Kimbap (김밥) is a delectable roll made with ‘kim’ or ‘gim’ which are sheets of dried, umami rich seaweed with ‘bap’ which is Korean for rice. Think of it as an innovative, Korean-inspired twist on the sushi roll (norimaki). Kimbap always features some sort of filling inside. Our chefs take the utmost care in choosing the freshest produce for the filling, usually highlighting a seafood or locally grown veggies. In Korea, the dish is a staple of the lunch box that one would take to work or school.
While Japanese sushi rolls comes with vinegared rice, kimbap uses sesame and sweeter flavorings, more in line with Korean tastes. The gim wrap gives the burst of umami, almost like the freshness of the sea. Inside are generally a mix of tuna, egg, carrots, cheese or even kimchi.
Our chefs let their imaginations go wild when making these in-house, with whatever suitable is in season. Using a bamboo roller called a gimbal, the fillings are put on top of a layer of toasted seaweed laver and cooked rice. The chef then delicately rolls the mat, so that the rice snuggly hugs the fillings and the roll is gently cut into bite-sized pieces.
No one quite knows how this dish evolved. Some say that it was born out of norimaki altered to Korean tastes when the Japanese occupied Korea, but others say that it grew out of a tradition wrapping up banchan with rice and gim. Regardless, both are two very different dishes today. The kimbap is complex and has a depth of flavor with hints of sesame.
Popular with the kids, especially in their fun bite sized medallion shapes, everyone loves kimbap.