Gimbap (Korean Sushi Rolls)


There is no question that Japanese sushi is among the most popular foods of the Asian cuisine in the world, loved even by the nonenthusiasts, and rightly so. There are lots of sushi types that vary in ingredients, toppings, fillings and preperation. Although all of them look equally appealing to me,  for this article, I will be focusing on the Korean type of Sushi called Gimbap.

Gimbap (김밥 – Seaweed and rice) or Kimbap is made with rolling white rice and several other ingredients in a gim(dried seaweed sheets). It was originated from the Japanese sushi variant called Norimaki, meaning “nori rolls”(Nori is the Japanese name for the edible seaweeds that are used as rolling sheets). It is believed that norimaki was introduced to Korea during the Japanese occupation of the country, between 1910 and 1945. As you can see from the appearance of it, Gimbap does not look radically different from the regular sushi, but over time it has became a distinct Korean dish because it utilized traditional Korean flavours, and also sesame oil, in place of rice vinegar.

Kimbap has lots of different versions. The obvious main ingredients are seaweed and rice. The rice is traditionally seasoned with salt and sesame oil or perilla oil. As far as the other ingredients go, you can make your own choices and prepare a gimbap to your liking. Meat, fish, eggs or vegetables can be used and you can use them fresh, pickled or roasted.

It is by no means the easiest food to prepare at home, but who says you can’t try? Also, it is one of the must try foods if you ever visit Korea, as there are a lot of fast food restaurants there that specialize in it. Don’t forget to check the recipes at the bottom of the page!

Main Ingredients: Rice, sesame oil, edible seaweed

Gimbap Gallery

Gimbap Recipes



About Food

Korean Bapsang

The Kitchn

Beyond Kimchee

Serious Eats

Photo: Manda Wong

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