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How to make Gimbap – The Korean Burrito

Gimbap is a classic Korean dish that consists of rice, vegetables, and meat wrapped in seaweed.

김 (GIM) = Seaweed

밥 (BAP) = Rice

We’re calling this dish ‘The Korean Burrito’ because the ingredients can be very flexible. (And well, it looks like a burrito) Choose what you like – these are the ingredients we chose for ours!

A traditional roll contains tuna and other vegetables. This recipe is pretty close to a traditional roll, with some more protein added. We learned this recipe from our sister-in-law who is from Korea. She showed us how to create the perfect roll so be sure to check out the video below to learn the steps.

We’ve been making this dish quite a bit since we moved here. Although it takes awhile to prep all of the ingredients, it makes a great lunch food. If you’re looking for a nutrious meal you can take to work that doesn’t need a microwave – gimbap is for you. One roll will leave you filled up for a whole afternoon.

You can meal prep with gimbap as well! On Sunday night, prepare 5 rolls but leave them uncut. Pre-cut rolls will last about 2 days and uncut rolls will last about 4-5 days. After that point, the gimbap is still edible, but the rice becomes a bit dry. To counter act that, you can dip the roll in some soy sauce.

We hope you give this recipe a shot! You should be able to find most ingredients at the store, however, for the pickled radish and gimbap ham, you might want to try an Asian market.

Watch the video below to see the whole tutorial and leave comments below!


Gimbap (김밥)

Course Main Course
Servings 4 rolls


  • 1 package Seaweed Wrap
  • 2 cups Sticky Rice
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 sticks Pickled Radish
  • 8 sticks Imitation Crab
  • 1 can Tuna
  • 2 T Mayo
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Cheese
  • 12 Lettuce Leaves
  • a sushi rolling mat


Preparing the Sticky Rice

  1. First, you'll need to rinse the rice, which will remove the starch and give you a nice clean pot of rice without any goop. Place your dry rice inside of a bowl, and fill it with water - the water should turn almost milky. Slowly drain the water and repeat this process about 8-10 times, or until the water is clear upon pouring. Fill the bowl of rice with water again, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

    Once your 30 minutes are up, drain the water, and toss your rice into your pot along with equal parts water [(2 cups of rice -> 2 cups of water).

    Turn your burner on HIGH, and COVER. Once the water is boiling, turn your burner down to MEDIUM. Wait about five minutes, and check on your rice. If your rice looks to have absorbed all of the water, take the pot off of the heat and let it sit COVERED for five more minutes.

    Stir your rice and add the 6 cloves of minced garlic. Stir. Set the rice aside.

Other Ingredients

  1. Fry the 2 eggs in a pan and cut into 1" strips. Julienne the carrots. Sprinkle some salt on them to get the moisture out and saute them in a pan for about a minute. You want them to be soft, but not mushy. Julienne the cucumber and sprinkle some salt and set aside onto some paper towels.

    Cut your ham into long strips. If you have gimbap ham from the Asian market then they should already be cut for you, but if you are using lunch meat ham cut it into strips. Cut your crab sticks into 1/4" strips. Drain the can of tuna and mix in 2T of mayo along with garlic seasoning, or whatever you'd like.

    Lay out all of your ingredients and get ready to roll. 

Rolling Instructions

  1. Fill a bowl with water and have it next to you. Lay out your seaweed wrap with the shinier side down on top of your bamboo rolling mat. Dip your fingers in your bowl of water so the rice doesn't stick to you. Take a handful of rice, spread your rice out onto your seaweed while leaving about an inch of uncovered seaweed at the top which will be used to bind the roll together.

    1. Cheese

    2. Egg

    3. Ham

    4. Crab

    5. Carrots

    6. Cucumber

    7. Pickled Turnip

    8. Wrap the Tuna Salad in 3 leaves of lettuce - place in the roll

    (Watch the Video for more info)

    Using your thumbs to prop up the bamboo mat behind your ingredients, utilize your remaining eight fingers to squeeze your ingredients into your bamboo mat which is being supported by your thumbs. Once you have a good compression on your ingredients, hook your fingers inwards to start the roll, and let your thumbs guide the bamboo roller over the top for the home stretch. Now that the actual roll is taking shape, get your fingers out of the way and use them to hold the seaweed in its rolled position - while you're holding down the fort, use one hand to wet down your exposed seaweed that we've strategically left barren and 'glue' the gim together.

    Congratulations! If you followed these instructions, you're sitting in front of a Korean burrito.

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