Kimbap (also spelled gimbap) are rolls of cooked rice wrapped in seaweed. They’re a versatile, fail-proof snack or light meal found everywhere in South Korea from households to convenience stores. The traditional kimbap fillings include fresh or marinated vegetables, omelet-style eggs, cooked Spam, or pre-fried fish cakes, but you can also find less classic combinations. Kimchi and cheese kimbap, anyone? Heck, you don’t even have to put any fillings in at all—like bread and butter, seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) are a duo that goes a long way on their own.
- Makes 16 pieces
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked short grain rice standard measuring cup not the cup that comes with a rice cooker
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- salt to taste start with 1/3 teaspoon
- 1 small bunch spinach about 6 ounces
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- salt to taste – about 1/4 teaspoon
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 4 yellow pickled radish danmuji strips pre-cut for gimbap
- 4 gim aka nori sheets
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar bowl
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or Korean hot mustard gyeoja
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Cook the rice using a little less water than usual. (Fresh cooked rice is best for gimbap.)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the spinach, place immediately in the ice bath, then squeeze the water out. Run a knife through the squeezed spinach a couple of times. Season with the sesame oil and salt.
- Julienne the carrots. Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat. Stir fry the carrots until slightly softened. Lightly season with a pinch of salt.
- Cut the pickled radish crosswise in half, and then cut lengthwise in half.
- When all the ingredients are ready, remove the rice from the rice cooker. While the rice is still hot, add the sesame oil and salt. Mix well by lightly folding with a rice paddle or spoon until evenly seasoned.
- Cut 4 sheets of gim into quarters.
- Put a quarter sheet of gim, shiny side down and shorter side toward you, on a cutting board. Spread 1 tablespoon to 1-1/2 tablespoons of rice evenly over the gim, leaving a little bit of space on the side away from you. Do this with your fingers. Keep wet towel and wipe your fingers frequently to keep the rice from sticking to your fingers. Lay the prepared ingredients on top of the rice, closer towards you.
- Lift the entire bottom edge with both hands and roll over the filling away from you, tucking in the filling with your fingers.
- Rub or brush the roll with a little bit of sesame oil for extra flavor and a shiny look.
For the sauce:
- Finely grind the sesame seeds in a spice grinder or mortar bowl. Mix with the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved and the ground sesame seeds are evenly distributed.
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