Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stumptown Kimbap

Stumptown Kimbap is located at the A la Carts Food Pavilion (near SE 50th and Division) in Portland, Oregon. You'll find Korean-fusion sushi at this cart.

Nam Kim, the owner, opened his cart at the beginning of June, serving a dish that has benefited Koreans who always need to be on the move. By basically creating sushi with Korean ingredients packed inside, there's virtually no mess, but a ton of addicting flavors.

Kimbap basically translates to sushi roll ("kim" is dried seaweed and "bap" is steamed white rice). Each roll here is made to order and can be customized upon request.


And help me, there's spam here. The infamous canned luncheon meat item from Minnesota that has become part of Hawaii lore.

All rolls are $4. For $8, you can get a two-roll combo with a free drink.

I tried the Spicy Kimchi Kimbap on this visit. You'll have your choice of marinated ground beef or grilled spam, plus Choi's red napa kimchi wrapped in nori with sticky white rice. Playing the indecisive card, I got half beef and half spam.

Spicy Kimchi Kimbap
Choi's White Napa Kimchi
All rolls come with a complementary side of kimchi or danmooji (Korean pickled radish). More kimchi for me!

Nam mentioned the kimchi wasn't too spicy, so he offered to add some more red sauce (probably using gochujang) on each roll. It's like he already knew me and my broken taste buds. How caring of him....

Awesome flavors in the beef, as expected. The spam was there, but the gochujang all but drowned out any spam saltiness I expected. It's not a bad thing because Korean flavors are awesome.

To seek more traditional flavors, I'll probably try the Bibim Kimbap next time, which has spicy red rice, marinated ground beef, egg whites, cucumbers, carrots, spinach, and Romaine lettuce.

In reality, you can't go wrong here. This cart is currently open six days a week from noon to 9 p.m., closed on Tuesdays.

Check out Stumptown Kimbap and give Korean-fusion sushi a try! 8/10

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