Food Lifestyle

On a Roll With Kimbap

Its All In The Name

What exactly is Kimbap? Simply put, its the Korean equivalent of a sandwich wrap. There are endless varieties of kimbap out there but 2 things that always remain the same, Seaweed/Laver (Kim 김) and Rice (Bap 밥). A beautiful balance of meat, veggies, rolled in a layer of rice and wrapped in seaweed. After that, the possibilities are endless! Probably the most common and popular version is Bulgogi Kimbap made with Korea’s famous marinated beef. Many times people will pack kimbap for a to-go lunch or a picnic as a simple, tasty and filling meal.

©Inspire Me Korea, 21.01.2018,

Its Not Sushi!

Many forms of sushi involve rice and seaweed, and some kimbap has fish in it, that is the extent of what they share in common. Sushi is made with raw, or almost raw fish and should always be eaten soon after making it. However, kimbap is made with fully cooked meats and can be kept for several hours before eating. If you are not a fan of sushi, don’t let that be the reason that you don’t try delicious kimbap!

The Evolution of Kimbap

Somewhere in the past, loving wives and mothers were looking for a way to make sure that their husbands and children ate well when they were away from their house. Using simple, healthy ingredients they had available, and perhaps some leftover meat from the previous nights dinner, they ensured their loved one would have a full belly all day. Throughout history, the way to show that you cared about someone was to make sure that they ate healthy, delicious and filling food.

As this trend caught on, people started having fun with the kimbap, developing intricate designs into the rolling process. Go to any school picnic and you will see happy children proudly showing off the artistic creations their mothers made for them. From rolls looking like cute little snails to beautiful flowers, its a homemade delicious art show full of love and laughter!

©Inspire Me Korea, 21.01.2018,

Wrapping up the win!

From the schoolhouse to the office, restaurants to professional competitions, almost everyone wants to have the best kimbap in their circle. Major competitions with prizes in style and flavour have popped up all over the Korean Culinary world. This once simple staple of Korean cuisine has taken on a whole new life and earned a much deserved place in the spotlight.

Rolling kimbap is definitely an acquired skill so don’t be discouraged by early failures when you first start trying. You may never take part in any international competitions but you will defiantly be a winner with your family and friends! Keep trying and keep improving! Share your new skill with your family and friends and while you are at it, share it with us! We would love to see what you have made! While you are on our site, please feel free to check out some other recipes to pare your Kimbap with. Also, check out our main page for some great offers and subscription boxes! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Bulgogi Kimbap (불곡고기 김밥)

Main Ingredients:

10 Sheets Dried Seaweed
1 Cup Ground Beef
9 oz Spinach (½ Cup Boiled Spinach)
20 Pieces Burdock Root
10 Pieces Pickled Radish (DanMuJi)
1 Cup Carrot
5 Eggs
7-8 Bowls Cooked Short Grain or Sushi Rice

Rice Ingredients

1 tsp Salt
1½ Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1½ Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ Tbsp. Sesame Seeds

©Inspire Me Korea, 21.01.2018,


  1. Add spinach in boiling water with some salt to help keep its color green. Boil it for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse the spinach in cold water and squeeze out the water. Mix together with ½ tsp of sesame oil, and 2 pinches of salt.
  2. Break 5 eggs and add 5 pinches of salt and scramble. On medium heat, add a little bit of oil in a pan, pour the eggs into the pan and cook until the surface is almost cooked. Reduce the temperature to low and flip the egg over. Fry it until both sides of the egg are cooked. Then cut into half-inch strips.
  3. Cut the pickled radish into half-inch strips.
  4. Julienne 1 cup worth of carrot thinly and fry with a little bit of cooking oil and salt on medium until slightly soft.
  5. Prepare about 10 pieces of seasoned burdock. (You can buy a pack of seasoned burdock that is ready to use for kimbap).
  6. Fry the prepared, marinated beef until it is completely cooked.
  7. Arrange all the ingredients so they are ready to be wrapped!
  8. In a large bowl, add 7 or 8 bowls of cooked rice. Add 1½ Tbsp. of sesame oil, 1½ Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, and ½ Tbsp. of sesame seeds. Mix gently, so your rice will not get mashed.
  9. Cover your rice with the plastic wrap so that it will not get dry.
  10. Place a sheet of dried seaweed on a bamboo mat for kimbap. The shiny part of the seaweed sheet should be on the bottom. Spread some rice across ⅔ of the seaweed sheet.
  11. On top of the rice, place the burdock, egg, carrot, spinach, beef, and pickled radish.
  12. Roll the seaweed sheet. Rolling it tightly is important!
  13. Put some rice on the end of the seaweed sheet to help seal it shut. I hope you used sushi rice, or you will be in trouble.
  14. Roll the kimbap with the bamboo mat. Squeeze it hard. This is also important for a good shape.
  15. Cut the kimbap into half inch (just over 1) thick slices.


Put some sesame oil on the surface of the kimbap. It will give flavour and help keep your kimbap shiny and prevent it from drying out.

Featured image: Inspire Me Korea, 21.01.2018,

Robert Marsh

Crazy American soldier who fell in love with the beautiful country, culture, and people of Korea. I started to learn more of the language and culture before I discovered kpop and kdrama



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