Friday, March 16, 2012

Lenten fish on Fridays: Salmon Jumokbab (Salmon Rice Balls)

Jumokbab is a traditional Korean dish made from rice, veggies and often some form of meat.  In the simplest form, the ingredients are mixed together and formed into a ball.  Modern day Jumokbab often has meat or another "surprise" tucked inside a ball of rice.  Or, a ball of rice is covered with dried seaweed called "kim".  Whatever you put in these balls, they make a perfect lunch on the run.  You can throw them in a bag to eat later with no need for reheating.  They are a complete meal in one bite!
Salmon Jumokbab is no exception.  And, it is perfect to make with the leftover Molasses Grilled Salmon from last Friday's Lenten Fish on Friday recipe.  But, if there were no leftovers (and that is not hard to believe), then you can just broil a piece or two in the oven or throw it on the grill... no seasoning needed to make this dish delicious.   

Salmon Jumokbab
1 salmon filet, cooked*
1/2 C broccoli tops, cooked
2 C medium grain rice, cooked
3 T bunch chives, chopped
1 T salt
2 T rice oil
  1. Break up the salmon fillet and place in a bowl large enough to hold all of your ingredients.
  2. Chop up the broccoli tops into very small pieces and add to the bowl.
  3. Add the rice, chives, salt and oil to the bowl.
  4. Mix well.  I prefer to put on cooking gloves and use my hands.
  5. Once the ingredients are well distributed, taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. To form medium sized rice balls, pick up about 1/4 cup of the mix.  Squeeze the mix in your hands, rotating it to form a ball.  In order for the rice to stick, you will need to press hard, so do not be afraid.
If you are a beginning rice ball maker, here are some ideas to help you form the perfect ball:
  1. Place a piece of plastic wrap in the bottom of a teacup or measuring cup.  Fold over the wrap and apply pressure. 
  2. Place rice in a plastic lined cup.  Gather the plastic wrap together as though forming a handle or pouch.  Hold the gathered plastic and begin twisting the ball.  As the rice twists, it forms a tight ball.
  3. To form a square or triangle, gently press the plastic covered ball.
  4. You may make cute shapes using rice forms available at many Asian and Japanese groceries or on