Lately, I have taken an interest to chartercurie boards. It's been fun to watch YouTube videos late at night and see all the different types of cured meats, along with how to plate them. Especially the way that many restaurants from France and Spain are doing it. So when a couple of friends pinged me that they would be visiting Seoul, I thought this would be a good time to give it a practice run for a Korean finger food board.
I took a trip to Shinsegae department mall (a premium shopping mall with a grocery store as well) to purchase some quality, cured meats. But the price was sky-high! Couldn't justify the exorbitant price and the quality wasn't what I was expecting. I also imagined how fast my friends (who are big dudes) would gobble up those small salami slices. Would knock them back like grapes, get hungry, and ask for some ramen afterwards - ha!
So I decided to switch it up. I asked myself what Korean foods would be easy to pick at with my hands? Decided on beef rice-balls, tuna-mayonnaise rice-balls, and bacon-enoki mushroom wraps. Certainly, not as sexy as aged, cured meat and cheese. But definitely, more filling 🙂
Note: We are using cooked short-grain rice (aka sushi rice). Do not use long-grain rice - it will not be sticky enough to hold together.
Korean Finger Food: Rice balls & Bacon Enoki Wraps
Beef Rice Balls
- Cooked white rice - 1.5 cup
- Carrot - 1 finger-sized piece
- Onion - ½ a whole
- Chives - 2 stalks
- Sesame seeds - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - few shakes
- Minced beef - 100 grams
- Soy sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- Sugar - ½ Tablespoon
- Minced garlic - ½ Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - ½ Tablespoon
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Chives - few pinches
Tuna Rice Balls
- Tuna - 1 can
- Gim - 1 package
- Cooked White Rice - 1.5 cups
- Chives - 1 stalk
- Japanese or Korean mayonnaise - 2 Tablespoons
- Salt - ½ teaspoon
- Sesame seeds - few shakes
- Enoki mushrooms - ½ package
- Chives - 2 stalks
- Bacon - 5 strips
- Egg - 1
Beef Rice Ball
- Place short-grain, sticky rice into a mixing bowl. Let it cool down and slightly dry-out. Take out cutting board and finely dice onion, carrots and chives. Take out another mixing bowl. Place minced beef into the bowl. Then place all other ingredients listed under 'marinated beef' into the bowl. Give a nice mix and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Take out a frying pan and put it on medium high heat. Place some oil into the pan. Once hot, place in diced onions and carrots. Season it with some salt. Stir around for 1 minute. Place it on dish and set aside. Then clean your pan and add more oil. Once it is hot again, add in the beef. Cook it until there is no pink left. Then take out the beef only - try your best to leave most of the liquid in the pan! Set aside.
- Add onion & carrots, beef and chives into the bowl with the white rice. Mix well with your hands. Add in the sesame seeds. Then season the rice mixture with salt (don't forget!). And finally add a teaspoon of sesame oil. Give a thorough mix. Then grab a small chunk of rice in your palm, and roll into a ball. Repeat until you run out!
Tuna Rice Ball
- Take out a large mixing bowl and put rice in. Then remove all oil/water from the tuna. Place tuna chunks into the mixing bowl. Then crumble seaweed sheets in a ziploc bag. Place into mixing bowl. Chop-up chives and mix into the bowl. Then add-in mayonnaise and a few shakes of sesame seeds. Season with salt. Roll into a ball (like above)
Bacon Enoki Wraps
- Cut the dirty ends of the enoki mushroom. Then cut the enoki mushroom in half. Cut the bacon strips in half. Then cut the chive stalks in half. And then trim off the ends to match the length of the enoki mushrooms (you can use the cut-off parts for garnish). Wrap the mushroom and chive with a bacon strip. Repeat for all bacon strips.
- Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk it. Then put a frying pan on medium heat. Put a touch of oil into the frying pan. Then grab one rolled bacon and dip it into the egg wash. Don't let go of the roll (or else it may unravel). Then carefully place into the frying pan - with the end of the bacon facing-down on the pan. Repeat for each one. Cook until you get a nice crisp on the bacon. Enjoy!
- When making the beef rice balls, make sure to separate the cooked beef from the residual juice left in the frying pan. Otherwise, the rice will become wet and will not hold together.
- You can replace chives in all three recipes with scallions as well.
- Don't forget to add salt to the rice-ball mixtures (when mixing).
- If you have some kimchi, throw that onto the board as well.
- For more detailed, watch the video below