I love Korean food and gimbap also known as Korean seaweed rice rolls is one of my favorite things to munch on! It looks very similar to Japanese sushi but it’s filled instead with delicious cooked vegetables and marinated meats to create an all in one compact balanced meal! Best of all it’s simple to make and you can put almost anything you like in it.
This dish is great as a savory snack or dinner side dish and really beautiful to look at with all the bright colors of the pickles and veggies! The recipe I’m sharing here is my little version filled with juicy Korean chili pork to give it a nice salty and smoky flavor and filled with crunchy vegetables like carrots. If you’re not keen on eating raw fish this is a really great alternative to Japanese sushi rolls and it’s so tasty you really don’t need any dipping sauce because all the ingredients are already very well seasoned.
When making this, a special ingredient you must include is the Korean yellow pickled radish you can find in the fridge isle of most Asian grocery stores. This pickle really makes the dish because of it’s crunchy texture and also intensely sweet and sour flavor which really contrasts well with the other ingredients. Another things I also like to do is season the rice with sesame oil and sesame seeds to give it extra texture and a beautiful nutty aroma!
You have to make these fresh and eat them right away so prep all your ingredients in advance. I recommend getting yourself a bamboo sushi rolling mat which will make your life a whole lot easier to make these without ingredients exploding our everywhere haha! Now, these mats can be a little pricey so if you’re cheap like me, just go to your local Ikea store, Marshall’s, or Bed Bath and Beyond and get yourself a dining table mat made of bamboo slats like the one I have in the picture below. Much cheaper and does the exact same job!
Like making sushi rolls you want to make sure you roll the gimbap nice and tight with both hands and squeeze very well once you form the rolls to ensure they don’t burst. Another important thing is to use a super sharp knife so you can get nice clean slices. I like to serve these warm or room temperature and be sure to eat them freshly made as they don’t keep well in the fridge since the rice will get hard and inedible. Try this the next time you’re craving a savory snack or enjoy them as a delicious dinner item!
Gimbap Seaweed Rice Rolls
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 30 min Total time: 45 min Servings: 4
- 1/2 lb pork butt thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups cooked short grain rice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 carrot sliced into thin strips
- 4 eggs
- 1 pack of Korean yellow pickled radish (danmuji)
- 1 pack of sushi nori seaweed sheets
- In a bowl, marinade thinly sliced pork butt for 1 h in Korean chili flakes, salt soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Then grill until cooked on medium high heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile mix 2 cups of rice with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and salt and leave aside in a bowl.
- In a small saute pan, stir fry strips of carrot for 4-5 min with a pinch of salt and set aside.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch spinach for 1 minute. Then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process and squeeze out all the liquid until as dry as possible. Place spinach into a bowl and mix in salt and 1 tsp of sesame oil and set aside.
- Beat 4 eggs with a pinch of salt and cook into an omelet sheet then cut it into thin strips and set aside.
- If your Korean yellow picked radish is uncut, slice into long thin strips about 1/4 inch thick.
- To assemble, place a sheet of nori seaweed onto a sushi rolling mat lined with saran wrap. Carefully spread a few spoons of rice evenly across the surface then place the grilled pork, pickled radish, spinach, eggs, and carrot on one end about an 1 inch from the edge.
- Using both hands carefully and tightly roll the gimbap into a cylinder then using a sharp knife slice it across into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
- Serve immediately while still warm. Enjoy!