|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 27g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||18%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Kimbap—also known as gimbap—are Korean rice rolls that might look a lot like sushi but, in truth, are nothing like it. Japanese sushi is made out of rice seasoned with vinegar and customarily features raw fish, seafood, and vegetables, whereas Korean rolls use sesame oil in the rice and a variety of fillings, including meats, imitation crab, ham, eggs, and cheese. While similar in some aspects, the rolls also aren't eaten with the same accompaniments; neither soy sauce nor wasabi appears on the kimbap plate. It's usually served with kimchi and pickled vegetables on the side.
Kimbap (from gim, a type of seaweed, and bap, the Korean term for "rice") is easy, portable, and adaptable to any palate, diet, or occasion. These rolls are usually eaten at picnics, and while delicious eaten right when prepared, they hold their shape and flavor well when eaten cold. Don't let them sit too long in the fridge before eating, though—the texture will change, the seaweed will get soggy, and the roll will lose its bite.
This easy recipe features the optional inclusion of bulgogi, a classic Korean dish of thinly sliced and flavorful beef that is a real treat. If you choose to skip the bulgogi, the rolls are vegetarian, or you can use imitation crabmeat instead or in addition to the bulgogi. Before you start assembling the rolls, be sure to have cooked white rice, prepared bulgogi, and pickled radishes all prepped and ready to make the assembly process as smooth as possible.
Click Play to See This Korean Sushi Rolls Recipe Come Together
For the Rice:
2 cups cooked short-grain white rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the Filling:
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
Kosher salt, to taste
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
2 large eggs, beaten
4 sheets dried nori
Optional: 8 ounces cooked beef bulgogi
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, cooked and squeezed dry
1/2 cup pickled radishes, drained and julienned
Optional: 12 ounces imitation crab, cut into long strips
Prepare the Rice and Vegetables
Gather the ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, place the warm rice and add the sesame oil and salt. Mix well and reserve.
In a very hot nonstick skillet, briefly stir-fry the carrot, add a dash of salt, and remove from the pan after 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside and reserve.
Using the same hot skillet, stir-fry the cucumber, add a dash of salt, and remove from the pan after 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside and reserve.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Cook the eggs into a flat omelet in the nonstick skillet for 1 minute.
Once cooked on one side, carefully flip and cook on the other for an extra minute.
Remove the omelet from the pan and cut it into long strips. Set aside and reserve.
Roll the Kimbap
Using a bamboo sushi roller or a piece of aluminum foil, lay one piece of the dried seaweed shiny side down.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice onto 2/3 of the seaweed, leaving the top 1/3 bare. Have a bowl of water nearby when rolling for moistening your hands, which will prevent the rice from sticking to them and help seal the rolls.
Once the rice is flat, lay 2 ounces of the bulgogi down (if using), about a third of the way up from the bottom of the seaweed. Place the meat in a horizontal strip and keep in mind that if you add too much filling, the roll might become too difficult to roll and cut.
Add 1/4 of each filling: carrot, spinach, cucumber, radishes, egg, and imitation crabmeat, if using.
Roll tightly from the bottom, as if you were rolling a sleeping bag, firmly pressing down to make the fillings stay in place.
As you continue to roll, pull the roll down toward the end of the bamboo mat. Spread a tiny dab of water along the top seam to hold the roll together, and close.
Repeat the assembling process with the remaining dried seaweed sheets. Refrigerate the rolls until ready to serve.
Cut each roll into 7 to 8 pieces and serve. Enjoy.
How to Store
- Kimbap is always better when freshly made. Keep it in the fridge until ready to eat, but don't let it sit longer than 2 or 3 hours because the rice will dry out and the seaweed will get soggy.
- Although it is safe to eat the day after, it won't be as delicious. But if you have leftovers, dip it in salted whisked eggs and pan-fry it whole or in slices in a nonstick skillet with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. This is the best way of heating up day-old kimbap; other methods will prove inadequate and you'll end up with a mushy mess in your hands.
With kimbap, anything goes. Here are some different tasty fillings that you can experiment with and put your own spin on it. Once you have the rice flattened down on the seaweed, place on top:
Is Kimbap Served Hot or Cold?
Kimbap should be served freshly made at room temperature. The fillings are often cooked and warm, including the rice, making the roll slightly warm.
What Is the Difference Between Kimbap and Bibimbap?
Kimbap and bibimbap are both Korean dishes featuring rice. Kimbap consists of sesame-flavored rice and fillings like meat, veggies, egg, and cheese wrapped up in nori. It has a similar appearance to a sushi roll. Bibimbap is a bowl dish of hot rice, toppings like bulgogi and vegetables, and egg. It is sometimes served in a hot stone bowl, cooking the egg and crisping the rice.