gimbap or kimbapYou would think that with my love for sushi and for Korean food, I would have posted earlier about gimbap (aka as kimbap). Unfortunately, although I love gimbap it’s a bit time consuming to make, especially early in the morning!

But…with some preparation the evening before, the rice cooker timed and my alarm set a bit earlier than usual, I managed to make a few rolls and pack some for my lunch (the rest will be eaten for dinner).

(Korean) gimbap / kimbap (literally translation seaweed rice) is very similar to (Japanese) maki sushi, but at the same time very different. Instead of sushi vinegar, the rice gets flavoured with a mixture of salt and sesame oil. The finished roll also gets brushed with some sesame oil before being cut in smaller pieces.

Fillings include vegetables (such as carrot, spinach, pickled radish, burdock, cucumber) and egg, beef, crabsticks, fishcake, tuna or even spam!  Chopped Kimchi can also be used as a filling. My local sushi shop is actually owned by Koreans and the owner told me that his wife makes a very good gimbap with spicy pan fried kimchi. I have been trying to convince him to start selling Korean food besides sushi but he isn’t convinced yet about the commercial merits of it…Looks like I will just have to continue to make my own :-).

Another big difference with maki sushi is that there are no raw ingredients used in gimbap, or at least, I have never encountered any, but if someone has, please let me know in the comments…

I followed the recipe from Maangchi, you can find it here, but made a few minor changes. Her recipe is a classic version with beef, carrot, spinach, omelet and pickled radish.

My fillings, all prepared the evening before:

Gimbap or kimbap filling

Egg, cucumber (I didn’t have any spinach so used cucumber instead), pickled radish, pickled burdock (I have never encountered burdock before, except in gimbap, so wouldn’t really know what else you can use it for), carrots and beef. The marinated beef (with garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil) adds a delicious flavour to the gimbap. seaweed for kimbap

This is the seaweed I used: gimbap gim. don’t know whether it is a good brand or not, but I could decipher that it is specifically for gimbap (plus the picture is a bit of a give away) and also the package (translation) says it’s already flavoured with perilla and sesame oil.

Gimbap or kimbap rolls

And the finished gimbap rolls :-).

Of course I forgot to make any photo’s while filling and rolling the gimbap, but it’s worth mentioning that I actually didn’t follow Maangchi’s instruction. Well, I did initially, with the roll furthest to the right, but as you can see the filling in that roll doesn’t end up nicely in the middle. Maangchi says to keep about 2 inches of the seaweed free of rice, and when rolling, one edge of rice needs to meet the other edge. Maybe it’s because I have too much filling, or too much rice, but the only way to get my filling nicely centered is by spreading the rice to almost the top of the sheet.

Looking back I actually think that I should have spread the rice a bit thinner as there is quite of lot of it, but anyway, the result looks pretty and it tasted great!



32 thoughts on “Gimbap

    • Thanks for your comment. I hadn’t heard about gimbap either although I had been eating sushi rolls for years and years. Gimbap is a very different taste to maki sushi, but very nice as well.

  1. Pingback: Deconstructed gimbap | dosirakbento

  2. Looks good! Did he tell you that you can also eat them hot? Or at least my Korean friends and I always did, with the leftovers! I could never do that with sushi, though, because the very idea makes me shudder. But if things are cooked anyway, doesn’t it make sense that you can eat the leftovers hot?

    • I bought a combi packet with pickled burdock and danmuji especially for gimbap. Don’t even know how it looks unpickled!
      It was way too early…..I normally get up at 6.15 and leave home around 7.30 depending on what time I need to be in the office. That usually allows for about 20 minutes to pack my lunch. Some days I go in later or earlier so have more or less time for this.
      I could have made the gimbap on a day that I wouldn’t work but I really wanted to see if it’s feasible to do in the morning.

      It is…but far from ideal! Alarm went of at 5….

  3. Pingback: Lunchbox preparation, building up a freezer stash | dosirakbento

    • Haha, most times I’m too lazy as well, especially when making it for a lunch at work (it takes way too much time in the morning).
      So I do buy it more often than make it myself…..

  4. These look absolutely lovely! It doesn’t help that I’m feeling hungry in the middle of the night heh. 🙂 I wonder: do you think it’s possible to make a solid Kimbap with grilled squid? Or do you think the textures would clash? Still deciding if it’s worth a go! Maybe with some Korean chilli dipping sauce?

    • Looking at food blogs whilst hungry is never good 😛

      Thanks for your comment. Am not surr whether squid works, think tastewise fine but as you say, it could be tricky texture wise. The only way to find out would be to try it!

  5. I left a previous comment but I’m not sure if it’s awaiting moderation or if it vanished! Anyway I was saying it would be supremely interesting to try grilled squid inside the Kimbap – with a little extra spicy korean sauce! Not sure if the texture will fit though! What do you think? Your pjotos look lovely by the way! 🙂

    • I’ve limited access to internet at the moment as I’m travelling. I suspect your first comment got ‘hold up’ in the moderation queue. Further comments should get published now without queuing (think that’s how my settings are set up at the moment)

      Thanks for your nice words about my photos 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on Easy Kooking Korean and commented:
    Great introduction of Gimbap, 김밥 by one of the blogs I follow!
    Whenever I think of Gimbap, it gives me a whole memory of school field trips and family picnics when I was little.

    My mom would wake up at 5 in the morning, start making Gimbap, and the smell of nutty sesame oil would wake me up, telling me it’s field trip day.

    Never really had to make Gimbap with her, because she would have me sleep more and just take the Doshiraak (bento in Japanese) when I’m ready to go to school.

    During the lunch time at field trip, everyone would open their lunch box and show what their mom made for lunch. Some gimbap have tuna and mayonnaise inside, others have kimchi and fried beef.

    Gimbap is mom’s love. A bite of Gimbap was happiness.

  7. Pingback: Fish cake Gimbap | dosirakbento

  8. Pingback: Gimbap | dosirakbento

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