Gimbap is essentially the Korean version of sushi, but arguably even tastier. It’s a simple roll made of rice and fillings, all wrapped in dry seaweed. It’s the ultimate street food in Korea, as ubiquitous as hot dogs are in New York. It’s not difficult to see why; it’s the ultimate convenient food-cheap, tasty, and nutritious. With gimbap, you can get your rice, veggies, and protein all in one handy, individually portioned bite.
Its preparation is relatively simple, with no fancy ingredients necessary. White rice is seasoned with sesame salt and oil, and then rolled with fillings in a sheet of laver. It’s easy to incorporate a variety of different ingredients and flavors, depending on your preferences. Standard fillings include fried egg and various vegetables, usually carrot, spinach, and radish. However, you’ll find many fun variations, such as kimchi, canned tuna, cheese, and even fried chicken with mayonnaise. It’s virtually impossible for gimbap to not taste delicious.
For most Koreans, it’s a comfort food packed with nostalgia, reminding people of their childhoods and outdoor picnic fun. During production, it was one of the crew’s go-to snacks. Much like popular dishes such as bibimbap and mandu, it’s one of Korean food’s international superstars, and it’s at the top of our list for cheap, good eats.