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. megahalim Singapore joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Thanks for showing us how to make kimbap by looking at the video clip. It makes it clearer and easier to understand how to make it. Your Kimbap looks delicious. I am gonna try it over the weekend. Once again Thanks.

  2. mase kul joined 12/10 & has 13 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    I can never get the amount of rice for one roll of kimbap right. I normally roll the rice with crab stick, cucumber, danmooji and omellete. By the time I finish rolling, it will be as fat as a baseball bat.
    That star-shaped kimbap is awesome – how did they do it?

    Love kimchee kimbap too.

  3. Johannah125 Seoul korea joined 11/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi!
    i use to buy kimbap before but since i tried making kimbap last night
    i think ill be doing it again… my husband and my friends love it…
    they said its even yummier than the one can be bought at mart… :)
    thanks to you…
    oh by the way, since i wasnt able to find avocado… i replaced it to cucumber and added a strip of ham :)

    Again thank you so much :)

  4. jane_p20 toronto joined 9/10 & has 4 comments

    hi Maangchi. your website is making me crazy! i’ve been going on cooking frenzy for the past two days. hahaha. i’ve made 7 different side dishes including the kimchi. i’ve made the grilled mackarel, tofu soup, pork bone soup,spicy pork, cabbage soup…my mom and dad are ecstatic because we’ve been eating lunch and dinner as if we are in a korean restaurant complete with 5 side dishes. lol …im going gaga maangchi! i love you! lol, everything is fantastic.

    with regards to kimbap. what is the difference with the korean kimbap to the japanese maki? can i use raw fish and fish roe instead of the cooked meat? and can i roll the kimbap with the rice on the outside and the meat and seaweed wrap on the inside? will that still be considered kimbap? thank you maangchi! <3

  5. Multiexponential Malaysia joined 8/10 & has 3 comments

    I was wondering if the crabmeat you used in your kimbap is cooked or raw?

  6. Downstack North Carolina joined 8/10 & has 4 comments

    I finally got the chance to try making kimbap, and it was successful on my first try! Your website is great and very comprehensive. I’ve been wanting to cook Korean food, but my only cookbook is in Korean, so it’s difficult for me to understand the unusual ingredients. I’m going to try more of your recipes in the future!

  7. susymadino Oaxaca, Mexico joined 4/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!! I’m from Mexico. I really don’t have too mucho time to cook, but I made some time and I prepared your tuna kimbap and let me tell you, is delicious!! I even use yellow radish!! My friend Saina got it for me in Mexico City. In this little city is very difficult to get some ingredients, but I do my best. I’m almost an expert preparing your recipe of hoddeok, my friends just love it. Thank you for everything!!

  8. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Hi Maangchi !!

    I just made these wonderful kimbap today , but instead with tuna , i made them with bulgogi beef , spinach , eggs ,carrots and cucumber , they turned out so yummy . I shared some with some friends and they loved it , my husband loves it too . Thanks so much to show us the video how to make these yummy kimbap .. oh and i’ve tried your bibimbap too , my 5 years old loves it !! You rock !!

  9. fholyn south korea joined 5/10 & has 4 comments

    안녕 하새요 Maangchi….:)
    I am a philipine girl and my husband is korean. i am currently here now in korea.im so thankfull that i found your wedsite. its very helpfull for me. now i know how to cook a korean food. specialy kimbap! and my husband was so happy that i cook it. it was very delicious. thank you so much Maangchi! :)..조심 하새요….

  10. LISARRHH Australia joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    hi thank you for such a good recipe ^^
    but im not a fan of tuna so i want to use ham ~
    but what kind of ham is it o.o
    is it ham or spam xD?

  11. laundrygirl california joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    im getting hungry! i came across your channel on youtube cause i was searching videos on how to make cucumber kimchi. everything you made looked so delicious. ive been wanting to make kimbap and tomorrow im going to the market to make it. wish me luck!

  12. Natasha Febriana Seattle, USA joined 1/10 & has 4 comments

    unnie~ here’s my kimbap lunch a few days ago :D


    with danmuji, crabstick and egg.. my friend ate it too XD

  13. pvDesi socal joined 1/10 & has 2 comments

    Just caught your video. May i suggest that you cover your bamboo mat with saran wrap. Makes even less mess on your mat Thank you for videos, can’t wait to try.

  14. Hi Maangchi,
    For more traditional Kimbap using beef, egg, danmuji etc. what seasoning should I use for the rice?
    I usually use just sesame oil and salt, is that considered the correct seasoning for traditional Kimbap?
    Thank you!

  15. I grew up with my grandmothers food. I remember the kimchi and kimbap but my grandmother would make some for me with ground beef and vegetables or sometimes even hotdogs! i think it tastes good with any ingredients in the middle. I love your website i have started making the food i grew up on for my family now!

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