Quinoa Korean Gimbap/Kimbap {recipe}


We are eating 30 Days of Quinoa this month. This is no. 25. See the rest of the quinoa dishes >> here <<

It was bound to happen…

If we make a Korean Bibimbap with Quinoa, and then roll our own sushi, then you know the perfect hybrid of rolling Korean Gimbap — or it kimbap? or quimbap? — was somehow going to happen in the TasteSpotting Kitchen.
While most quinoa dishes are okay to substitute with any kind of quinoa, this one does best with the white quinoa, which seems to “stick” together the best. In fact, I wouldn’t even try rolling any type of sushi with either the red or black quinoa. Even the white quinoa though, doesn’t stick anywhere as well as the short grain Asian rices, so rolling these gimbaps requires some patience.

We made our gimbap with as “traditional” fillings as we could, which, if you think about it, are basically all the toppings on Korean bibimbap. We replaced beef with a ginger and soy marinated tofu. Carrots, pickled radish (the yellow part) and spinach are standard. We used kale instead spinach and added sauteed shiitake mushrooms. You can pretty much roll in anything you like.

Quinoa Gimbap/Kimbap Recipe

Gimbap is more of a template than a recipe. Start with seasoned steamed white rice (in this case, quinoa) spread over nori, then top with any number of vegetables, tofu and/or chopped bulgogi for protein. The hard part is rolling the gimbap. It’s not super easy even when it’s regular rice; with quinoa it’s a little trickier. The grains don’t stick together as well, but you can do it.

serves 2


3 cups cooked quinoa, warm
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

For Fillings:

2 large carrots, julienned, then dropping in boiling water for 10 seconds
8 ounces shiitakes mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in a little bit of oil
dak-wan (Korean pickled radish), sliced into ½-inch by ½-inch wide strips
bunch of kale, leaves stripped, very thinly sliced, and dropped into boiling water for 30 seconds
tofu, sliced into ½-inch by ½-inch wide strips (if you’d like, marinate the strips overnight in a little bit of soy sauce with sesame oil and grated fresh ginger)

nori sheets


Sprinkle vinegar, sugar and sesame oil over warm quinoa. Toss gently to coat the quinoa.

For each roll, place a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat. Add about ¼ cup of the seasoned quinoa to the nori, spreading to side edges of nori and leaving about half an inch of space at eh top and bottom. Press the quinoa down gently.

On the side closer to you, arrange the fillings, keeping them fairly close together.

Using your fingers and the bamboo rolling mat, tightly roll the gimbap away from you. The quinoa will fall out. The nori might tear. You may not get it to roll the first time. Eat the messed up ones and keep trying.

Press the complete gimbap roll in side the bamboo rolling mat together. Continue rolling. You will have some fillings leftover. Just eat them. Or save them to throw together an impromptu bibimquinoa later.

Cut each gimbap roll cross-wise into pieces using a very sharp, very clean knife.

by Sarah J. Gim on May 31, 2012 · 9 comments

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

pachia May 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm

its Kimbap, with a K. But.. same thing :) And this is a great idea!!! what a healthy alternative to an easy and yummy lunch idea.


Sarah J. Gim May 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm

but when you say it in Korean, doesn’t it sound like a hard “g?” that’s why my last name is “gim.” :D

thyme (Sarah) May 31, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I can’t wait to show this to my son in the morning. We’ve given up white rice and lowered our carbs considerably. He adores sushi and we’ve been trying to eat it with only “fillings”. Why didn’t I think of quinoa? Fantastic.


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Wow, this is so incredibly innovative! I absolutely cannot wait to try this :)


Lorie June 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Love this idea! Iwas going to join a vegen get together and really did’nt know what to bring. Thanks so much!


Tammi Kibler June 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

“The quinoa will fall out. The nori might tear. You may not get it to roll the first time. Eat the messed up ones and keep trying.”

Those words may be just what I needed to summon up the courage to try rolling sushi.

Thanks for sharing!


me June 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

@Tammi Kibler. You need to buy a sushi rolling bamboo mat. that will definitely aid in the rolling process !


Artesanatos August 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

That’s awesome! I love with some shoyu sauce.


Dayana Chuang June 1, 2012 at 5:17 am

Yup. It’s spelled 김밥. (ㄱ gi-yeok) Just like “Gim”/Kim. :) Can’t wait to try this! Korean mommy will get a kick out of using quinoa.


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