What Are Gimmari And How Do You Eat Them?

If you like crispy, you like seaweed, and you like noodles, then gimmari might just become your favorite new snack! These deep-fried seaweed noodle rolls are a common street food in Korea, where they're also sold frozen in grocery stores, according to YouTube sensation and Korean food authority Emily Kim, aka Maangchi. Gimmari resemble spring rolls, and My Korean Kitchen describes them as basically "a simple version of japchae," or Korean glass noodles, rolled in a sheet of seaweed and sizzled in hot oil until perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. 

Elsewhere on her hunger-provoking recipe site, Maangchi explains that noodles occupy an important position in Korean cuisine as both a quotidien food as well as one that is served on special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. "Traditionally a long noodle symbolizes a long life, so serving it to someone on their birthday expresses your desire that they live long and happily," Maangchi writes.

How to make gimmari at home

As she does with all of her recipes, Maangchi makes preparing gimmari at home sound easy. To do so, she quickly boils Korean glass noodles until springy, drains and cools them, then adds a simple veggie medley of chopped carrots and chives, as well as seasonings such as black pepper and honey. Then, the YouTube star rolls the noodle salad into the gim, or Korean seaweed sheets, creating long cylinders that look like sushi. After cutting each roll into four pieces, Maangchi swipes the gimmari through a light potato starch batter and then twice-fries them until they're hot and crispy.

Gimmari are typically served side-by-side with tteokbokki, chewy rice cakes coated in a hot-sweet sauce, as noted both by Maangchi and My Korean Kitchen. At home, you can fry up some gimmari and accompany them with Maangchi's recipe for tteokbokki if you're up for it, pulling the crispy seaweed rolls through the sticky sauce. Alternatively, you can stir together a simple soy and vinegar-based dipping sauce.

So the next time that crunchy-chewy-snacky craving hits, be sure to have some frozen gimmari (homemade or from you local Korean grocery store) on hand  you won't be sorry!