Here in crown town, and in other 'tropolisis that tend to show up on obesity stat-maps as uncommonly overweight, we have these things. And they are called Fried Pickles.
They are on my top-5 things that made me move to Charlotte list. No, I'm not kidding. Good god, are they good, in a sick-to-your-stomach kind of way - similar to the sinking, queasy feeling you'd get when eating the entire can of cake frosting with a spoon as a kid. Or, you know, last week.
I had a mature batch of kimchi. I had some cake flour. Batch of vegan ranch. And the desire for tempura. And so, this monstrosity happened:
Greasy, salty, stinky. AWESOME.
Batter was simple - flour, water, dash of oil, some korean pepper paste and salt. Dash baking soda. Vamanos.
But wait, what's this?
Is that the afore-mentioned pickley tempura wrapped in rice and nori, with avocado and daiya, topped by sesame nayo? Is it? WHY YES, YES IT IS.
Before you guys all tell me I'm not the first, well, hey, I know that. But it's 100% vegan. And ain't nowhere in this city to get it that way, 'cept my kitchen.
Tempura Kimchi Kim Bap with Avocado, Daiya, and Sesame Nayo
makes 3-4 rolls
For the tempura kimchi:
1 handful squeezed kimchi
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp egg replacer
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup korean red pepper, ground
Vegetable oil for frying
for the sushi:
1.5 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
Dash vinegar + 1 tsp sugar
3-4 sheets nori
1 avocado, sliced thin
Small handful daiya cheeze shreds
4 tablespoons nayonaise
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Black sesame seeds, for topping
Break out that sushi mat, ladies and gents, and lesdothis.
Combine your sushi rice and water in a saucepan or rice cooker, bring to a boil, cover, and cook 20 minutes - until the water is absorbed. Remove rice to a large bowl and stick the stuff in the freezer to cool quickly.
Toss your red pepper and flour together. Spread on a plate.
Mix the batter ingredients together and whisk till smooth.
Heat your vegetable oil in a fryer or wok till hot hot hot, and make your tempura - roll each piece of kimchi seperately in the flour/red pepper mix, then dip in the batter, then gently lay in the oil bath. Do only 3 at a time - they cook quickly. Scoop out and lay on paper towels to drain. Repeat until your kimchi is all gone.
Mix your sugar and vinegar together and add to the rice. It's ok if it's still a little warm - just not hot.
Chop your kimchi into 1/2 inch wide pieces (if they don't need chopping, more power to ya - mine did!) and set them out on a plate with your other fillings (avocado, daiya).
Lay out your sushi mat and place a piece of nori rough side up. Grab about a cup of rice from your bowl and press it into the sushi, until it forms a rectangle that stretches to both sides horizontally but leaves a little space at both top and bottom. Press 1/4 of the avocado, then kimchi, then daiya into the rice, and roll away. An awesome how-to video can be found here. Repeat until fillings and rice are gone.
Mix your nayo and sesame oil in a small bowl and thin with just a teeeny bit of water. Slice your sushi with a wet knife, plate, and drizzle sesame nayo over the roll. Top with black sesame seeds, if you'd like.
Mine got a little coneheady BUT that didn't mean they weren't superdelish. A little indulgent, fat wise - tempura + avocado + nayo. But hey, that's what the gym's for *cough*.