Gimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls)

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Gimbap (also sometimes spelled “kimbap”) is the perfect meal on-the-go, a common sight at bus stations and a must-have at school picnics. The only limit for gimbap fillings is your imagination: You can find tuna, avocado, chicken, shrimp, and bulgogi gimbap. Basically, you can feel free to add whatever you want to the roll. But for this recipe, I’m introducing the most common ingredients for a classic Korean gimbap roll, including imitation crab stick, ham, pickled radish, braised burdock root, egg, carrot, fishcake, and cucumber.

One of the biggest challenges for the first-time gimbap maker is finding all of the ingredients. The pickled daikon (danmuji in Korean) can come as a whole pickled radish that needs to be cut into strips or as pre-cut sticks ready for gimbap. Either works here, but if you do cut your own, you’ll want to make the sticks about 1/4 inch thick or smaller, and about as long as the seaweed sheets themselves. Don’t worry about the color of the pickled daikon radish: yellow, white, beige all work.

Examples of what the pickles radish and braised burdock products look like.