Vegetarian Gimbap Recipe

The version of the classic Korean dish features cooked rice rolled in seaweed and filled with a soft omelet, pickled daikon, and crunchy pea shoots.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 4
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


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

for the gimbap: 
4 ounces|115 grams baby pea shoots
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil 
kosher salt, to taste
sesame oil, to taste
1 garlic clove
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon mirin
4 ounces|115 grams danmuji
6 toasted seaweed sheets
habanero hot sauce, to serve
lime wedges, to serve



  1. Make the rice: Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Transfer to a rice cooker 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, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and fluff the rice. Cut in the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and season with salt. 
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high. Toss the pea shoots with 1 teaspoon of the canola oil and season with salt, then add to the pan and cook until lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Lay the pea shoots flat on a sheet tray and cool completely. Season with sesame oil and salt and grate the garlic clove over the top. Mix well and cool completely. 
  3. 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, using more canola as needed. 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. 
  4. Cut the danmuji into ½-inch-wide strips the length of the seaweed.
  5. Place a piece of seaweed on the sushi mat. Wet your hands, shaking off excess water. Sheet about ¾ cup|140 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 1 omelet across. Build ¼ cup|15 grams of the pea shoots and 2 pieces of danmuji on top. 
  6. 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. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some flaky sea salt. Serve with the hot sauce and lime wedges.

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