Posts RSS Subscribe to Feed
Sign Up for Latest Recipes!

Kimbap 김밥

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Labels: , |

The first time I tasted kimbap was when I bought some from a Korean grocery store in California and I absolutely loved it. Kim refers to the seaweed and bap means cooked rice.  Due to the simplicity of assembling and the convenience of having rice, vegetables and usually meat in one satisfying bite, kimbap is almost an ubiquitous picnic food and a staple in most lunch boxes.  Due to sushi's more widespread popularity, kimbap is often known as Korean sushi although as Korean cuisine is gaining more and more exposure in international culinary circles, kimbap may finally be recognized as kimbap!


There are a few key differences between kimbap and sushi; kimbap uses cooked and sometimes seasoned ingredients whereas there is almost always a raw ingredient in the Japanese maki rolls.  The rice used as well differs in that much lesser vinegar is used in kimbap compared to sushi and sesame oil is also used to season the rice for kimbap sometimes.  Sesame oil is also lightly brushed onto the outside of the kimbap before eating.  Finally, I don't think I have ever seen kimbap served with wasabi or soy sauce, it is mostly eaten on its' own since most of the ingredients are usually already seasoned and there are no raw ingredients used.  Wasabi is usually eaten with raw foods as it has anti-microbial properties thus reducing instances of food poisoning.


Kimbap is also very versatile, you can put whatever ingredients (within reason of course!) you wish into the roll to have your very own kimbap recipe, but I find danmuji (yellow pickled radish) a must.  I used carrots, cucumber, omelette, yellow pickled radish and Japanese fish cakes for my kimbap today.  It is also common to use canned tuna for kimbap, if you do - after draining the tuna from the can, saute with a bit of minced garlic, a bit of soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil before adding into your roll.


Step-by-step photos after the jump.


For the rice:

1 1/2 cups cooked short grain rice
3 tbsps vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

To assemble:

3 pieces roasted seaweed (nori or kim)
1/2 carrot, julienned (sauteed for 30 seconds until just about to wilt)
1/2 cucumber, julienned (sauteed with a pinch of salt until just starting to wilt)
1 egg (beaten and fried) - sliced
1/2 cup worth of fish cakes - sliced (I used kamaboko)
Sliced yellow radish (danmuji)
Sesame seeds, optional


From left to right: carrot, kamaboko (Japanese fish cake), danmuji (pickled radish) and cucumber

Firstly, cook the rice.  As you are waiting for the rice to cook, slice the vegetables and saute as listed above.  Next, prepare the omelette.  Slice as well.  Saute the fish cakes quickly as well.

Once the rice is ready, scoop out onto a large bowl for easier cooling.  Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Once the temperature of the rice goes down to slightly warm, mix in the dressing with a rice paddle.

Assembly part: (just like how you assemble most maki sushi)

Lay your bamboo rolling mat on the table with the flat sides facing upwards.  Place a sheet of seaweed on your mat.  Scoop the prepared rice with the rice paddle onto two-thirds of the seaweed and gently press down with your rice paddle.  Place the prepared carrot, cucumber, fish cakes, pickle and sliced omelette next to each other in the middle of the rice.  Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top if using.


Now, with the bamboo mat, start rolling away from you, pressing down as you go.  Wet the edge of the seaweed with some water and continue rolling to seal.


Your rolling is done!  Now, brush the outsides of the roll with sesame oil (optional).  Slice the roll with a sharp knife doused in some sesame oil for easier slicing.  That's it!




Three-Cookies said...

My Korean friends eat their kimbap with dipping sauce made with sesame oil and vinegar. And my German friend made kimbap with German sausage which was an interesting fusion.

Three-Cookies said...

Sorry, made a mistake. The dipping sauce is made with soya sauce and vinegar, not sesame oil and vinegar.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

MMMm looks great. I like adding in korean perilla leaves and spicy tuna (canned tuna + sriracha) into my kimbap.

Carolyn Jung said...

Thanks so much for explaining the differences between Japanese and Korean "sushi.'' I've always wondered about that. I even asked a friend who is Korean-American. She just said, "Korean-style is different! It's like bibimbap in a roll.'' It's true, it kinda is. ;)

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Three-cookies, thanks for sharing again :) the dipping sauce sounds yummy (both) and also love how different people personalize certain dishes, always intriguing to me!

Marc - thanks! Canned tuna with sriracha sounds like a winner! I sometimes use canned spicy tuna but I'm going to try your idea sometime soon..

Carolyn - you're welcome! I'm glad I cld be of a little assistance ha..bibimbap in a roll sounds just about right!

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

Yup, kimbap and sushi are very close. Love both kinds of these rice rolls. Hmmm...have to make some for the holidays too.

tigerfish said...

I did not know there is another name for sushi in Korea...:O

Cooking Gallery said...

Thanks for the info, I didn't know about the difference between sushi and kimbap before ;)! The kimbap looks very tasty...!

beyondkimchee said...

I was craving for Kimbap recently and looking at your photos making my craving go extreme. I was at the Korean store yesterday and bought some of the material I need. I better make some soon, maybe after Christmas.

Juliana said...

Oh! I never had kimbap...they sure look good. I know that I will enjoy since I love the stuff in it :-)

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Christine - yes indeed :)

TF - haha this is kimbap

CG - thank you! yes it is interesting right?

Juliana - thanks! hope you'll give this a try someday, it's pretty simple :D

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

beyondkimchee - thanks! :D kimbap is so addictive!

Neny Lily said...

Kimbap is one of the best, and I learned  to mixed different ingredients. I like to mix  it with fruit like avocado or mango. For meat, beef//pork sirloin. and even chicken. Varieties to make is what I like best. The result is still KIMBAP!

NenyLily said...

Kimbap is also good when mixed up with fruits such as avocado or mango.Though they are a seasonal fruits, I take advantage in making kimbap  while they are available

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Yes, kimbap can be very versatile :)

Marla Meridith said...

Such helpful tips to make rolls..
Please join our link up for *Project LunchBox*  You have awesome recipes that can inspire others to make healthy meals at home 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons Licence
Smoky Wok by Smoky Wok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
No content from this website including images, recipes, writings may be reproduced without prior consent from the author.

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok