Classic Kimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Roll): A Flavorful and Nutritious Delight

Kimbap, often referred to as Korean sushi or seaweed rice roll, is a beloved Korean dish that features seasoned rice and various fillings rolled in roasted seaweed sheets. This versatile and portable snack is perfect for picnics, lunchboxes, or as an appetizer. With its combination of savory ingredients and vibrant flavors, classic kimbap is sure to satisfy your cravings and delight your taste buds.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour


For the Rice:

  • 2 cups (400g) short-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Fillings:

  • 4 sheets roasted seaweed (gim/nori)
  • 4-6 strips of ham or crab sticks
  • 4-6 strips of cucumber, julienned
  • 4-6 strips of carrot, julienned and blanched
  • 4-6 strips of pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 4-6 strips of cooked spinach
  • 4-6 strips of yellow pickled radish (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten and cooked into thin omelets

For Assembly:

  • Sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Soy sauce, for dipping (optional)


1. Prepare the Rice:

  • Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • In a rice cooker or pot, combine the rinsed rice with water and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved.
  • Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and gently fold in the vinegar mixture until well combined. Allow the rice to cool slightly.

2. Prepare the Fillings:

  • Cook the beaten eggs into thin omelets and slice into strips.
  • Julienne the cucumber, carrot, and pickled radish.
  • Blanch the carrot strips in boiling water for a few seconds until slightly softened, then drain and pat dry.
  • Prepare any other fillings you desire, such as ham, crab sticks, or cooked spinach.

3. Assemble the Kimbap:

  • Place a sheet of roasted seaweed shiny side down on a bamboo sushi mat or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Spread a thin layer of seasoned rice evenly over the seaweed, leaving a 1-inch border at the top.
  • Arrange the fillings in a line across the center of the rice, starting with the omelet strips and alternating with the other ingredients.
  • Using the bamboo mat or towel, tightly roll up the kimbap, pressing gently to seal.
  • Brush the outside of the roll with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make additional rolls.

4. Slice and Serve:

  • Use a sharp knife to slice the kimbap rolls into bite-sized pieces.
  • Arrange the slices on a serving platter and serve with soy sauce for dipping, if desired.

5. Enjoy:

  • Enjoy the classic kimbap immediately as a snack, light meal, or appetizer.

Cooking Tips:

  • To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands when spreading it on the seaweed, moisten your fingers with a little water or vinegar.
  • Feel free to customize the fillings according to your preferences. You can add ingredients like tuna, bulgogi beef, or even kimchi for extra flavor.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the meat and use more vegetables or tofu as fillings.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Portable and Convenient: Kimbap is easy to pack and carry, making it a perfect on-the-go snack or lunch option.
  • Versatile and Customizable: You can customize the fillings to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions.
  • Nutritious and Delicious: Kimbap is packed with wholesome ingredients like vegetables, protein, and rice, making it both satisfying and nutritious.


Classic kimbap is a delightful Korean dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether enjoyed as a snack, light meal, or party appetizer, its savory flavors and satisfying textures are sure to impress. With its simple preparation and endless customization options, kimbap is a versatile and delicious addition to your culinary repertoire.

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