Soy-Marinated Salmon Gimbap Recipe

Sesame-seasoned rice is rolled with toasted seaweed, crunchy veggies, and a fluffy omelet, then sliced and served with cured salmon and a zippy horseradish mayo.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hour 
Total time: 2 ½ hours


for the soy marinade:
1 cup|250 ml soy sauce
1 cup|250 ml mirin 
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
1 (½-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 scallion, trimmed, halved, and smashed
1 dried Thai chile
12 ounces|340 grams salmon


for the pickled jalapenos: 
¾ cups|177 ml reserved soy marinade 
1 ½ tablespoons distilled white vinegar 
2 ¼ teaspoons granulated sugar
3 jalapenos, seeded and julienned

for the rice: 
1 ½ cups|330 grams short-grain rice
1 tablespoon sesame oil 
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 
kosher salt, to taste

for the horseradish mayo: 
½ cup|115 grams Japanese mayonnaise 
1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce 
1 ½ teaspoons preserved horseradish 
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice

for the gimbap:
5 large eggs 
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons canola oil 
1 English cucumber
6 toasted seaweed sheets
1 bunch chives
pickled jalapenos 
sesame oil, to taste
2 tablespoons everything spice 


  1. Make the soy marinade: Place the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic, scallions, chilies, and 1 ½ cups|375 ml water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 20 minutes, then strain and cool. 
  2. Remove the skin from the salmon, then cut it in half lengthwise separating the loin and the belly. Slice the salmon into ¼-inch thick pieces. Place the salmon in a small bowl, then place 1 ½ cups|375 ml of the chilled marinade over the top, reserving the rest of the marinade in a separate bowl for the pickled jalapenos. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 ½ hours. 
  3. Make the pickled jalapenos: Combine the remaining marinade with the white vinegar and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high. Bring to a boil, add the jalapenos. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 
  4. Make the rice: Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker along with 1 ½ cups|375 ml water and cook 30 minutes, or until the rice cooker finishes cooking the rice. Alternatively, in a large saucepan, bring the rice and 1 ½ cups|375 ml water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until cooked, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff the rice. Cut in the sesame oil and sesame seeds and season with salt. 
  5. Make the horseradish mayonnaise: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, fish sauce, horseradish, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl with the mirin, then whisk until smooth. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium. Pour ¼ cup|60 ml of the egg mixture into a thin layer and cook until about 90% set, about 1 minute. Roll up into an omelet, remove from the heat, and reserve. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture. Wrap a bamboo sushi mat in plastic wrap, pressing it against the side of a countertop to get rid of excess air. Roll the omelets in the sushi mat to allow them to set for 5 minutes. 
  7. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, and then into ½-inch long strips. Cut off the seeded edge, and then into another half if the cucumber is large. 
  8. Place a piece of seaweed on the sushi mat. Wet your hands, shaking off excess water. Sheet ¾ cup|150 grams of the cooked, seasoned rice onto the non-shiny side of a sheet of toasted seaweed, stopping ¾ of the way from the top. Put a ½ piece of seaweed in the center of the rice and place one omelet across, some pickled jalapenos, a few chives, and 1 piece of cucumber. Gently hold the corner of the seaweed and roll the gimbap up from the bottom, ensuring the end piece of the seaweed is inside of the gimbap, and using the sushi mat to help shape and tighten the gimbap. Brush a small amount of sesame oil over the kimbap. Thinly slice into about 12 (½-inch) thick pieces. 
  9. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the horseradish mayo into the bottom of a separate, small serving bowl or ramekin. Place a few pieces of the salmon on a paper towel to get rid of any excess liquid. Fold the salmon in half and build them on top of the mayo in the ramekins. Finish with the everything spice on top. 

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