Gimbap is a Korean dish based on cooked rice and other ingredients. That are rolled in GIM leaves – dried algae WASH – and served in corked slices. The dish is often part of a packed lunch or Dosirak, to eat at picnics and outdoor events. And can serve a light lunch with danmuji (yellow pickled radish) and kimchi. It is a popular takeout food in Korea and abroad, and is known as a convenience food because of its portability. It is generally well wrapped (traditionally with aluminum foil, but now sometimes made of paper) and has no liquid ingredients.


For more information: Korea under Japanese domination § Japanese policy for the Korean language and linguistic purism in Korean

Gim refers to edible algae of the genus Porphyra and Pyropia. Bap generally refers to “cooked rice”. The compound term gimbap was not part of the Korean language until modern times. A food with a similar concept, cooked rice wrapped in GIM, was called bokssam in the Joseon era (1392-1897).

The term gimbap was used in a 1935 Korean newspaper article, but at the time, the norimaki loanword was used as well. Norimaki , who borrowed from the name of a similar Japanese dish was part of the Japanese vocabulary. That entered the Korean language during the Japanese forced occupation (1910-1945). When teaching and speaking Korean was prohibited. The two words were used interchangeably until gimbap was the universal term as part of efforts to clear away the remnants of Japanese colonialism and purify the Korean language.

Ingredients and preparation

Gimbap cheese and tuna gimbap

Gim and BAP are the two basic components of gimbap. While short-grain white rice is most often used in the short grain brown rice. Black rice , or other grains can also be used for filling.

Some varieties of gimbap include cheese , cooked spicy squid , kimchi , lunch meat , or spicy tuna. The GIM can be brushed with sesame oil or sprinkled with sesame seeds. Alternatively, pieces of gimbap slices can be lightly fried with an egg coating.

Fillings vary, often with vegetarian and vegan dishes. Popular ingredients include danmuji (yellow pickled radish), ham , beef , imitation crabmeat , egg strips , kimchi, bulgogi , spinach , carrots , root burdock , cucumber , canned tuna , and kkaennip (perilla leaves).

For the dish, GIM leaves are grilled over low heat, cooked rice is lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil and vegetables. And ingredients are seasoned meat and sautéed or pan-fried. The grilled gim is then placed on a gimbal- a roller with bamboo gimbap a thin layer of cooked rice placed evenly on top. Other ingredients are placed on the rice and rolled into a cylindrical shape, typically 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 inches) in diameter. The laminated gimbap is then cut into bite-size pieces.

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