VEGETARIAN KIMBAP (KOREAN SEAWEED RICE ROLL)
Easy Vegetarian Kimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Roll) 야채 김밥
Delicious, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian kimbap (Korean Seaweed Roll 야채 김밥). Fresh vegetables and omelette rolled up in a blanket of Korean rice and seaweed. A lovely, healthy lunch, picnic or party food. And my kids love it too!
Watch my Easy Vegetarian Kimbap Recipe Video (5m 13s)
Kimbap is a two word combination of Kim and Bap. Kim means dried sheets of laver seaweed and Bap means cooked rice. The cooked rice is spread out over a sheet of dried seaweed whilst vegetables and other ingredients are laid on top and rolled up into what must be one of the healthiest convenience foods out there.
Kimbap is often eaten on picnics and in bento lunches. In Korea, it is a convenient food as you can buy them quickly from a restaurant (made fresh to order) or a convenience store (7-11, Family Mart etc…) for takeaway and eat them in the car or at work. There are hundreds of different kinds of Kimbap. You are only limited to your imagination and maybe what’s left in your fridge! Tuna Kimbap, Bulgogi Kimbap, Kimchi Kimbap, etc, etc. I will post them on my blog in the near future, so, keep watching!
Kimbap is always the most popular dish for picnics in South Korea. When I was a primary school student, there was a school picnic in Spring and a Sports Day in Autumn. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons in South Korea as it is not too hot or too cold. On a school picnic day, my mum made hundreds of Kimbap in the morning. My siblings (two sisters and one brother) and I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! We had a spare belly for Kimbap. We called it Kimbap bae, bae means belly in Korean. 🙂
On our Sports Day in school, my mum made lots as you can imagine! The school sports day in South Korea is totally different to the one in my daughter’s school here in the UK. In Korea, it is an all day party! All the family members come and put a picnic matt on the ground. My parents brought lots of snacks, drinks and Kimbap. There is loud dance music all around the school grounds (yes, we like loud music on!) and there are flags from all over the world decorated in the grounds with a long thread from the gate to the school building. Aww.. I miss those days. What is your sports day like in your country?
When I was working in a company after university, we all would get hungry (actually starving!) around 11 o’clock just before lunchtime and around 4 pm. One of us had to go to a convenience store or Bunsik (a cheap Korean restaurant) and get some Kimbap and cola or lemonade. They are a perfect snack for this kind of time.
When I was doing my Master’s course, I didn’t have much time to wait in a restaurant for them to cook the dinner and then wait for the food to cool down, so, I used to get Kimbap takeaway so often for my breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many different kinds of Kimbap at Kimbap restaurants in Korea (yes, we do have restaurants which sell only Kimbap and nothing else and there are lots of those restaurants even franchise ones. ^^) Because there are so many variations you will never get bored with Kimbap. Basically, I can eat this all day every day! Seriously.
The most important tip in Kimbap making is to stir the cooked rice, salt and sesame oil with a rice paddle or wooden spoon for a couple of minutes before spreading it over the seaweed. Stirring helps to separate the cooked rice grains making it easier to spread evenly. You MUST use Korean short grain sticky rice or Japanese sushi rice. Long grain rice just won’t work.Try to spread the rice over the seaweed as thinly as possible. The best kimbap has a tiny amount of rice and lots of other ingredients. You can swap out any of the veg or omelette with your favourite fillings. You really can use anything! And finally, brush a little sesame oil or water on your knife before you slice the kimbap. It stops the rice sticking to the blade and keeps your kimbap looking pretty. A friend of mine who is a chef told me that secret!
Enjoy with a bowl of Korean Ramen or on their own in your bento lunchbox or on a picnic.
- 465g Cooked Rice
- ½ tsp Table Salt
- 3 tsp Sesame Oil
- ¼ Cucumber (I used more on my video and had a lot left.)
- A little Sea Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 Carrot (70g), thinly sliced
- 50g Baby Spinach
- 40g Danmooji (Pickled Mooli), thinly sliced
- 3 sheets of Seaweed
- Add the table salt and 1 tsp of sesame oil to the cooked rice and mix them thoroughly. It is important to mix them with a rice paddle or wooden spoon for a minute or so to separate the rice grains making it easier to spread over the seaweed. Cover the rice with cling film and leave to cool. If you don’t cover the rice, it will go hard.
- Deseed and julienne (chop into the thin strips) the cucumber. Sprinkle over a pinch of sea salt, mix them and leave to marinate. I used about ⅔ of a cucumber in the video which is far too much. I had a lot leftover. No problem though as I just made more kimbap!
- Put the eggs and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl and beat the eggs with chopsticks or a whisk. Heat a frying pan with a little vegetable oil over a medium heat, pour the egg mixture in to make an omelette. When almost cooked through, fold the omelette in half. Take it out of the pan to leave it cool. When cool, chop the omelette into thin slices.
- Heat a frying pan with a little vegetable oil over a medium heat and add the chopped carrots and a pinch of sea salt. Stir fry them until the carrots are cooked.
- Heat a frying pan with a little sesame oil over a medium heat and add the spinach and a pinch of sea salt. Stir fry them until the spinach is cooked. It takes only 1 minute or so.
- Put all the kimbap ingredients on a plate. Add julienne Danmooji (pickled mooli) as well.
- Put a rolling matt on a chopping board, put a sheet of seaweed on it and spread a thin layer of rice evenly over the seaweed. Leave a bit of space around the edges. -> Watch the video to understand it better.
- Lay ⅓ of the strips of vegetables and omelette over half of the rice and roll up tight into a cigar shape. Dip your finger into a little water and wet the edge of the seaweed to make it stick together. Repeat to make two more rolls.
- Brush the outside of kimbap rolls with a little sesame oil.
- Brush a sharp knife with the sesame oil or a little water and carefully slice the kimbap into 2cm thick circles.