Kimbap or Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls and Getting Spoiled.



I’m home for the holidays! And this means one thing for certain: We are going to be eating well. Really well. Korean food galore + my dad owns a couple sushi joints so we also eat sushi like crazy. It’s pretty awesome. Whenever my family gets together for a meal at home, we don’t mess around. There’s a ton of food. Everyone always complains that we gain at least 5 lbs. at every visit. Food and cooking and serving each other is definitely an act of love in this family. We cook for and feed each other to show we care and love each other.


I also *of course* LOVE seeing my kids playing with their cousins and with my parents (their grandparents). My husband’s parents are in Heaven so my girls only have one set of grandparents and they get spoiled rotten. Just yesterday Madeline was crying and didn’t want to finish her dinner (which, at home, would mean no dessert (fruit or whatever we were having that night)) but my mom still gave her dessert.


I’ve been cutting down on the juice for the girls simply because I’d rather they drink more milk and water. .  and my sweet mother stocked up on as much as she thought the girls would like and need and bought 2 huge jugs of apple juice (from Costco), loaded up on the fruit and snack crackers. I was actually surprised that my dad didn’t load up on the ice cream because the last time we were visiting he literally had like 3 different flavors of ice cream PLUS HaagenDazs bars. And a lot of them. 


They seriously get so spoiled when they are here, and not just with food and sweets but with hugs, kisses, and just time spent with Grandma and Grandpa. Since we don’t live in the same state (and my brother and sister also live out-of-state), I think the spoiling is okay since our visits are not as frequent as we would like and my parents are getting older. .


Today, we wanted to teach Phoebe how to make kimbap. I make kimbap (just plain) for her and her sister all the time: just dried seaweed wrapped around brown rice. But today, we wanted to show her how it’s really done. Korean Style.  I know she’s only 5 but I know, one day, she will be doing the same thing with her kids.


So, mom and I get everything ready and get the table assembled so we can work quickly, put all the rolls together and eat!  We have all the ingredients cooked and cut and ready to go. .  and Phoebe and Madeline are at the table with us. .  excited . .  because Mom and I are excited.  As we start getting all the kimbap rolls assembled and ready to cut, they *of course* start picking at the spinach ..  and then the eggs. .  and then can’t wait for us to finish so we cut some up and give them some to enjoy. The girls didn’t help much with the kimbap making and who really knows how much Phoebe will remember but they enjoyed some kimbap with me and their grandma, so it was a good day.


So, I’ll let my parents spoil them and give them sweets while we are here. .  because, that’s what Grandparents are for, right? And I am truly thankful for this time and this visit with them over the holidays.


Happy Holidays everyone and I hope you enjoy!


Here’s how you roll, baby:


Once you have everything ready to go and the rice is ready, grab one piece of seaweed and put a thin layer of rice on it. Try to get it as even as possible and have the rice reach all the edges.   A lot of people leave more than an inch (or 2) of dried seaweed at the top with NO rice covering it, so you can do that too and it should help the kimbap roll better. I went a little crazy here with the rice. .




Next, lay in all of your ingredients.



I wasn’t able to capture the actually rolling using the bamboo mat with photos (my apologies). You are basically using the mat to help you create the perfect roll. So, you roll the kimbap with the mat and squeeze pretty firmly so it stays together and then, you keep rolling until you have one roll or log.



Here it is.



Cut Kimbap.





Kimbap or Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls
Prep time

Total time


Variation: you can also use beef (Korean bulgogi) instead of the fish cake. The beauty of Kimbap is that you can add whatever you like. Just veggies, carrots, whatever you want!
Recipe type: Appetizer or Meal
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 4 rolls

  • Dried seaweed (nori)- 4 sheets
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil + more for the spinach
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ pound of spinach, blanched
  • yellow pickled radish, cut into long strips
  • imitation crab, cut into long strips
  • flat fishcake, cut into long strips
  • water
  • Sesame seeds (to sprinkle on at the end; optional)
  • Special equipment: Bamboo mat for rolling

  1. Make your rice according to package instructions. When the rice is almost cooled, mix in the sesame oil and salt. Taste.
  2. Whisk the eggs until evenly yellow and fry into a flat omelet. Cut the cooked egg into long strips. Boil the spinach, cut, season with a little sesame oil and salt (if desired) and set aside.
  3. Once you have all of your filling ingredients ready to go, assemble everything at a table. Lay down the bamboo sushi roller, place the dried seaweed on top and spread about ½ cup of rice onto ⅔ of the seaweed, leaving the top bare
  4. Lay all the ingredients in and using the bamboo mat, roll from the bottom (like you’re rolling a sleeping bag), pressing down firmly to make the fillings stay in.
  5. As you continue to roll, pull the whole thing down towards the end of the bamboo mat.
  6. Dab some water along the top seam of the dried seaweed to hold the roll together and seal it closed. Set the roll aside and continue with other seaweed sheets. Cut each roll into 7-8 pieces. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.











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11 Responses to "Kimbap or Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls and Getting Spoiled."

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  1. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    December 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Those look like perfect and delicious kimbap! I love family food traditions. It’s wonderful you’re making sure to pass them on. : )

    • hipfoodiemom

      December 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Awh, thank you Allison! :) yes, I’m certainly hoping these “stick” with my girls and continue. .

  2. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    December 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Wow, your rolls look so perfect! Mine would surely look a mess if I ever attempted this. I love hearing about how your girls are being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa – it’s totally ok, IMO. It’s Christmas and they rarely get to see them – I say spoil away! That way, you don’t have to do it, you can just sit back and watch 😉 It gives you a much needed bread, mama. Glad to hear you’re having such a fantastic, food-filled time.

    • hipfoodiemom

      December 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you, Nancy! Yes, totally agree. . I love that I can actually check email and relax a little while they play :) it’s also adorable to watch. *warm heart* :)

  3. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    December 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Yummy in my tummy! My family really enjoy kimbap because it simply makes us feel good – well, it’s veggies. :) I should practice more so mine will look as good as yours. Happy holidays, Alice. Glad you finally have some time off your routine.

  4. Brandi @

    December 22, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Everything looks so gorgeous Alice!! Wow! That is so great to hear you are teaching your daughters traditions like this. I bet they have so much fun being spoiled with their grandparents!

  5. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    December 23, 2012 at 2:24 am

    It´s so sweet to pass on your traditions to your girls. It will make a difference in the future, as being spoiled by their grandparents will make for great memories.
    Have the best holidays with your family Alice, it´s so great to have `met´ you! Looking forward to next year.

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  7. Min

    February 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Alice! I can probably eat kimbap everyday for a month..and then I have to move on to something else. But a whole month…I can do that with no problem ^o^.
    Perhaps it’s because I have such fond childhood memories. I spent my childhood in Korea, and when I reflect on my elementary days, I think of (besides the uniform) 소풍. I swear my mom made the tastiest and the prettiest kimbap and I was always the envy of all my friends hehe. Made me so proud..Anyway, the instructions are simple enough but mine def doesn’t look as pretty as hers..or yours! I think it’s cuz I go too crazy with the rice and other ingredients. It always 터져…
    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! It’s so fun and lovely! I started blogging around June of last year and am having a lot of fun with it ;). I look forward to following you from now on!

    • hipfoodiemom

      February 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you, Min!! Likewise! I will be following you as well! I’ve been blogging now *officially* for about a year but full-time since this last July (I quit my job to stay at home with my 2 girls, we had also just moved from CA to WA). . anyway, I love connecting with other sisters . . . so glad we have connected now! :) Also, I too LOVE kimbap and could probably eat it straight for a few weeks. . my mom taught me well! 😛

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