Hello everybody!

I’m excited to share my recipe for tuna gimbap (chamchi-gimbap: 참치김밥) with you today. The flaky, salty, and sweet tuna tastes delightful and goes well with rice and the other fillings: avocado, yellow pickled radish, and crab sticks. The various tastes and textures make for a lot of variety in one bite!

I’ve been making tuna gimbap this way for a long time. All my friends and family loved this gimbap so it was one of the first recipes I posted to YouTube in 2007. Since then I’ve refined the recipe a bit and I remade the video in HD to share with you all.

Enjoy the recipe and if you like gimbap check out some of my other gimbap recipes, too!how to make tuna kimbap


Makes 4 rolls (Serves 2 to 4)

For rice:

For tuna filling:

  • 1 (5-ounce) can of tuna, preferably oil-packed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar), optional

For gimbap:


Prepare the rice:

  1. Put the freshly made steamy rice into a large bowl. Add salt and vinegar and gently fold it in with a rice scoop or a wooden spoon.
  2. Set aside and let the rice cool down.

Prepare the tuna:

  1. Heat a small pan over medium high heat. Add the tuna, garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, soy sauce, and ground black pepper.
  2. Stir the mixture for about 2 minutes with a wooden spoon until the tuna turns a little flaky. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in the honey (or sugar) if you use. Set aside.chamchi gimbap

Prepare the artificial crab sticks:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl the skillet around so the oil evenly coats it.
  2. Add the crab sticks, white side down. Cook for about 1 minute until the bottoms turn soft and light brown.
  3. Turn them over with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large platter.

Prepare the danmuji (yellow pickled radish) and avocado:

  1. Put the 4 strips of danmuji on the platter, next to the crab sticks.
  2. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Slice it lengthwise while it’s still in its shell.
  3. Scoop the slices out with a large spoon and transfer them to the platter. Squeeze the lemon over the avocado to prevent it from going brown.Kimbap making

Roll the gimbap:

  1. Divide the rice into 4 portions. Place a sheet of gim on a gimbal (a bamboo mat for making gimbap), with the shiny side down. Evenly spread 1 portion of rice over the gim, leaving a 1-inch margin uncovered along the top edge.chamchi kimbap
  2. Divide the tuna mixture into 4 portions. Spread one portion across the middle of the rice, in a strip lengthwise. Add a strip of danmuji, some avocado, and a crab stick.
  3. Use both hands to pick up the bottom edge of the mat. Use it to roll the gim up and over the fillings so the rice surrounds them.tuna kimbap
  4. Squeeze the mat gently and then continue rolling the gim in the mat, squeezing the mat regularly to get a tight roll.
  5. Unroll the mat and remove the roll from the mat. Set the roll aside, with the seam down.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more rolls.
  7. Gently brush the rest of the 2 teaspoons sesame oil over the rolls by hand or with a basting brush.
  8. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over top.Kimbap
  9. Cut each roll into ⅓ to ½-inch slices with a sharp knife. For easier slicing, wipe your knife with a wet paper towel (or kitchen cloth) as you go.kimbap


Arrange the slices on a plate or pack in a lunchbox. The gimbap will keep for several hours at room temperature.

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  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    You must use short grain rice to make kimbap. Short grain rice is sticky so that each grain of cookes rice will stick together.

  2. hi, your kimbap looks great!

    can i ask you a question? is it ok to use long grain rice instead of short grain? i been searching for kimbap recipe, but all requires short grain.

  3. I made kimbap with tamago (Japanese sweet egg cake). Here are the photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/he_anni/2685660468/in/set-72157606181078925/

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    The kimbap I’m showing in this video uses the mixture of salt, sugar, and vinegar to mix with rice. But more authentic korean style of kimbap uses just plain cooked rice.

  5. With kimbap, do you not have to put anything in the rice like with Japanese sushi (e.g. rice vinegar, sugar, salt)?

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    If I were you,I would make kimbap using shitake mushrooms instead of a can of tuna.

    First slice soaked mushrooms thinly and pan fry with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil.

  7. hi, i made bibimbap and it was delicious! i want to make kimbap but im vegetarian so i was wondering what i would use as ingrediants to make it taste just as good.

    Ji Yun

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Hi, I’m using brand name “Hae Chan Deul” hot pepper paste.

  9. what kind of hot pepper paste did you use in your video? is it korean so jeu?

  10. hi maangchi,

    youre so cute in this one! when u eat the sushi. i used to wonder what home-made korean food tasted like watching k-dramas, and now watching your videos i can make them myself…

    love it,

    hope you cook and upload more food videos!

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Thank you very much !

  12. Hi, maangchi! Nice one you’ve got here. I’m so glad I subscribed to your podcast. Keep it up!


  13. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Next time you make kimbap, please roll it tightly, then it won’t fall apart.
    for kimchi kimbap, chop some kimchi and add some soy sauce(not too much)or hot pepper paste, sugar, green onions, sesame oil and seeds. This mixture is very delicious. I use it for my noodle soup,too. After making noodle soup, put this mixture on top and eat it. Or you can make “bibim noodles”with this mixture.

  14. Hi Maangchi,

    I saw you made kimchi kimbap.
    First you cut the kimchi, and then u put 1 TBS of sauce.
    What sauce did u put in?
    Sorry, I couldn’t hear it well.

    I wanna make kimchi kimbap. It looks yummy.. ^^

    Just now, I’ve finished making my kimbap.
    I find it is difficult to cut the kimbap. When I cut it, the rice comes out. >.<
    But the taste is nice.

    This is my new blog. I just made this blog, so I can communicate with you, because I’m interested in your cooking.

    Luckily, I found Korean groceries in here near my house. Now, I’m in Melbourne, I study in here. =)

  15. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Hi, Eunha,
    Seaweed(Kim) should be air sealed tightly and kept in the freezer.
    I use zipper bag.

  16. Wow!!~

    Kimbap looks delicious!

    I’ve had a time to make it
    not too long ago… and since
    we had a lot of Kim, my
    friend and I couldn’t stop
    making kimbap.. I thought it
    was a lot, but my whole
    family munched them down.

    I can’t wait to try your
    way of making kimbap,
    cause I think we made it a
    little bit different…

    Thank you for your wonderful
    recipes, they are GREAT!

    I wanted to ask you something
    maangchi, When I was done using
    the Kim we needed, Since the packaged was already open, I didn’t know where we could put it.
    Also, Do we put the Kim in the fridge???? or not???

  17. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments


    I’m glad to hear that you are happy about your kimbab.

    Apple vinegar could be used for sauce for any dishes that need sour and sweet taste. I make dipping sauce with it by mixing soysauce and vinegar.

  18. maangchi,

    I made Kimbap second day in the row. This time I use apple vinegar. It’s good! I like the apple fragrance.

    I bought the apple vinegar, because it seems interesting. Other than making salad dressing, would you give me some suggestions on using the apple vinegar please?


  19. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    ok, dolsot bibimbab and potatoes for sidedish. I will keep it in mind. Thanks!

  20. Hello! I really love your videos and I was hoping you’ll make some dolsot bibimbap and make videos on how to make side dishes (my favorite is the small potatoes with sweet sauce)


  21. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I use apple vinegar to make sauce for kimbab.

  22. Maangchi,

    Thank you so much for the video.

    I made the tuna kimbap for supper tonight.
    It is very tasty.
    May I suggest that an extra lamp/ light to be place at front during the making of your videos so that the objects will be clearer to the audiance?
    The cooked tuna reminds me of the chinese ‘pork sung’ which usually serve with rice porridge. I think the tuna will be great as a side dish alone if the amount of soy sauce to be reduced to 1 tbs. I use the rice vinegar which you mentioned. I am not brave enough to use the Korean apple vinegar yet.
    http://www.sunnymaid.com/site/img/food/food1.jpg(image of pork Sung)

  23. I’m in the US. I had a shopping spree at the international market last weekend. The squid is the packaged dry variety but sauteed in soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper flakes. It’s chewy, sweet and spicy. So good! Thanks for dropping by.

  24. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments


    I checked out your blog and saw your pictures displaying making kimbab. Wonderful!
    You must be getting korean ingredients easily. Where are you living now?

  25. hi maangchi, it’s me james(himasf).
    I made 김밥 today. I couldn’t decide so I made 1 kimchee, 1 tuna, and 1 spicy cuttlefish. They’re all delicious! Thanks!

    p.s. I posted a picture of me making them.

  26. Hello Maangchi, I bought a bottle of Sa Gwa Cho/ Korean Apple Vinegr yesterday.

    Can I use it for the kimbap sauce?
    What can I do with it other than making salad?

  27. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    My next one will be Ddeukbokkie(hot and spicy rice cake).
    I learned the recipe from an old lady selling her ddeukbokkie in a big market in Seoul. She was using very simple method.
    Traditional way of making ddeubokki was made without using hot pepper paste. But I prefer hot and spicy ddeuk bok kie. : )

  28. Thank you for the recipes. Can you do Tteokbokki sometime? -patricia

  29. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    hehe, yeah,kimchi kimbab will be tasty as long as you like kimchi. : )

  30. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Thank you paul.
    You must love sesame leaves(Kkaen nip) dish!
    ok, sure I will put your request in my cooking video list.
    Where do you live in France? I went to Paris February this year.

  31. Hi, your videos are GREAT and very useful. I’m a korean born in France and i love korean food. Do you know how to prepare Kean-Nip (a sort of kimchi with Sesame leaves) ? Can you show it by video ?
    Thank you for all these cooking videos !

  32. Hi Maangchi.Great recipe, thanks alot. Gotta try the Kimchi Kimbap. Looks so yummy..

  33. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Healthful and tasty food is the best. : )

  34. Heee you made sushi!! That was awesome! I bet all kinds of stuffing would work in there. I have bamboo placemant, I don’t think those would work wuite as well. ;)

    Wonderfull as always. The best part is always the tasting!


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