Gimbap with Various Fillings


I love sushi. Most of my friends also love sushi, it is amazing that uncooked fish and vinegared rice have become such an important part of the modern culinary landscape of America. However, if you are like me, making quality sushi at home is a fairly unobtainable prospect, still I still want what I want. I am not a master sushi chef, nor do I have an expansive Japanese pantry or access to the highest quality fresh fish. That being said, not all is lost, Korea's gimbap also called kimbap is an evolution of maki sushi, and it is much friendlier to the home cook. In fact, I consider gimbap incredibly valuable as an option to break from the monotony of packed lunch sandwiches. Gimbap has its own practiced traditions and serving establishments, for all practical purposes you can fill gimbap with pretty much anything you have on hand.

Essentially, gimbap is a Korean cross between omaki(sushi rolls) and a sandwich. While maki is generally filled with raw fish and served with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi. Gimbap can be filled with either raw or cooked ingredients. Bulgogi and sauteed spinach gimbap, Why not? Hot dog and American cheese gimbap, probably shouldn't, but you could! The filling combinations are endless, just make sure to remove excess moisture so gimbap stay's dry. (Ha, 25)

If you apply a local and seasonal philosophy to what you stuff in your gimbap, you are most likely going to be successful. The rice in gimbap can either be seasoned or left plain, and if you choose the latter, the ingredients will really speak for themselves. If you want to create the classic gimbap, the standard dollar gimbap known as Wonjo Kimbap is filled with spam( Mary Eats).

*Today's post is a little different in that I provide the instructions on cooking and rolling the rice, yet I do not instruct on what filling you should use. You may follow my lead, but I suggest making your own gimbap creations with you have available.

Gimbap with Various Fillings

  • 2 c Sushi (short grained) rice
  • 2 & 1/4 c Water
  • Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Rice Seasoning
  • 2 T Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 t Mirin
  • 3/4 t Sugar
  • 1/2 t Kosher Salt
Additional Equipment:
Electric rice cooker
Bamboo rolling mat

Cooking Directions
  1. Wash rice of any dust until water runs clear, then add to rice cooker.
  2. Add 2 1/4 c water and cook in the rice cooker until finished.
  3. Add rice wine vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt. Fluff gently and let cool down until just warm.
  4. On top of a bamboo rolling mat add nori, cooked rice, and then your fillings.
  5. Roll, cut into segments (I do segments of 6), and store in a refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. Remember to remove excess moisture so that the gimbap stays dry.


    (Sweet and Savory Gimbap) Molasses & Red Miso Roasted Carrot, Egg, & Caramelized Onion
    (Guac Gimbap) Avocado, Onion, Chili, Cilantro, Tomato
    (California Gimbap) Pickled Sunchoke, Bell Pepper, Julienned Carrot, Sauteed Kale,
Total Time: 30 min
Citations and Further Readings:
  • Ha, Christine. Recipes From my Home Kitchen. N.p.: Rodale, 2013. 25. Print.
  • Kang, Grace. "How to Make Kimbap." Serious Eats. Serious Eats, 23 July 2009. Web.
  • "Kimbap Nara Menu." Mary Eats. N.p., 16 Nov. 2006. Web. 


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