Gimbap or Onigirazu Recipe

When I cook bibimbap at home, I like to double the recipe. That is because I can use the same ingredients to make Gimbap or Onigirazu. Using one recipe and serving it 3 ways allows me to present the same foods to Mr. Chau without worrying that the meals are too repetitive. That’s because each presentation is slightly different.

What is a Gimbap?

How to make gimbap recipe

“Gim” means seaweed and “bap” means rice. So basically, gimbap is a Korean dish where ingredients and rice are rolled and wrapped together with seaweed. If you are thinking “Hey, isn’t that sushi roll?”, then you’re on the right track. For me, gimbap is very similar to the Japanese Futomaki. The gimbap I’ve seen from stores are usually filled with cooked or pickled vegetables. In this recipe, I fill my gimbap with beef, eggs, and cooked vegetables. Instead of beef, you can try using tofu, chicken or seafood.

What is an Onigirazu?

How to make onigirazau recipe

I describe onigirazu as a rice ball sandwich wrapped with a piece of nori or seaweed on the outside. Place whatever filling you want between 2 scoops of rice. Then wrap the rice with a piece of seaweed so it resembles a parcel. When you cut the parcel in half, the cross section looks like a sandwich. Watch this video on how to form onigirazu from Just One Cookbook. Nami has an awesome picture tutorial on how to position the food so it looks nice once you cut the onigirazu in half.

Making Gimbap or Onigirazu

Korean bibimbap bento lunch box recipe - Ingredients

For this recipe, I’m using the same ingredients that I used in my bibimbap dish. But feel free to be creative! Use your favourite ingredients or try something new. The one new ingredient for this recipe is the use of toasted seaweed or nori. You can usually find packaged seaweed that is already toasted from Asian supermarkets. Once opened, keep the seaweed in a zipped lock bag to keep it from going stale. If it’s not as crispy as you’d like, you can lightly toast the seaweed on your stove top.

In addition to using seaweed sheets, you’d also need a sushi mat to make the gimbap. While you could try rolling the rice without one, having the sushi mat will make it much easier.

Gimbap or Onigirazu Recipe

Using the same ingredients you can make either gimbap a Korean rice roll dish or onigirazu a Japanese rice sandwich!

Course: Main, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean
Author: Jan Chan
  • 1 large bunch of spinach
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large carrot, julienned
  • 350g beef, sliced (buy pre-sliced beef for shabu shabu or bulgogi)
  • 2 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3-4 servings of cooked rice
  • 3-4 nori or seaweed sheets (I buy the ones that are already toasted)
Seasoning for Beef:
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ground pepper, to taste
Seasoning for Shiitake Mushrooms:
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ground pepper, to taste
Seasoning for Spinach:
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
Gochujang Sauce (optional):
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions for cooking the toppings:
  1. Marinate the beef using the beef seasoning ingredients. Let marinate for 15 - 20 minutes.

  2. Marinate the mushroom using the mushroom seasoning ingredients. Let marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.

  3. Blanch spinach in a pot of boiling water. Immediately add them to an ice bath (or bowl of cold water) to stop the cooking process. If using cold water, you'll need to change the water several times to bring the temperature down. Once cooled, squeeze out as much water as you can from the spinach and add it to a bowl. Add in the spinach seasoning ingredients and mix well.

  4. In a nonstick pan, cook beaten eggs into a large omelet. Let cool to room temperature then slice into thin strips.

  5. In the same pan, saute the carrots until soft, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  6. In the same pan, cook the mushrooms. Set aside.

  7. In the same pan, cook the beef, in batches if necessary. Set aside.

Assemble the Gimbap:
  1. Put 1 seaweed sheet on top of a sushi mat and spread a thin layer of cooked rice on top. Add the carrots, beef, spinach, eggs, and mushrooms in a roll one after another starting from the edge closest to you. Roll the sushi beginning with the edge closest to you, making sure to wrap/press tightly so everything holds together. Slice and serve.

To assemble Onigirazu:
  1. Put a piece of plastic wrap on your counter, then put a piece of nori sheet on top of the plastic wrap. The nori sheet should be positioned where the corners are facing north, south, east and west. Ie. One of the corners should be facing you and one away from you. 

  2. Place about 3-4 tablespoons of rice in the middle of the seaweed and shape it into a square. Then layer the veggies, eggs, and beef on top of the rice. Drizzle a little bit of gochujang sauce on the toppings if you like spicy food (optional). Add another layer of rice on top, then wrap the rice sandwich up by pulling the corners of the seaweed towards the middle. I usually start with the left and right corners, follow by the bottom and top corners. Use the plastic wrap to keep everything wrapped up tightly. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting it in half (do not remove the plastic wrap). Serve with plastic wrap in tack as it helps keep everything together.

Recipe Notes

Check out my bibimbap recipe which uses the same ingredients!