Korean Style Sushi Rolls on a white plate with wooden chopsticks and a side of soup in white bowl

Korean Style Sushi Rolls


In Korea, nothing says Spring has arrived than a lunch picnic in the park or a road trip to the countryside. Hence, the lunch box is on the rise and Korean people are making Gimbap.

Gim in Korean means dried seaweed sheet (Nori in Japanese) and Bap means rice. Therefore, Gimbap is rice rolled in seaweed sheet (just like sushi rolls or Maki in Japanese). Traditionally, most of Korean Gimbap fillings are cooked ingredients, unlike Japanese counterpart that focus more on the raw ingredients side. Furthermore, the rolling technique of Korean style sushi roll is much more forgiving than the Japanese Maki which tend to aim for more perfection and symmetrical and uniformity rolls. The other difference is in the rice. For instance, Japanese cooked sushi rice is seasoned with rice vinegar seasoning. On the other hand, Korean rice is seasoned with sesame oil.

In short, the same as most of my recipes here. Making Gimbap as elaborate or as simple as you would like it. The sky is the limit here when coming down to Gimbap fillings. However, in this recipe, I am making a traditional one.


  • 1 package of gim or Nori sheet
  • 1 lb flank steak or skirt steak, julienne against the grain
  • 1 lb spinach, blanched and squeezed dried
  • 2.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 cups carrot, shred with mandoline
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons sesame oil or as needed
  • 6 eggs, large
  • 8 cups cooked rice
  • 10 pieces of danmuji (yellow pickled radish) cut into strips the same length as the Nori sheet
  • vegetable oil
  • toasted sesame seeds as needed


To Prepare the filling ingredients for Gimbap:

Having a large size ingredients assembly tray or platter will make the Mise en place better to organized the fillings.

Preparing the Rice:

  1. Making sure to down the rice enough. In other words, it should no longer be steaming hot. Next, mix well 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 4 teaspoons of sesame oil with the rice.

Seasoning the Blanched Spinach:

  1. Roughly cut the spinach and put it in a mixing bowl. Then add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 4 teaspoons of sesame oil, and lastly 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds. After that, transfer it into the tray.

To Cook the Carrots:

  1. First, mix the shredded carrot with a pinch of salt. Then let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, over medium heat with a little drop of cooking oil quickly sauté the carrot. Then set it aside on the assembly tray.  

Cooking the Beef:

  1. Marinade the beef with 4 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 4 teaspoons sesame oil, and 0.5 teaspoons black pepper.
  2. After marinated at least 2 hours, cook the beef as needed with a little vegetable oil to your liking doneness.

To Make the Omelet Strips:

  1. First, beat the eggs with 0.5 teaspoons kosher salt until smooth.
  2. Next, using a non-stick pan or Japanese style omelet pan with either cooking spray or a thin layer of vegetable oil for cooking. Then, with low heat, pour the egg into the pan. In addition, swirl it filling the entire pan. Aiming for a very thin omelet. By the way, you might need to cook the egg in two batches depending on the size of the pan using.
  3. After that, let it cook over the low heat and keep the egg from browning. Then flip once.
  4. Lastly, transfer it onto a cutting board and julienne the omelet into thin strips. Then set aside.

Let’s Rock and Roll!!!

  1. First,  place a Nori sheet on a bamboo mat. Making sure that the shiny side facing down. Then spread the rice evenly but leaving about 2 inches space on the top side of the Nori sheet. I am using about 3/4 cup of rice for this; however, you can add more if you like. Just don’t put too much so you have enough room for the fillings.
  2. Next step is to start laying down the carrot, beef, danmuji, egg strips, and spinach in the center of the rice. Then using both hands to roll the mat and press it tightly to seal the Nori to finish the roll.
  3. After the roll completed, brush with sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Then cut into 8 to 10 pieces depending on the size you want.
  4. “Fill – Roll – Repeat” until done with the remaining fillings.

Now, the Korean style sushi rolls can be enjoyed as part of your lunch box. So, what are you waiting for? Plan a picnic and packing this for an amazing meal. Also, don’t forget soy sauce or a side of Ssamjang is great too. Bon Appetit!!!


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