Easy Kimbap Your Whole Family Will Love

If you've never had kimbap before, then you are in for a serious treat. It's an incredibly tasty dish you can make yourself in about an hour's worth of time. But before we get cooking, let's get educated. So, what is kimbap? First thing to be very clear on: It's not to be confused with sushi. While at first glance, you may think it looks like sushi, these foods are quite different from one another.

"The literal translation of kimbap is [dried roasted seaweed rice]," explains recipe developer Cecilia Ryu. "'Kim' means dried roasted seaweed and 'bap' means rice. It is one of the most popular and loved foods in Korea. Essentially, you can put anything inside the kimbap, [including] different types of meat, sausage, or tuna and any vegetables you have on hand. Some people even like to put cheese in their kimbap! I'd like to say it is equivalent to a 'sandwich.' Sandwich varieties are endless just like kimbap. Also, because kimbap is very convenient and easily portable food, it is often taken as a packed meal to picnics or for lunch, another similarity to sandwiches. It's one of Korea's soul foods."

It doesn't hurt that this Korean soul food also looks amazing when served on a platter, either. So, let's get cooking and impress those taste buds of yours and all of your guests'.

Gather your ingredients to make kimbap

As previously noted, there are a lot of options when it comes to the ingredients you can use in kimbap, but for your first pass at the dish, Ryu's recipe is an incredible one to follow. So, stick to it as closely as you can, which may include a trip to a speciality Korean market.

You'll need cooked white rice, spinach, sesame oil, salt, canola oil, carrots (peeled and julienned), eggs (beaten), Spam, strips of pickled radish (aka danmuji), strips of imitation crabmeat (optional, but recommended), nori sheets (seaweed sheets, e.g.), and roasted sesame seeds for garnish.

Cook the rice, then cook the spinach and carrots for kimbap

First things first: Cook the rice as per the package's directions, noting you need 4 cups of cooked rice. Season the warm cooked white rice with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ¾ teaspoon of salt, then set it aside to cool.

Fill a pot halfway with water, and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds, then immediately transfer it to the ice bath. Once it has cooled, squeeze out the excess water and place the spinach in a small bowl. Then, season it with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt before setting it aside.

Warm 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Then, add the julienned carrots, and sauté until they have softened, which will happen fast. Season the carrots with ¼ teaspoon of salt, then set them aside on a plate.

Cook and slice the egg, then fry and slice the Spam

Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, and add 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and meanwhile season the 5 beaten eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then, add the eggs to the skillet, and cook. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, carefully flip them over with a spatula to cook the other side, then transfer the egg to a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch strips.

In the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of canola oil and fry the Spam until it has lightly browned on each side, which will take approximately 5 minutes. Next, cut each piece of Spam lengthwise into ½-inch strips. You should have at least 12 pieces, and then you can set them aside.

Roll up the kimbap

Arrange all of your prepared ingredients on a plate — including crabmeat if you are using it — for easy access. Then, on a cutting board or other flat, dry surface, lay a piece of nori, shiny side down. Prepare a small bowl of water, and wet your fingers with water to prevent the rice from sticking to your skin. After that, spread approximately ¾ cup of rice across the bottom ⅔ of the nori in an even, thin layer.

Next, lay the prepared ingredients on top of the rice horizontally in rows. Using both hands, carefully lift the bottom of the nori and roll it over. Apply pressure firmly and evenly after rolling, and use your fingers to tuck ingredients in as you keep rolling.

Continue to roll again until only a small portion of the nori is remaining. Using your fingers, spread a small amount of water on the remaining seaweed, and roll it again to close the kimbap.

Repeat the process with the remaining nori and ingredients until you have 6 rolls. Then, using a brush, spread a thin layer of sesame oil over each roll. Cut each roll into ½-inch pieces, garnish the kimbap with roasted sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Easy Kimbap Your Whole Family Will Love
5 from 11 ratings
This easy kimbap recipe is one the entire family will fall in love with.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
6
rolls
kimbap tubes on a platter
Ready in 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked white rice, warm
  • 8 ounces spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 4 ounces Spam, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch pieces
  • 6 strips pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 6 nori sheets (seaweed sheets)
  • roasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • extra sesame oil for brushing
Optional Ingredients
  • 6 strips imitation crabmeat
Directions
  1. Fill a pot with water halfway and bring to a boil, then separately prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Blanch spinach for approximately 30 seconds, then immediately transfer spinach to the ice bath.
  3. Once the spinach has cooled, squeeze out excess water and place in a small bowl, then season with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, and set aside.
  4. Season warm cooked white rice with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ¾ teaspoon of salt, then set aside to cool.
  5. Warm 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat, add carrots, and sauté until softened, then season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and set aside on a plate.
  6. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel and add 2 teaspoons of canola oil and heat over medium-high, then season beaten eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt and add to skillet.
  7. Once bottom of eggs are set, carefully flip over with a spatula to cook the other side. Then, transfer to a cutting board and cut into ½-inch strips.
  8. In the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of canola oil and fry Spam until lightly browned on each side, approximately 5 minutes.
  9. Cut each piece of Spam lengthwise into ½-inch strips. You should have at least 12 pieces. Set aside.
  10. Arrange all prepared ingredients on a plate including crabmeat, if using.
  11. On a cutting board or flat surface, lay a piece of nori, shiny side down.
  12. Prepare a small bowl of water and wet fingers with water to prevent rice from sticking to your fingers. Then, spread approximately ¾ cup of rice across the bottom ⅔ of the nori in an even, thin layer.
  13. Lay the prepared ingredients on top of rice horizontally in rows. Using both hands, carefully lift the bottom of the nori and roll over. Apply pressure firmly and evenly after rolling and use your fingers to tuck ingredients in. Continue to roll again until a small portion of nori is remaining. Using your fingers, spread a small amount of water on the remaining nori and roll again to close the kimbap.
  14. Continue with remaining nori and ingredients. Then, using a brush, spread a thin layer of sesame oil over each roll.
  15. Cut each roll into ½-inch pieces, garnish with roasted sesame seeds, then serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 360
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 147.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 1.7 g
Sodium 608.7 mg
Protein 11.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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