While it may look like sushi, don’t be fooled! Kimbap is a traditional Korean dish that literally translates to seaweed (kim) rice (bap). It contains no uncooked ingredients, a key differentiating character from its Japanese counterpart. Upon tasting a piece, you’ll also notice that the rice is flavoured differently than in sushi, as it uses sesame oil rather than rice vinegar and sugar. While it’s presented with soya sauce and wasabi, this isn’t traditionally how it’s served as each vegetable has its own seasoning. Trust me though, you won’t miss it. Never seen before in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Kimbop is diversifying the ever-growing foodie scene in the Waterloo Region!
Kimbop is run out of the lovely home of CJ and Jinah, only beginning a few months ago. Jinah is originally from South Korea, where kimbap is an extremely popular dish – and one from her childhood. She told me it’s customary for mothers to bring kimbap to picnics and gatherings among friends and family. Jinah looked for kimbap as a taste of home but when it was nowhere to be found, she had to make it from scratch. Originally she made it for friends at parties as a way to share a part of her culture. Upon seeing everyone enjoy it however, it brought her such great joy that she wanted to share it with more people – hence Kimbop was born!
Jinah currently offers three types of kimbap: beef, crab, and vegetarian. She plans to expand her selection to include more traditional flavours such as kimchi and kalbi. Each variation of kimbap has staple ingredients like burdock root and pickled radish. Jinah was very adamant that without these, it just isn’t kimbap!
In the future, Kimbop may grow into it’s own restaurant. Jinah would like to have it in the style of Subway where you pick and choose what ingredients you want in your kimbap as its prepared right in front of you. For now though, you can order your Kimbop online for pick-up or delivery. Want to try it before buying? You’re in luck!
This Friday, July 22nd, Kimbop is having a launch event at The Courtyard located at 141 Whitney Place in Kitchener. Starting at 5pm, you’ll be able to try each of their kimbap rolls, along with indulge in a number of other Korean delicacies like Soju cocktails and traditional Korean rice wine! Local singer & songwriter Emily Choi will be performing throughout the night. Unfortunately I’m unable to make it, but I urge you to show Jinah and CJ your support. I’m extremely excited for them and plan to order a few kimbap rolls in the future!