Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

The latest social media food trend in Korea! Folded kimbap (or gimbap)! So easy, quick, versatile, and yummy!

DSC8171 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

DSC8171 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

Today, I’m bringing you the latest social media food trend in Korea! Folded kimbap (or gimbap)! Have you ever had trouble rolling kimbap? Now, you can fold your kimbap. So easy, quick, versatile, and yummy!

A few days ago, I recorded a short video of making this kimbap and shared it on my Instagram Reel. Everyone loves the idea!

You may have heard of TikTok tortilla wrap trend which started in January 2021. The idea is similar, although this is a totally different type of food. Some even calls it a Korean version of the tortilla hack.

Cut a slit to the middle of gim (laver) and fill each quarter with your favorite toppings/fillings. Then, simply fold each quarter onto the next one until you have a folded kimbap. Hold the whole thing with your hand(s) and eat it like a sandwich. No need to cut it!

Your lunch cannot be easier as long as you have rice and gim. I’m sure you have a few things in your fridge and/or pantry for fillings/toppings. It’s becoming a favorite “stay home” lunch for me. 

DSC8106 1 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

DSC8106 1 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

The rice

You can make this folded kimbap with any rice, seasoned or unseasoned. To make it taste more like traditional kimbap, I season short grain rice with salt and sesame oil. I sometimes add sesame seeds, but you don’t need to.

If using leftover rice from the fridge, soften it up by heating it in the microwave. If you are cooking the rice, make it slightly drier than normal by using a bit less water. 

Gim (seaweed sheets)

You can find seaweed sheets for kimbap at Korean/Asian markets. Some are labeled as sushi nori. They are slightly thick to be able to hold the rice and fillings and lightly roasted. 

Filling ideas

Proteins

Use any cooked or processed meat from your fridge or pantry. Grilled, roasted, stir-fried or boiled meat leftovers are great filling ideas. Spam, ham, canned tuna, fried egg, fried tofu, and cheese are all great options as well. In the photo below, you’ll see spam, bulgogi, canned tuna, fried tofu, eomuk (fish cake) and grilled samgyupsal (pork belly). It really doesn’t take much for each kimbap.

Vegetables

There’s really no limit to what you can use — any green leafy vegetables, raw or cooked, such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, carrot, perilla leaves, and kimchi. Use a potato peeler to shave the veggies like cucumbers and carrots.  

Sauce

Try gochujang, ssamjang, sriracha, ketchup, mayonnaise, or any type of hot sauce to your taste.   

Sample combinations of ingredients

The photo collage below simply shows some ideas of different combinations of ingredients, considering the balance between proteins and veggies, texture, and flavors. There’s something for everyone, including vegan! You can certainly mix and match your ingredients as your heart desires. The recipe below is simply to show an example of folded kimbap. Be creative and have fun with it!

Folded kimbap e1613282772709 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)Folded kimbap e1613282772709 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

Tips for making folded kimbap

  1. Squeeze out the liquid from any wet ingredients. 
  2. Pat dry vegetables with a kitchen towel.
  3. Don’t overload it! It’ll be hard to fold and eat. Leave some space between the quarters for folding. 
  4. You can double up the ingredients on each quarter as long as they are not too bulky. 
  5. Place small pieces or easy to fall out ingredients next to the rice one. The sticky rice will help hold them together. 

how to fold gimbap - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

how to fold gimbap - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

For more Korean cooking inspirations, follow along on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

how to fold gimbap 300x300 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)how to fold gimbap 300x300 - Folded Kimbap (or Gimbap)

Folded kimbap (or gimbap)

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Main, Snack

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Print Recipe

Ingredients

For 1 folded kimbap (only an example)

Instructions

  • Mix warm rice with a little bit of sesame oil, salt to taste, and optional sesame seeds

  • If using Spam, thinly slice and pan fry for a minute or two on each side over medium heat. If using leftover cooked meat, you can heat it in the microwave as necessary. If using canned tuna, press the liquid out.

  • Clean and pat dry the vegetables with a paper towel. Thinly slice, shave (with a peeler), or julienne the cucumber or carrot. You can lightly sauté the cucumber or carrot, but not necessary. If using kimchi, thinly slice and squeeze out the liquid. You can mix kimchi with sesame oil or stir-fry in lightly oiled pan, but not necessary.

  • Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down and shorter side towards you, on a cutting board or plate. Cut a slit to the middle of gim (seaweed sheet).

  • Spread the rice evenly over the bottom left quarter of the seaweed sheet. Arrange the other ingredients on each quarter. Lift the bottom left quarter and fold it onto the top left quarter, then to the top right, and finally to the bottom right.

Notes

Tips for folded kimbap

  1. Squeeze out the liquid from any wet ingredients.
  2. Pat dry vegetables with a paper towel.
  3. Don’t overload it! It’ll be hard to fold and eat. Leave some space between the quarters for folding.
  4. You can double up the ingredients on each quarter as long as they are not too bulky.
  5. Place small pieces or easy to fall out ingredients next to the rice one. The sticky rice will help hold them together.

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