Korean Picnic, Street, and Snack Food Recipes: Kimbap 김밥

Often called Korean sushi, Kimbap is a Korean dish made up of seaweed, seasoned rice, and an assortment of other ingredients usually formed into a roll, then sliced and served. Kimbap/Gimbap is one of those dishes where nearly anything can be included.

The more traditional versions include as fillings:
Danmuji – Yellow pickled daikon radish
Cucumber – Usually English cucumber
Spinach – Parboiled and seasoned
Carrot – Steamed or lightly pan fried in seasoning
Meat or Seafood – Ham or Imitation Krab is most common, but tuna, spicy pork, hot dog, sausage, bulgogi, spam, lobster, crab, oysters, etc can be used.

Servings: 2

Recipe Type: Appetizer, Korean, Snack, Street Food


2 sheets Roasted Laver

3 cups steamed “sticky” white rice — (1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice)

pickled daikon

1/2 long cucumber — (english or any long variety)

1/2 long — thin carrot

2 ounces bunch spinach

2 – 4 ounces ham

1 large egg

Rice seasoning

3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Carrot Seasoning

4 tablespoons water — (substitute beef or chicken broth)

1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar

1 dash salt

1 drizzle toasted sesame oil

Spinach seasoning

1 or 2 dashes salt

1/4 teaspoon Sesame Seed

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon chopped green onion


Bamboo “sushi” mat

Soft “basting” brush


Peel thick skinned cucumber (not needed for thin skinned variety)

Remove seeds.

Cut into strips lengthwise (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide and thick)

Pickled Daikon:

The danmuji is sold either whole or pre-cut in long strips.

If using whole daikon, use about 1/8th to 1/4 of the radish, and cut into strips about the same size as the cucumber.


Peel if needed, then cut into strips about the same size as the cucumber.

Whisk all seasoning ingredients together, then place seasoning and carrot into a pan over low heat.

Slow simmer, turning often, until carrot strips just begin to go limp (about 3 to 6 minutes).


Wash spinach thoroughly in cold water.

Mince the garlic.

In a soup pot, bring 2 cups of water to full boil.

Completely immerse spinach in the boiling water. Remove from heat after about 30 seconds and rinse immediately in cold water.

Squeeze excess water from spinach.

Place spinach in a medium mixing bowl then add all ingredients and mix well.


Cut into strips roughly the same size as the cucumber.

Brush with sesame oil and pan fry until very lightly browned.


Beat well, place in heated fry pan over medium heat.

Fry until top just sets (3 to 5 minutes)

Flip and fry one more minute.

Remove from pan and cut into strips about 1/8 inch wide.


Add sesame oil to rice, sprinkle with salt and mix well.


Place the “sushi” mat on a flat surface so that it will roll away from you.

Place 1 sheet of laver on the “sushi” mat.

Place rice on the laver and gently spread evenly, leaving a very short strip of uncovered laver at the “top” or “far” edge. Using a lightly oiled large spoon or lightly oiled food service gloves will make this easier.

Arrange the filling ingredients so that they lay from side to side on the layer of rice.

Beginning with the near edge, roll the “sushi” mat away from you, taking care to keep the bamboo mat from rolling into the kimbap roll.

Gently squeeze the matt, remove, then lightly brush the “seam” with a water moistened brush to “seal” the roll.

Cut the roll into roughly 1/4 inch slices, wiping your knife blade often with a wet towel.

Serve either chilled or at room temperature with a dipping sauce.

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