Seaweed rice rolls with tuna

Chamchi-gimbap 참치김밥

It’s a delicious korean food that I know you will love.

When I was in America 10 years ago, I made gimbap for a potluck party. One Ukrainian lady was eating my gimbap, but peeling off the “black paper.” She thought that it was real paper, and she only wanted to eat the delicious stuff inside!


I make 2 kinds of gimbap in this video, so be sure to watch until the end for special bonus footage.



Directions (2-3 servings)

  1. Prepare about 5-6 cups of cooked rice in a large bowl
  2. Make your mixing sauce by mixing up ½ tbs sugar, 1 ts salt, and 1 tbs of vinegar until the liquid looks clear
  3. Mix rice with the mixing sauce and stir it evenly. Set it aside for now.

Prepare a large plate to arrange all ingredients for gimbap

  1. Make seasoned tuna flakes
    1. Open a can of tuna and remove the oil or water. Put it on a heated pan and drizzle some sesame oil over it. Toss it and cook it for 2 minutes
    2. Add 1 tbs of soy sauce, ½ tbs of sugar, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1 ts of ground black pepper.
    3. Keep stirring for another 3 minutes.
    4. Turn off the heat and add 1 chopped green onion, 2 ts of sesame oil and 1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds.
  2. Place 3 yellow radish pickle strips on the plate.
  3. Place 3 pieces of crab meat on the plate.
  4. Slice an avocado and place it on the plate.

Let’s roll gimbap!

  1. Place a sheet of seaweed(“kim”) on the bamboo mat and evenly spread a layer of rice in the center of it.
  2. Place 2-3 spoons of seasoned tuna flakes on top of the layer of rice. Add a yellow radish pickle strip, some avocado, and a red crab meat strip.
  3. Roll it up gently using the bamboo mat.
  4. Remove the bamboo mat and cut the roll into pieces about 2 cm thick and place it on a plate

*tip: prepare a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe the knife while cutting, it will make it slice easier.

Fillings for Kimchi gimbap

If you want to make kimchi gimbap, instead of tuna gimbap, mix the following ingredients and use them instead of tuna:

½ cup of chopped Kimchi, ½ tbs of hot pepper paste, 1 ts sugar, ½ tbs of sesame oil, ½ tbs of sesame seeds, and 1 chopped green onion.



  1. bbbtae Middle east joined 12/16
    Posted December 13th, 2016 at 4:16 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!! I wonder if it is possible to replace pickled radish with anything else since I can’t find it where I live. Have a nice day

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 14th, 2016 at 10:26 am | # |

      You need something crispy and salty. How about using salted cucumber sticks?

      • bbbtae Middle east joined 12/16
        Posted December 14th, 2016 at 5:31 pm | # |

        Thank you so much

  2. alexiel100 joined 12/15
    Posted January 16th, 2016 at 2:35 pm | # |

    I’m allergic to avocado, what’ll be good substitute?

  3. KaeTee Boston joined 3/14
    Posted March 21st, 2014 at 9:39 pm | # |

    The first time I made kimbap, I discovered that a REALLY SHARP knife is critical. I love it and oddly enough, my 12 year old son loves it too. I’ve made it with canned tuna and avocado and also with imitation crab/fried egg/cucumber/carrot.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 22nd, 2014 at 11:19 am | # |

      I’m glad your son loved your kimbap! : )

  4. answjd26 Powder Springs, GA joined 2/14
    Posted February 3rd, 2014 at 5:18 pm | # |

    Maangchi!! I have a question about the seaweeds. When I purchased seaweeds only for making korean sushis, they were bit dry. I decided to make it then seaweeds turned out to be not to soft to chew. Do I have to roast them first in order to make it?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 22nd, 2014 at 11:21 am | # |

      You can either roast the gim or not before making gimbap (kimbap). I usually roast gim slightly before making gimbap. Good luck!

  5. NatSuarez USA joined 10/13
    Posted December 11th, 2013 at 2:12 pm | # |

    Dear Maangchi,
    Thanks to you I learned how to make and roll kimbap! I love kimbap it’s sooo delicious!
    Yesterday I made this kimchi kimbap using your recipe. It was awesome awesome! Love the spicy and sweet combination :) I also made japchae to eat it with this. Is it strange combination? :) lol
    Thank you for the recipes! delicious!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 13th, 2013 at 9:06 am | # |

      Japchae and kimchi kimbap make a perfect combination! Yummy!

  6. maira Karachi,Pakistan joined 11/13
    Posted November 15th, 2013 at 8:48 am | # |

    Dear maangchi its my first time using any WordPress I have a question I am from country Pakistan near India unfortunately in my country I cant find seaweed sheets so what else I can use please reply its my first time

  7. MikaG United States joined 6/13
    Posted June 20th, 2013 at 2:11 pm | # |

    I love the korean tuna in the kimchi sauce that my local Korean market used to sell. They said that the FDA no longer allows it to be sold in the U.S. I’m not sure about any of that except that I can’t find it anywhere any longer. Do you have a recipe on how to make your tuna spicy and yummy like the canned version? Thanks! Mika

  8. avriee Singapore joined 6/13
    Posted May 31st, 2013 at 11:14 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, just wondering for the quantity of 3 cups of cooked rice, how many grams are they? Thank you so much for the confirmation :)

  9. hamtaz North Carolina joined 2/13
    Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 1:41 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi…
    Thanks to you I now make great kimchi! I love Korean food and have found your website recipes and YouTube videos a tremendous resource. THANK YOU!!! for taking the time to share your great knowledge!
    If you ever plan a trip to North Carolina it would be a great pleasure to meet you.
    Again, thank you,

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 23rd, 2013 at 10:12 am | # |

      Hi John,
      Thanks a lot for your nice message! Yes I always want to meet my readers no matter where they live. I’d like to see what they look like and I’d like to hear their funny stories about their cooking. See you someday! : )

  10. inspirational food porterville joined 4/13
    Posted April 8th, 2013 at 5:23 pm | # |

    Hi maangchi!

    I wanted to know if you wet the seaweed plant first before adding all the ingredients??
    Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 9th, 2013 at 4:51 pm | # |

      no you don’t have to wet the seaweed paper.

  11. Neza2214 United States joined 11/12
    Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 7:37 pm | # |

    I live for kimchi fried rice, so when I make the kimchi kimbap can I use bacon or cooked pork belly? Or is it best to eat with just the kimchi?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 9th, 2013 at 4:52 pm | # |

      ” can I use bacon or cooked pork belly?” It sounds great to me! Delicious! : )

  12. Angel78Green Chicago joined 9/12
    Posted September 23rd, 2012 at 8:18 pm | # |

    You have the best recipes. Ever since my father passed away. A few years back. It’s been really hard finding places that make korean foods like my dad did. My mother’s not korean so she rarely makes korean food anymore. Thank god I found your site, now I eat Korean food everyday and its just like my dad used to make and more. Thanks sooooo much for these recipes.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 24th, 2012 at 8:09 pm | # |

      Thank you for sharing the touching story about your dad! He must be very proud of you in heaven! Cheers!

  13. daphneseraph Ireland joined 9/12
    Posted September 16th, 2012 at 10:00 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi.

    Can I mix sushi rice with the normal long grain rice to get them sticky? I have a lot of long grain rice left and don’t wanna waste it.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 24th, 2012 at 8:09 pm | # |

      I recommend using only short grain rice (sushi rice) for this recipe.

  14. DancesInGarden Canada joined 8/12
    Posted August 24th, 2012 at 6:21 pm | # |

    I have made this twice now. The first time, I used japanese nori and I did not have the pickled radish (I used home made mild kimchi instead). It was good, but the nori was too chewy. I found korean roasted seasoned laver sheets and used those today. What a difference! The texture is altogether different – much more delicate. I also found pickled radish but it was sweeter than I expected so I used kimchi again. AWESOME. Thank you for the inspiration to try something different! I don’t like sushi, but I LOVE kim bap!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 24th, 2012 at 8:11 pm | # |

      I’m glad to hear that you found your own way of making kimbap!

  15. makemequiche DC joined 5/12
    Posted August 6th, 2012 at 5:21 pm | # |

    This is excellent! The tuna flakes really made it!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 24th, 2012 at 8:11 pm | # |

      awesome! Happy cooking!

  16. raeganlady NJ joined 11/11
    Posted July 12th, 2012 at 12:26 pm | # |

    I like to mix the tuna with a bit of sirachi and, nice and spicy for me!!

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