gimbap is always great with a side of pickled radish, kimchi or ramyun!