Recipe: Persian Lamb-Stuffed 삼각김밥 Samgak Kimbap
The triangle-shaped seaweed-wrapped rice snack 삼각김밥 samgak kimbap is a common sight in Korean lunch boxes and in convenience stores in South Korea. This the Korean answer to the sandwich.
Students of Asian cuisine will notice it looks a lot like Japanese onigiri. That dish is traditionally stuffed with salty fillings such as pickled plum (ume), salted fish roe (tarako) or dried fish. Samgak kimbap tends to be stuffed with Korean favorites such as dakgalbi (spicy chicken), bulgogi (savory-sweet sauteed beef), kimchi and tuna with mayonnaise.
I enjoy samgak kimbap so much for its versatility. It’s handier than a sandwich, good to take on hikes or picnics and wonderful in a child’s lunch box. Now that spring is here and summer is on the way, people are traveling and don’t want to sacrifice health for convenience.
It was time for a Koreafornian samgak kimbap, swapping the stuffing for the Far East flavors of Persia/Iran, with a little help from Raw Spice Bar.
What is Raw Spice Bar?
I received an invitation to for a free trial of Raw Spice Bar’s Spice Journey of the Month program. Each month’s “journey” includes several custom spice blends common to the featured culture and authentic recipes adapted to the Western kitchen.
Prior months’ spice journeys featured Navajo country and India’s Punjab. Each month’s spice package will give you the recipes and spices you need to recreate a traditional foreign meal at home. The recipes are also posted online with photos to help you visually recreate the dish.
“Each month, you’ll receive fresh spice samples along with locally inspired recipes for your next globally inspired meal.” —Raw Spice Bar
The subscription-based program costs $6 a month or $66 a year.
There are subscription-based services for food and clothing — Graze, Hijabi Box and Stitch Fix are some I’ve explored — that rely on the element of surprise and the innate human love of a well-planned surprise gift. Many community-supported agriculture (CSA) products suppliers are like this too, offering weekly delivery of vegetables and fruits. I’ve found with CSAs in our area that exactly what will be in this week’s box among items in season can be a mystery until the package is picked up or delivered.
One of Raw Spice Bar’s recent featured recipes was Braised Lamb Shanks With Rosewater and Advieh. Advieh khoresh is Persia’s version of Chinese Five Spice and Indian curry powders. Versions of advieh khoresh can differ by family and dish, such as whether it’s for rice or meat.
Rather than making a traditional Persian meal of braised lamb shanks, I employed ground lamb for this fusion samgak kimbap stuffing. The finished product almost looked like a Persian “Sloppy Joe.”
You can make the lamb stuffing a day in advance to save time.
Persian Lamb-Stuffed 삼각밥 Samgak Kimbap
1 pound ground lamb
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup rosewater
⅛ cup orange juice
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package of advieh khoresht spices (from Raw Spice Bar, Persian grocery store or exotic spice shop)
4 cups cooked short grain rice (preferably sushi rice)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
- Sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat until they are translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté an additional 1-3 minutes.
- Add the lamb and advieh khoresht and and sauté until the lamb is nearly cooked
- Add the honey, rose water, orange juice, salt and pepper and continue until the lamb is complete cooked. You can even make the lamb a day in advance.
Here are a couple of photos that show you how all this comes together.