From April to May, there are school picnics(‘Sopoong(소풍)’ in Korean) and school festivals are also held. As I mentioned, I have three siblings, two elder brothers and one elder sister. Can you imagine how often my mom had to pack lunch boxes for us? It was so tough for her to make Gimbap on all occasions and so she made “Youboo-chobap(유부초밥)” in turn. This is much easier to make and, more importantly, it tastes so good.
“Youboo(유부)” is a fried tofu pocket and “chobap(초밥)” is boiled rice seasoned with vinegar. The normal way of making Youboo-chobap is to wrap vinegar-seasoned rice in fried tofu pockets. So easy, right? But my mom has a little secret in her recipe, which makes her Youboo-chobap more declicious and unique. Her secret is to mix boiled rice with fried vegetables and beef, not with vinegar. So my mom’s should be called as “Youboo-Bokkeumbap” (“Bokkeum(볶음)” means ‘stir-fried’ in Korean)^_^
Ingredients: Fried seasoned tofu pockets(ready-made), carrot, onion, burdock root(boiled in soysauce), beef(prime cuts), green onion, black pepper, salt, sugar, sesame seed oil
Chop carrot, onion, burdock root and beef in very small size. (You can refer to my previous posting “Gimbap” for boiling burdock roots in soysauce. But if you have not enough time you can use fresh burdock roots.)
The tobu pockets in the picture are already seasoned ones for Youboo-chobap. Squeeze them tight. (14 pieces to serve 2 people)
1. Stir-fry the chopped beef in oil first and add a little ground black pepper
2. Add other ingredients.
3-4. Add 1/3 spoon of salt and 1/2 spoon of sugar.
5-6. Mix them well and add some sliced green onion. (you can skip green onion.)
Carefully open a fried tofu pocket and put mouthful of the mixed boiled rice in it and press with your fingers tight. (If you press too tight, the tofu pocket may be torn, but if you do not press enough, the rice will pop out.)
Whenever I brought a lunch box of Youboo-chobap on a school picnic day, my friends always wanted to exchange mine with their Gimbap. One piece of Gimbap for one piece of Youboo-chobap was not a fair deal for me as you can compare the sizes of the two in the pictures(^^), but I couldn’t turn down their offers and had to eat only a few pieces of mine and their Gimbap after all. I was a little sad, but proud because my mom’s Youboo-chobap was the most-wanted among my classmates at that time.
Gimbap or Youboo-chobap in a picnic lunch box is always and especially more delicious. It is because we eat our mom’s LOVE.