So I was preparing for my birthday dinner this Saturday (that has just ended) and I went through quite a few of my easy recipes when looki...

Korean Food - Simple Healty Red Kimbap Recipe

Sunday, November 10, 2013 Unknown 0 Comments

So I was preparing for my birthday dinner this Saturday (that has just ended) and I went through quite a few of my easy recipes when looking for a snack to serve. Suddenly I decided to look through some of the 'food shots' from past parties, dinners and general cooking occasions, and I found the kimbap recipe I made for a farewell dinner we threw for a Korean friend of mine. She enjoyed it very much, so I thought I'd share it with you!

If you want something that's slightly healthier than a white-rice kimbap, yet still just as tasty and easy to put together, keep on readin'! 

김밥 (kimbap/gimbap) is probably one of THE most famous Korean dishes around the world. It's a quintessential snack food in Korea, best friend to high-school and university students alike as well as anyone who's craving for a quick bite. I've loved it long before coming to Korea, but after a few late-night trips to the nearest convenience store with being the only thought on my mind, I've come to appreciate it more and even crave for it during long study hours and general times when I just had no clue what I wanted to eat.
In Korea they are everywhere - in convenience stores, on food stalls on the sidewalks, university cafeterias and etc,. It's generally the cheapest food option, together with ramyun, in the stores, which explains it's popularity. Not only that, it's really quick to put together yourself, making it easy to pack it to school from home. 

There are many varieties of kimbap, in the convenience store alone you'll find at least two 'shapes' - roll and triangle, and anywhere from 3 to 8 different tastes! My personal favorite is quite basic - triangle tuna mayo!
However, one thing that is a little upsetting is that most of the kimbap is traditionally made with white rice, not much variety in that department, sadly...

So one evening, as I was making food for the farewell party, I realized that I don't have any white rice in my pantry. It was quite late already, so I just decided to use the red rice I had. Although very unconventional looking, it came out really being really delicious!

So here is my simple, quick recipe for this 'bloody' kimbap (late in the game, but it's quite 'Halloween-y', don't you think?

You will need:
- seaweed sheets
about 2-3 cups of cooked red rice (I made 6 rolls of kimbap)
plain smoked ham of your choice, uncut
단무지 - pickled radish
6-12 crab sticks
1-2pcs of avocado

Just like with my previous bibimbap recipe, you can substitute the ingredients to suit your taste! Other popular ingredients that I've tasted are 불고기 (marinated grilled meat), carrots, cucumber, spinach.


  • Cook your rice. As red rice is un-hulled, it takes longer to cook than regular white rice. Also, since you want it to be sticky, you need to cook it even further! I usually boil it in a pot for around 25-30 minutes, so I can monitor the consistency
  • Slice ham and the pickled radish vertically into 'sheets' 5mm thick, then slice those 'sheets' into long sticks, the width of your little finger (again, around 5mm)
  • Peel the avocado and remove the pit, then slice it into strips, medium thick
  • Depending on your taste, either slice the crab sticks in half (then you'll need 6 whole ones) or leave them whole (you'll need 12)
Now that you've prepared everything, it's time to arrange, roll and eat! Take your seaweed sheet and place it on the rolling mat. Spread some rice on it. It should cover the entire sheet, not too thickly, leaving around 2 cm space at the top (for the rice will spread a little, and it will seal itself) as well as 1 cm on each side. Arrange your ingredients at the bottom of the spread rice - a strip of ham and radish, two pieces of avocado and crab stick stacked next to each other vertically. Now - roll!! Put a little bit of pressure and make sure the ingredients stay under the first fold as you roll, when you reach the end, dampen the empty space of the sheet with a bit of water, and finish rolling - it should seal itself. Once you've got your rolls, take each of them and slice into bite size pieces with a sharp knife. Enjoy! 

Note: you can leave the kimbap uncut, that's how many Korean students eat it! Keep the uneaten kimbap in the fridge, it's good for about 2 days.

See how simple this was? Moreover, depending on your ingredient choices, you can make this a really wholesome and healthy lunch option. 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and will try it out! 
Happy Rollin'!