Gimbap Recipe 6: Nude Gimbap
Nude gimbap refers to the format of gimbap featuring rice outside and seaweed inside. Regular gimbap has rice inside and seaweed outside. So this gimbap is like being naked, hence the name. In this recipe, rice is seasoned with sweet and sour mixture which is similar to Japanese sushi rolls. Traditionally rice in Korean gimbap is not seasoned or seasoned with just sesame oil and salt. But some Koreans today also enjoy gimbap with sweet and sour seasoning. You can substitute in and out of the ingredients to your preference. Just remember that Korean gimbap usually include danmuji (yellow pickled radish. The ingredients are seasoned since Korean gimbap is usually enjoyed without dipping sauce unlike Japanese sushi rolls.
For Koreans, gimbap is one of those foods that brings back warm and fuzzy memories. The nostalgia likely includes picnics and school field days, where gimbap was nearly essential. It also frequently shows up on birthday party tables. Although gimbap is closely associated with special occasions, it's also an everyday food pretty much seen everywhere, including convenience stores, service stations, cafeterias, and restaurants.
Gimbap has evolved quite a bit over the years. Back in the day when Koreans were poor, it was just seaweed and rice with maybe one vegetable. Today It is much more elaborate and nutritious. Gimbap to Koreans is like sandwiches to North Americans; it's very common, yet never gets old. On top of being delicious, it's nutritious, portable and versatile.
There are an infinite number of variations in gimbap. Sharing gimbap with friends at a school picnic was fun because each family adds a different twist, whether it's a special ingredient, unique shape or size. You can always make your own signature gimbap by adding your favorite ingredients or seasonings, or by making different shapes.
|3 cups||Rice, white short grain 쌀|
|6 sheet||Seaweed for Gimbap (Korean rice roll) 김밥김 (unseasoned)|
|5 oz||Pickled Radish (Dan-mu-ji or Yellow Radish) 단무지|
|2 oz||Burdock Root (Woo Ung) 우엉|
|4 oz||Carrot (large Korean carrot) 당근|
|3||Egg 계란 (omit or replace with sautéed mushrooms or avocado)|
|3 oz||Crab Meat (Imitation) 맛살 (omit for vegetarians)|
|3 tbs||Soy Sauce (regular) 왜간장|
|1 tbs||Sugar 설탕|
|2⅔ tbs||Sesame Oil 참기름|
|pinch||Black Pepper 후추 (or Jo-cheong/Rice Syrup, can use sugar instead)|
|1 tsp||Mul Yeot / Malt (Maltose) Syrup 물엿|
|⅔ tsp||Salt 소금|
|1 tsp||Vegetable Oil 식용유|
seasoning for rice
|⅓ cup||Vinegar 식초|
|3 tbs||Sugar 설탕|
|1 tbs||Salt 소금 (or regular sesame seeds)|
|6 tbs||Black Sesame Seeds 검은깨|
*The default serving of this recipe is set to 3. For this recipe, 3 servings refer to about 6 rolls of gimbap. Please note that ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
- 1 bamboo mat for rolling
- 1 small to medium pot or rice cooker for rice
- 1 large bowl to mix up rice
- 1 sauce pan for braising burdock root
- 1 small to medium pan for sautéing carrots
- 1 small to medium non-stick pan for eggs
Buy gimbap ingredients online here.
Optional Ingredients and Substitution
-There is no set of rules for gimbap ingredients. You can substitute most ingredients with your favorite ingredients. However, danmuji (yellow pickled radish) is key to authentic Korean gimbap. Season the ingredients with sesame oil and either salt or soy sauce unless it's already salty without any seasoning (e.g., crab meat).
Whatever you use, ensure they don't produce liquid. The liquid will go through the rice and leak out or make the roll soggy. Remove moisture by squeezing with hands or by pat-drying with clean towel. If you must use moist ingredients, place them on top of perilla leaves or something else that acts as a barrier between the rice and the ingredient.
Most common ingredients used in gimbap in Korea include danmuji (yellow pickled radish), spinach, cucumber, carrot, perilla leaf, burdock root, crab meat, fish cake, egg, beef, cheese, ham, beef, kimchi, tuna mixed with mayo, etc.
-You can season rice with just sesame oil and salt instead of vinegar and sugar mix if you don't like sweet and sour taste.
Good to Know
Size and flavor of gimbap
You can make various shape and size of gimbap.
To make gimbap smaller and also more flavorful, make the rice layer as thin as possible.
Gimbap tastes best when it's freshly made. In room temperature, it can last 4-6 hours. In a hot summer day, it may only last an hour or two.
The leftover ingredients may last a day or two with an exception of seasoned spinach. Make sure you don't put all the ingredients in the same container or at least use cling wrap or aluminum foil as dividers so they are not touching each other. Seasoned spinach is delicious but doesn't last as long as other ingredients. For this reason, some people prefer cucumber over spinach in their gimbap.
More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comment section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.
1. Prepare rice
Wash 3 cups of short grain rice twice and drain all the water. Add water (3 cups for electronic rice cooker or 4 cups for regular pot) to the rice and add 2 (2”X2”) pieces of kelp in the water. After 30 minutes, remove kelp but leave rice and water. Kelp water apparently prevents rice from drying up and helps rice stick to the seaweed better. But, you can omit kelp if you don’t have any.
Wash & drain
Add 3 cups water (for rice cooker)
Soak 2 pieces kelp Remove minkelp
3. Prepare burdock root
Peel and rinse 2.5 oz (70 g) of burdock root. Cut into thin strips.
Peel & Rinse
Cut into strips
4. Soak burdock root
Soak the burdock root strips in 1 cup water and 1 tbs vinegar for 30 minutes.
Soak burdock root
5. Blanch burdock root
Boil 2 cups of water. Blanch the burdock roots in boiling water for 3 minutes.
Boil 2 cups water
Blanch burdock root 3 min
6. Braise burdock root
In a sauce pan, mix ⅓ cup water, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sugar and add burdock root in the pan. Cook uncovered on medium heat.
Med Heat 7 min
7. Braise II
When the liquid is almost gone, add 1 teaspoons of mulyeot (Korean malt syrup) or jocheong (rice syrup). If you don’t have mulyeot, just add a little more sugar or sugar substitute.
8. Prepare carrot
Peel and rinse a carrot. Cut 3.5oz (100g) of carrot (about ⅓ large Korean carrot) into long ¼” thick strips. If you are using smaller carrots, just cut into shorter strips. You will just have to add a few more when making a roll.
Peel & rinse
9. Cook carrot
Preheat a pan with 1 tsp vegetable oil on medium heat. Sauté carrots on medium heat for 2 min or until they are cooked (not crunchy any more).”
Med Heat 2 min
10. Prepare eggs
Beat 3 eggs with an added pinch of salt and black pepper. Preheat a pan with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on medium heat for a min.
Pour the beat eggs and cook until all the eggs are fully cooked. Let it cool on the side.
Beat 3 eggs
11. Cut eggs
Once the eggs have cooled, cut into ½” thick strips.
into ½” thick strips
12. Cut danmuji
Rinse danmuji yellow pickled radish) with water. Pat-dry with paper towel. Cut 5oz (150g) of danmuji into ½” thick strips.
Pat-dry with paper towel
Cut 5oz (150g) danmuji
into ½” thick strips
13. Cut crab meat
Tear imitation crab meat into ¼” thick strips. Korean imitation crab meat comes in perfect length for gimbap and they are usually individually wrapped. Some people like to cook the crab meat in a pan for a minute to enhance the flavor but it’s optional.
Tear crab meat
into ¼” thick
14. Cut cucumber
Wash and peel cucumber, leaving some skin for color. Cut 4.4oz (125g) of cucumber into ¼” thick and 9” long strips. (You can use a few shorter ones instead if you don’t have a whole cucumber.) Don’t use the middle part containing seeds. (optional - you can sprinkle some salt on the cucumber strips and leave it for 10 min. Then, pat-dry to remove moisture.)
Wash & peel cucumber
Cut 4.4oz (125g)
into ½” thick strips
Sprinkle with salt
Leave 10 min
Pat-dry with paper towel
15. Roast seaweed (optional)
If the seaweed you got is not pre-roasted, you can roast in a pan. Roasting removes dampness and fishy smell from the seaweed. Cook each side of the seaweed in a pan on medium heat for a few seconds only. Do not over-cook. The seaweed will get crunchy and break apart. Do not use any oil.
Cook each side seaweed
in a pan
Med Heat a few seconds
16. Cut seaweed
Cut ⅓ of the seaweed and use the ⅔. You can use the small piece to make mini gimbap.
Cut ⅓ of the seaweed
17. Make rice seasoning
In a small pot, mix ⅓ cup of vinegar, 3 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt. Place the pot on low heat and stir the mix until all sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Let it cool for 10-20 min.
Dissolve on low heat
Let it cool 15 min
18. Season rice
Season cooked rice with the rice seasoning. Gently mix the rice with a spatula without squashing the rice. Mix it around until it’s cool enough to touch with bare hands. You want the rice to be a bit warm when you are making the roll.
19. Spread rice on seaweed
Tightly wrap the bamboo mat with cling wrap. This will prevent rice from sticking to the mat. Place the seaweed on a bamboo mat, rough side up. Thinly spread rice over the seaweed. Lightly wet your hand if rice sticks to your hands. Sprinkle black sesame seeds all over. This will further prevent rice from sticking to the mat.
20. Add ingredients
Flip the seaweed so the rice side is at the bottom. Add all the ingredients in the center of the seaweed.
21. Roll I
Tightly roll the seaweed so the end close to you meets the seaweed securing the ingredients with your fingers. Do not roll all the way. Gently squeeze along the roll a few times.
Roll the seaweed
22. Roll II
Bring the whole roll up to the end of the bamboo mat. This time roll all the way. Gently squeeze along the roll a few times. Form the roll into a square shape by pressing the two sides and the top with fingers at the same time (OPTIONAL).
Roll to the end of the mat
Roll all the way
Form into square shape
Prepare a clean sharp knife and a clean wet towel. Wipe both sides of the knife with the wet towel. Start cutting the roll into ¾” thick sections. Do not press down too hard with the knife as the roll will be crushed. Use front and back motion repeatedly when cutting just like cutting bread.
Cut into ¾” thick
24. Slice danmuji
Slice danmuji (yellow pickled radish) into ⅛” thick half moon shape to serve it on the side with gimbap.
⅛” thick half moon shape
Arrange on a plate or in a lunch box. Serve with danmuji on the side. Enjoy!
Serve on a plate
with danmuji on the side