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. Indonesian girl& has 4 comments

    Anyonghoseo.. May i know how 2 cook wong/burdock root 4 kimbap?how long should i boil d root?thx! ^_^

  2. Hi Maagchi I have Frozen Cod and Scallops in my freezer could I use that in the Kimbap? Could I also use Salmon instead of Tuna? Thanks!

  3. hi Maangchi!~
    i was wondering what is in the typical kimbab you see at restaurants?
    i know theres danmu ji and spinach and crab meat
    but is there eggs as well? or is it fish cakes?
    i would love to know how to make the fish cakes if you could
    or do they sell it at korean stores like the crab meat that is the size of the kim =]?

    i love those ones at korean rest. i miss it hehe thanks if you could help ^^

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

      Yes, you can get the fish cake cut into strips for kimbap at a Korean grocery store.
      Traditional fillings for kimbap are cooked ground beef(marinated with bulgogi sauce), carrot, spinach, yellow pickled radish (danmuji), egg… some people use ham,sausage, crab meat.

      I will post more typical Korean style kimbap recipe someday.

      • aw thanks ^^ i will try that some day =] my mom and my sister is a fan of your cooking they wait for new vids like everyday haha. they are delicious i use to eat korean food like everyday when i was in college. thanks for the tip and i hope you have fun on your trip to ^^ be safe and have fun. hope you can take lots of videos and pictures ^^

  4. i made kimbap once by using artificial crabstick, sausages ,carrot, cucumber, fish , squid and i added cheese. it tasted different but i dipped them with soy sauce. it tasted a bit good. do u have other ingredient to add for kimbap? thanks!

  5. Hello Maangchi,
    I was surfing your site, reviewing all the previous recipes, looking at all submitted pictures. Watching the kimbap and triangle kimbap videos made me decide to make kimbap for my supper tonight. I made tuna kimbap and kimchi kimbap. Round up I ate 4 rolls of kimbap (children style–just bite the roll, not cutting in pieces). I am so full now.

  6. HI! I’m Living in South Korea Korean
    I happened to see on YouTube in the Galbijjim was seen
    I think it’s so easy and delicious recipes
    Future, please let us know too much

  7. thats it! tonight its kimbab time !

    But all i have is ham, egg, cucumber, yellow radish, tuna and…and ground beef…

    I guess ill go grab some spinach and crab… lol

  8. How long could kimbap be out for? I plan to make it around 7 AM to serve around 1:00 PM would that be okay or would it need some ice?

  9. i love kimbap.,i want to ask if i could replace the danmu ji with another veggies in case it is not available? what veggies would you suggest? can i skip the avocado part?

    thank you.,

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

      Yes, danmuji ((yellow pickled radish) can be replaced with cucumber.
      Cut cucumber into long strips and add some salt, sugar, and vinegar and mix well. Let it stand for about 5 minutes and dry the each strip with paper towel and use them for kimbap.

  10. Hi! i love your recipe.. but i was wondering with the red pepper paste, is there a way to make them? Or does Korean people just buy them at the store?

  11. hi i’m shiela.. 15 years old from phil.. uhm… i just want to ask if there’s a sheet of laver in the philippines? because i want to do kimbap.. and how much is it? please help me… r u sure it’s called sheet of laver?

  12. I just brought a jar of kimchi in a local grocery store. So how much should i add in the kimchi kimbab?

  13. Thanks for teaching me how to make kimpob, it was good. I was trying to cook it yesterday, and i like it much….

  14. Hi Maangchi, I followed your video to make kimbap last weekend, with some small changes with the stuffing, and it came out well. I blogged about it here: http://eistube.blogspot.com/2009/06/cha-lua-kimbap.html. Your instruction is absolutely wonderful. Thank you!
    Have you tried Vietnamese food?

  15. Hi Maangchi,
    I’m trying to make both of the kimbaps for this Sunday. I wanted to know if I could make the ‘tuna powder’ the night before, leave it in the fridge and use it in the morning. Would that take away the taste or would that be fine?
    BTW, I absolutely looooooooooove your site. I’m new to cooking in general and need as much help as I could get. Your video clips are so helpful for a visual person like moi. :)
    Keep up the great work. I’ve told my friends about your site. :)

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