sheets of dried seaweed (laver) or nori
sushi rice (made w/out vinegar)
sesame seeds
sesame oil

1 pound of thinly sliced beef

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste (kochujang)

Spinach –
1/2 pound frozen spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

2 eggs
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, then sliced.
2 tablespoons green onions


For the meat:
Marinate the meat in the marinade about 1-2 hours or overnight. I would use this time to make the sushi rice. Afterward the meat is done marinating, saute the meat in a large pan until cooked through.

For the omelet:
In a small bowl eat all omelet ingredients* together. Heat a non-stick skillet over a medium-high flame. Add egg mixture and tilt in a circular motion to coat the surface of the skillet. When the egg is almost set, but still a bit runny on top, use a spatula and chopsticks to roll the omelet into a tight cylinder. Remove from pan and slice thinly.

For the spinach:
Microwave frozen spinach, sesame seeds, and salt until the spinach is defrosted. Squeeze out liquid. Add sesame oil, stir and set aside.

Follow the fotomaki instuctions placing the beef, egg, spinach and sesame seeds in the middle of the roll. Brush the outside of the roll with sesame oil and slice. Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and serve.

*We added the mushrooms and green onions for extra color and flavor, but you can leave them out make it a plain omelet.

My thoughts:

I have heard kimbap described as “Korean sushi” but this is not exactly an accurate description. Like Japanese maki, they are rolls with a filling in the middle, surrounded by rice and wrapped in seaweed but what goes in them is often very different. For example kimbap is made with cooked ingredients instead of raw fish, unlike many varieties of maki. The most common fillings include beef or tuna, spinach, egg, carrot and some times strips of yellow pickled radish, or burdock root and the outside is brushed with sesame oil. Another difference is that you don’t dip it in soy sauce like you do with Japanese sushi. The amount of rice vinegar in kimbap rice is often less than what you could use in sushi rice, especially if you are using pickled ingredients and some recipes leave it out all together, and just season the rice with sesame oil and salt. Since kimbap is cooked, it makes a very filling snack or make ahead lunch and if you wrap it tightly, leftovers can be eaten the next day.


  1. I finally went to H Mart on Sunday. That place is so great! I now have the ingredients to make many of your asian recipes. I thought about buying the sushi supplies, but wasn’t up to making it with raw fish and didn’t think veggies would be worth the effort. I could do this though. Thanks.

  2. The next time you come to town, you need to go to Kim-Bob Takeout for kimbap with CHEESE. The spicy tuna is also really good.

  3. oooh this looks sosososooo good. i can tell. yum. and so pretty too. i want some now!

  4. That looks really good. But why frozen spinach and not fresh?

  5. Fresh spinach is really so much better. Just blanch it in boiling water and squeeze the excess water out before seasoning. This is an easy recipe, just time consuming! Looks very good. The name comes from the Korean Kim (seaweed) and Bap (rice).

  6. I like fresh spinach but it is so expensive here to get enough to make even a tiny amount (since it cooks down so much) I can’t justify the price. I’ve done taste comparisons between various brands of frozen and fresh spinach after it is cooked and the difference is negligible, especially in a recipe like this where it is seasoned and such a tiny amount is used. Interestingly enough, frozen spinach is higher in vitamin C than fresh spinach because it is quickly frozen the day it was picked, not put on a truck and delivered to a store days later.

  7. Hey hon, I don’t mean to sound pedantic but sushi is not necessarily made with raw fish (which is referred to as sashimi) and as far as I’m aware it’s just a word to refer to these sorts of mini meals and there are different kinds (maki, nigiri, chirashi). The literal translation of kimbap is ‘seaweed rice’ (Kim=seaweed, bap=rice) and you can find just as big a variety of fillings for these as you can for maki sushi. Yours do look pretty good though 🙂

  8. Ellie: Oh, I am well aware exactly what sushi is, the point I was trying to make was that kimbap, at least in my experience, is never made of raw fish, while many types of sushi are. In my opinion, this makes it a little less daunting roll to make at home, you can be as clever as you want with the fillings, but don’t have the worry of dealing with raw fish, as many sushi rolls have, or ingredients like eel that are hard to come by.

  9. I bought some sushi making supplies a few months ago, but I haven’t done anything other than California Rolls with them. Can’t wait to try these!

  10. Oooooh! These look absolutely fabulous!

  11. It looks really good! But, do you have to sprinkle seasame seeds over them?

  12. you can also use slightly salt blenched long carrots( or shredded sesame seed oil salt sauteed caroots) , sauteed withsesame seed oil and soy sauce pepper, shitaki mushroom,and korean sweet picled daikon/takwon, and immitation crabmeat. And old tradition is they use instead of japanese sushi vinegar based rice, they either use sesame oil with little sat or soy sauced with seasone ground meat mixed rice base.