Kimbap, also known as gimbap, is the ultimate picnic food of Korea.  It’s cheap, easy to make (or purchase) ahead of time and easily eaten on-the-go.  The two main ingredients are dried seaweed (kim or gim) and white rice (bap).  Various veggies and meats accompany the rice which is wrapped in sheets of dried seaweed.  It looks very similar to sushi, however raw fish is not used in kimbap, and the rice is seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds rather than rice vinegar.  The most common ingredients in basic kimbap are cucumber, carrot, fried egg, radish, imitation crab and spam (yes, spam is everywhere in Korea).  You’ll also see canned tuna (chamchi kimbap), cheese (chijeu kimbap), beef (soegogi kimbap) and of course kimchi as ingredients as well.


Basic kimbap with carrots, cucumber, fried egg, spam, imitation crab, radish, and rice seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds. Unlike sushi, it’s served by itself without any sort of soy sauce, wasabi or ginger.


Kimbap to go, all for just $5!


You’ll often see Koreans enjoying kimbap on picnics in the park or while resting on a hike in the mountains. You can even buy it in any convenient store at all hours of the day, either in rolls or triangles which are called samgak kimbap.


A fancier version of kimbap (excuse the blurriness) with my co-teacher and another English teacher in Cheongju. Big fat rolls with bulgolgi (marinated beef) were accompanied by pickled radish, kimchi and bean sprout soup.