Gimbap or kimbap is a popular Korean "fast" food made from steamed white rice (bap) and various other ingredients, rolled in gim (sheets of dried seaweed) and served cold in bite-size slices. Gimbap is often eaten during picnics or outdoor events, or as a light lunch, served with danmuji or kimchi.


The basic components of gimbap are rice, meat or other protein-rich ingredient, and a large variety of vegetables, pickled, roasted, or fresh. Traditionally, the rice is lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil/perilla oil. Popular protein ingredients are fish cake, crab meat, eggs, and/or seasoned beef rib-eye. Vegetables usually include cucumbers, spinach, carrots, and danmuji (pickled radish). After the gimbap has been rolled and sliced, it is typically served with danmuji or kimchi.


Short grain white rice is usually used, although short-grain brown rice, like olive oil on gim, is now becoming more widespread among the health-conscious. Rarely, sweet rice is mixed in gimbap rice. Nowdays, kimbap's rice is many kind of black rice, boiled rice and cereals etc.

Gim is dried, pressed seaweed made from an edible species. Gim may be roasted and seasoned with oil and salt, roasted but unseasoned, or raw and unseasoned. The oil used for roasting gim is traditionally sesame oil; however, today, corn and canola oil are also commonly used, especially with the pre-seasoned packs of gim sold storewide. Olive oil is also becoming more prevalent. For gimbap, the roasted, unseasoned variation is typically used.

Besides the common ingredients listed above, some varieties may include cheese, spicy cooked squid, kimchi, Spam, or canned tuna, bulgoki .The gim may be brushed with sesame oil or sprinkled with sesame seeds. In a variation, sliced pieces of gimbap may be lightly fried with egg coating.

Samgak gimbap (삼각김밥) is a triangle-shaped gimbap sold in many convenience stores in South Korea. Samgak gimbap has many kind of ones. too

Similarity with Japanese Maki-zushi

Gimbap is derived from the Japanese futomaki (lit. "large rolls") style maki-zushi sushi rolls and became popular among Korean people in the modern era,but differs in the way the rice is seasoned and in the fillings. In sushi, relatively large amounts of sweetened rice vinegar is added to the rice and sesame oil is traditionally not used, as it is in gimbap. Korean gimbap generally does not contain raw fish and is prepared with sauteed beef, sausage, ham, fish cake, or crab stick. Unlike Japanese maki, gimbap is usually not served with wasabi soy sauce or sushi ginger, but is sometimes dipped in kimchi brine.

International familiarity

Gimbap was selected the top 100 foods of Korea for foreigners. Canada's largest urban weekly, spotlighted gimbap concerning article comparing with sushi entitled Korean kimbap rolls out of sushi's shadow. The article ends with this comment: "No need for soy sauce, wasabi, or pickled ginger: kimbap stands alone. It's a star waiting to be discovered."


Many South Korean fast food restaurant franchises specialize in gimbap and noodles, and these establishments are extremely diverse in the cuisine they offer. Such chains include Nation of Gimbap (김밥나라), Gimbap Heaven (김밥천국), Gimbap and Spaghetti, and so on. These restaurants serve not only gimbap but also numerous other dishes, ranging from small snacks to pork cutlets, bibimbap, and other dishes.


See also

Search another word or see storewideon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature