Ugly Delicious Kimbap Recipe

All Koreans love their moms’ kimbap recipe, but what if you have to make it on your own? This was my husband’s dilemma as he weighed his love of kimbap with his aversion to cooking. Contrary to what Korean ajummas will tell you, kimbap takes a ton of work.

I prefer to leave kimbap making to my own mom who effortlessly makes perfect kimbap every time. Unfortunately my husband has a strange obsession with this dish and truly lusts after it as if it were a gourmet meal.

Kimbap Recipe
Mrs. Chung’s (aka Mom’s) perfect bulgogi kimbap.

Since my mom lives 1,000 miles away, our solution to my husband’s longing is to work as a team. I prepare the ingredients and pass the baton to him to run the critical last leg of rolling up the bountiful logs of deliciousness. David Chang coined the term ‘ugly delicious’ and inspired thousands of home cooks to try different recipes and not worry about how it looks. Our kimbap falls in this category – far from perfect but definitely delicious.

Kimbap Recipe

If you follow my recipes you already know my fondness for pre-prepped ingredients such as shredded carrots and pre-washed spinach. This is key to simplifying the kimbap making process. Why not just buy kimbap you ask? Most of the kimbap available near us is made with ham and imitation crab and loaded with a lot of salt and oil. We prefer bulgogi kimbap that is low in sodium so our only option is to make it ourselves.

Kimbap Recipe

We love treating ourselves to our ugly delicious kimbap recipe with a glass of wine and some pickled ginger while watching K Dramas. If you’re feeling the craving, recruit a partner, channel David Chang, and try this easy kimbap recipe.

Easy Kimbap Recipe

Kimbap Recipe

Easy Kimbap Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6 Rolls (2 Servings)


  • 6 Sheets Dried Seaweed Sheets (Sushi Nori)
  • 6 Oz Carrots, Jullienned
  • 6 Oz Pre Washed Spinach
  • 6 Oz Cucumbers, Julienned
  • 6 Oz Cooked Bulgogi.
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • 6 Oz Danmuji (Pickled Radish/Dakwang)
  • 3 Cups White Rice, Cooked
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • 3/4 tsp Salt


  • Blanch the spinach in rapidly boiling water (30 seconds). Drain the water and cool the spinach with cold water. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove any excess water. Put the spinach into a bowl. Add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil then mix well.
  • Lightly oil a heated pan and add the beaten eggs. Move the pan to evenly distribute the egg and create a thin even layer. Cook about a minute and flip to cook the other side. Remove from pan.
  • Using the same pan, add a bit more oil and cook the julienned carrots over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
  • Place the rice in a mixing bown and add 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds. Mix well.
  • Create a kimbap rolling station placing a bamboo rolling mat on a cutting board. Place a sheet of dried seaweed on the mat and cover evenly with a thin layer of rice. Leave about 2 inches at the top uncovered.
  • Place the vegetables, egg and meat lengthwise evenly at the center of the rice.
  • Tightly roll up the kimbap to create a log and lightly squeeze the bamboo mat all over to push all the ingredients together. Set aside the logs seamside down to let moisture seal the logs.
  • After all the logs are rolled, cut into slices and enjoy!

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