Seasoning the rice with the right amount of vinegar, salt, and sugar is the key to great gimbap.
3 cups short grain rice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
6 ounces sirloin, thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rice wine
4 burdock roots (about 4 ounces), peeled and julienned
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup blanched spinach, squeezed dry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup imitation crab meat, cut into thin slices
1 pickled daikon (about 3 ounces, cut into 1/4-inch julienne
4 sheets dried laver
1. In a 4-qt. saucepan, bring the rice and 3 3/4 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the garlic, and scallion in a bowl. Add the beef, toss to coat, and marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet over high. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a bowl, wipe the skillet clean, and return to high heat.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining sugar and soy sauce with the rice wine and 1 tablespoon water. Add to the skillet along with the burdock root and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the burdock root to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean.
5. Heat the skillet over medium. Pour in the eggs and cook, undisturbed, until almost set, 2-3 minutes. Flip the omelet in the skillet and cook until completely set, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the omelet to a cutting board and let cool. Roll the omelet up like a cigar and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick strips.
6. Season the spinach with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and salt and set aside.
7. Working with 1 sheet laver at a time, place laver on a sushi mat, shiny side down. Using wet fingers, press 1/4 rice onto laver in an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the side furthest from you. Working from the side closest to you, arrange 1/4 each beef, burdock root, egg, spinach, crab meat, and pickled daikon side-by-side over the rice.
8. Using the mat as a guide, lift the edge of mat closest to you to roll laver up and over ingredients, forming a tight cylinder (take care to pull back the edge of the mat so as to not roll it into the gimbap). Transfer gimbap to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining laver, rice, beef, burdock root, egg, spinach, crab meat, and pickled daikon. Slice crosswise into 10 equal pieces.