Homemade KimBap

Kimbap Set Up

From Wikipedia: Gimbap or kimbap is a popular Korean dish made from steamed white rice (bap) and various other ingredients, rolled in gim (sheets of dried laver seaweed) and served in bite-size slices. Gimbap is often eaten during picnics or outdoor events, or as a light lunch, served with danmuji (takuan/pickled radish) or kimchi.

Well, there you have it. Thank you Wikipedia for the instructions. You guys got that right? Basically you roll everything I pictured above, cut into sushi slices, and eat away.

Oh, for the *seasoned rice: Mix 2 Tbsp Mirin with 1 tsp salt and a dash of sugar and mix until salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil and sesame seeds. Combine the seasoning with steamed rice made from 3 cups of rice.


Kimbap is one of those things we usually make in the summer. It’s the perfect to-go snack for outdoor music festivals, picnics,  and watching fireworks. It’s portable and you don’t need any soy sauce or wasabi or pickled ginger. It stands on its own and it’s oh-so-delicious. Don’t be scared of the SPAM. I pan-fried thin slices to make them slightly brown and crispy (and get rid of the can taste), but if you’re still scared, you can replace with imitation crab meat or thin slices of marinated beef (i.e. bulgogi).

I remember last year I made a few rolls and wrapped them up in aluminum foil, and we took ’em to-go to watch 4th of July fireworks over the Hudson.

kimbap rolls

Ah, 4th of July… fireworks… summer….

A few more months ’till that warm weather.

Until then, keep whisking away!



A Korean Feast: Part 1 of 3 – Pork Belly!

Samgyeopsal [Pork Belly], Ssam Jang [Soybean Paste Dipping Sauce] & Pajori [Green Onion Salad]

Samgyeopsal is really just pork belly. If you love bacon, you’ll probably love samgyeopsal. In Korean restaurants, they’re normally cooked on the diners’ table and served with tons of banchan (side dishes). This is particularly entertaining when you dine with friends.

For me, a favorite place to do this in NYC is Kunjip in midtown Manhattan/Korea Town.

photo credit: http://flickrhivemind.net

The hubs bought a pack of raw samgyeopsal from a local H-Mart (but you can find them in any Asian supermarket) and simply pan fry them until golden brown on each side. We then cut them into bite-size pieces, about 1 in x 1 in.

Note: You do NOT need to add any oil – you’ll have plenty from the pork belly! We ended up soaking the pork belly oil with some paper towels, for our arteries’ sake!


To make more delicious, serve with Ssam Jang or soybean paste dipping sauce, and Pajori (green onion salad).

For the Ssam Jang, mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced well
  • 1 heaping tsp red pepper paste (bottom left)
  • 1 heaping tsp miso paste (bottom right)
  • 1 heaping tsp seasoned soy bean paste (top)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp roasted sesame seeds


For the Pajori, grab some green onions and slice them thinly, vertically. Soak in cold water. I added ice cubes because I’d like to think the coldness adds a crunchy texture to the green onions. IMG_0295IMG_0303

Drain & mix well with the pajori dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

The recipe above is of course, adjustable to taste. I particularly love sesame oil, so I tend to put a lot in my recipes. You can also skip the roasted sesame seeds, though I find it nice for added texture.

Lastly, assemble & EAT!

  • Grab a piece of lettuce
  • Put a little bit of rice*
  • Put 1 piece of samgyeopsal
  • Put a little bit of ssam jang
  • Put a little bit of pajori
  • Fold into a little wrap & NOM! (best eaten in a single shot)


*You can skip the rice if you want to reduce carb intake. I personally have a special stomach dedicated to rice and no matter how full I am, I can still eat rice =)

I hope you enjoyed this Korean Feast as much as we did! We also had a bean sprout side dish and kimchi stew to go with our samgyeopsal. More on those recipes next time!