Gimbap is a popular ‘on-the-go’ dish in Korea. It makes a great light meal or snack. It is a popular street vendor food as well as a go-to dish for picnicking. In the spring, it’s a common sight to see school children in uniforms on a field trip enjoying their lunch boxes filled with Gimbap. When I was little, on field trip days, I woke up early with an excitement to score Gimbap nibbles from my mom. She often handed me some end pieces to snack while she was making it^^ What a treat that was!

SIDE DISH PAIRING TIP: Korean pickled radish or Kimchi

Gimbap (Gim-bap, 김밥)
Cuisine: Korean
SERVES 2-3, 4 rolls Total: 40 minutes Active: 40 minutes
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. sake or white wine
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound skirt steak, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 bundle (0.4 lb, 180 g) spinach, washed
  • 3 medium carrots, shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 pickled radish – cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 eggs, whisked, add a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 toasted seaweed sheets (for gimbap or sushi)
  • 2 cups short grain rice aka sushi rice, steamed
  • 8 perilla leaves (optional)
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. To make the marinade: Combine the ‘marinade for beef’ ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix them together and add the skirt steak. Coat the steak with the marinade and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add 2-3 teaspoons of the sesame oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the egg. Let it cook until there is almost no liquid on top, about 3 minutes 13 seconds ^^ Gently roll up the egg with a spatula to shape it into a 2 inch wide roll. Remove to a side dish.
  3. Add 2-3 teaspoons of the sesame oil and swirl to coat the pan. Saute the carrot over high heat, about 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season. Remove to a side dish. Repeat the same steps to saute the spinach.
  4. Add the marinated steak to the pan. Cook it to medium rare, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a side dish.
  5. Cut the egg lengthwise into 4 strips.
  6. To prepare gimbap rice: In a medium mixing bowl add the steamed rice, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Mix gently together without mushing the grain. Set aside.
  7. To make gimbap roll: Lay a seaweed sheet down on a bamboo mat. Spread 1 cup of the rice towards to one end of the seaweed. Spread it evenly with your fingers until it covers 3/4 of the sheet. Lay 2 perilla leaves in the middle of the rice. Place 1/4 of the carrots, spinach, egg, pickled radish and steak in the center of the rice. Start rolling, while you apply gentle pressure on the roll in order to prevent the fillings from falling out. Gradually pull out the mat in 2-3 inch increment as you gently apply a firm pressure to reinforce the shape of the roll. Repeat the same step to make 3 more rolls.
  8. To cut the roll: Cut one roll at a time. Cut the roll in half, across the cylinder. Then cut each half into 5 equal pieces. *Use a sharp knife and clean the blade in-between with a wet kitchen towel or paper towel if needed.
  9. Garnish it with a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Pop it in your mouth and enjoy ^^
Gopher’s Tips: Gimbap is best served fresh. The Leftover ingredients can be utilized to make delicious Bibimbap. Gimbap can be made with any combination of fillings you may choose. The only essential ingredients are rice and seaweed. One of the most popular combinations is canned tuna and American cheese^^ Sauteed Kimchi also makes an excellent filling. Experiment =D

Looking for a Bamboo Mat?  Here is an online source for Bamboo Mat.

Related post you might like, KOREAN EGG ROLL: GYERANMARI

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