Tuna gimbap

Chamchi-gimbap 참치김밥

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 12,047 comments

    I am using short grain rice.Check this out.
    When you go to a grocery store, ask for rice for sushi. http://www.hmart.com/shopnow/shopnow_newsub.asp?top_cate=19&mid_cate=166

  2. Hey Maangchi,

    Which kind of rice are you using? I always cook jasmine rice, but does it make a difference?


  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Thank you for your nice comment!

  4. Dominique& has 3 comments

    Dear Maangchi,

    Thankyou so much for your delicious recipes!! I have around 5 Korean cookery books but I have realised how important it is to see the actual preparation of Korean food. Your recipes are very easy to follow and you seem like a wonderful person! THANKYOU!!!

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Please leave your question our forum under “where do you get Korean ingredients?”


  6. Hi Maangchi, I’m totally new here and I was wondering whether it is possible for me to use other ingredient instead of yellow radish pickle and avocado?

    Zul, Malaysia

  7. Hi Maangchi,
    I tried your kimbap and it was great.
    Thanks for sharing your video and looking forward to try other dishes you have.

    — James L.
    Germantown, MD

  8. Ha ha this is great! I used to be an English teacher in Seoul and I ate Gimbap practically everyday but never thought I could make it. I have been very out of touch with Korean food since living in London so thanks a lot for the nostalgia and great food!

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    I use apple vinegar. I like the flavor. You can buy it in any grocery store.

  10. hey maangchi ! I’ve just become a new reader of yours, and i must say your recipes are amazing !

    Could I ask, did you used distilled vinegar ? or did you use rice vinegar ? I would like to know because I would like to make this kimbap.

    Thank You~

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 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.

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