Vegan, Temple-style Kimbap at Balwoo Gongyang Kong

Dae-Ahn Sunim

I feel quite lucky these days because my good friend, Monk Dae-Ahn is an amazing person and amazing chef. She is a creative and logical person that is pushing the envelope of what is considered Vegan Cuisine. She is like Thomas Keller for she takes Korean favorites and adds her own spin on the dishes. She transformed pork cutlets into Kongkas: bean cutlets and the bean meat is absolutely…meaty. I mean I couldn’t believe it wasn’t meat. Her mushroom sauce on top is exquisite as well.

Last week she started making kimbap: Korean vegetable rice rolls and these were the best rice rolls I have ever had. The vegetables were all delicious (and organic) and the rice she uses is a mix of brown rice, barley, and other grains (so it is healthy). It is a delicious snack and one that I will have to get the next time I need a snack. 
Here is a mix of different rice rolls she has made.
Balwoo Gongyang Kong
(Located on the 2nd Floor of the Templestay building across from Jogyesa)
Kimbap making
Temple Style Kimbap with Bean Bulgogi
Temple-style Kimbap with Songhee Mushrooms
The mushrooms are like truffles.
Kimbap with all veggie filling!
A set of four kimbap
A Monk that can make Kimbap

Daniel Gray

Daniel Gray is a Korean adoptee and entrepreneur that returned to Korean in 2005 because he wanted to try and find his birth mother and to learn about Korean culture. He started a restaurant review blog in 2007,, that became a local and international hit. He and his blog has been featured in the New York Times, Monocle Magazine, The Kimchi Chronicles, Bizarre Foods, Rudy Maxa, Olive Magazine, Euronews and much more. He now is a partner at O’ngo Food Communications (, which is a culinary tourism and consulting company that offers Korean cooking classes and restaurant tours to travelers. In 2013, he started Brew 3.14 Pizza Pub. His food tours, cooking classes, and restaurant are ranked as some of the top attractions in Seoul according to the website tripadvisor. He lives in Korea with his wife.

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