The Perfect Kimbap Rice: Sticky, Seasoned, And Delicious

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Kimbap, sometimes called gimbap, is a popular Korean dish that’s perfect for a light lunch, picnic snack, or even a fun weeknight dinner. It’s a colorful and flavorful rice roll made with seasoned sushi rice, various savory fillings, and wrapped in toasted seaweed (gim).

This recipe is a great introduction to kimbap, offering a basic yet delicious version you can easily customize to your taste. It doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or equipment, making it perfect for beginner cooks.

Kimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls)
Kimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls)


2 cups short-grain white rice

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (10 sheets) roasted seaweed (gim)
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 1 small package (4 oz) thinly sliced cooked ham
  • 1 cup cooked and shredded seasoned beef (bulgogi) (optional)
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped (optional)
  • 1 package (4 oz) of cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1 large egg, thinly omeleted and julienned
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Cook the Rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker and add the water. Cook according to your rice cooker’s instructions.
    2. Make the Seasoning: While the rice cooks, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
    3. Prepare the Fillings: Julienne the carrot and cucumber. Squeeze any excess water from the spinach after chopping.
    4. Season the Rice: Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl. Drizzle with the prepared seasoning mixture and gently fold it in with a spatula until evenly distributed. Be careful not to crush the rice.
    5. Assemble the Kimbap: Lay a sheet of gim on a bamboo rolling mat (or a clean kitchen towel if you don’t have one). Spread a thin layer of seasoned rice evenly over the gim, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
    6. Add the Fillings: Arrange your chosen fillings in a horizontal line across the center of the rice. You can use any combination of the suggested ingredients, or get creative with your own favorites!
    7. Roll the Kimbap: Using the bamboo mat (or towel) as an aid, tightly roll up the gim and rice, starting from the bottom and using the empty space you left at the top to seal the roll. Gently press the roll to form a compact shape.
    8. Repeat: Repeat steps 5-7 with the remaining ingredients until you’ve used up all the gim and rice.
    9. Slice and Serve: Cut the kimbap roll into bite-sized pieces using a sharp knife, wet with water to prevent sticking. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional) and serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi paste for dipping.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Please note that this is an approximate nutritional value based on the ingredients listed. The actual values may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use.)

    Calories: Per serving (1 roll) – approximately 300-400 kcal

  • Carbohydrates: 40-50g
  • Protein: 15-20g
  • Fat: 10-15g
  • Sodium: Varies depending on the added fillings (be mindful of sodium content in ham and soy sauce)

  • Conclusion:

    Kimbap is a versatile and delicious dish that’s easy to customize and perfect for any occasion. With a variety of fillings to choose from, you can create kimbap that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. So, grab your favorite ingredients and give this recipe a try! You might just find yourself making it over and over again.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

    Yes, you can definitely use brown rice for a healthier option. However, brown rice may take longer to cook and might not have the same sticky texture as white rice. You may need to adjust the water ratio slightly for optimal results.

    2. What other fillings can I use in kimbap?

    There are endless possibilities when it comes to kimbap fillings! Some popular options include cooked and shredded chicken, tuna salad, pickled vegetables, avocado, or even kimchi pancakes. Feel free to experiment and find your favorites.