Folded gimbap: it’s the latest TikTok trend doing the rounds so I had to give it a whirl! This Korean dish is like a mash-up between sushi and a sandwich, and I am here for it. This recipe is for my budget-friendly version – ideal for lunchboxes and everyday snackage – although you can totally choose your own adventure when it comes to fillings. In fact, watch the vid for my fun affordable vs luxury take on things for the ultimate inspo!
Spam, cut into 4 slices roughly 1cm (⅜”) thick
vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked sushi rice (find instructions on how to cook sushi rice here)
½ cup kimchi (store-bought or try my homemade kimchi recipe here)
Set up your crumbing station by putting the plain flour and breadcrumbs onto two separate large plates or trays. Crack two eggs into another shallow bowl and lightly whisk.
Take a piece of Spam, and lightly dust in flour. Transfer to the egg mixture and coat, then coat in panko breadcrumbs. Transfer crumbed Spam to a large clean tray and repeat with the remaining Spam slices. Place tray in the fridge while you prep the remaining ingredients.
With the other four eggs, separate the yolks from the whites into two bowls. Give each component a light whisk.
Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil. Pour in the egg whites and swirl around the pan to cover the entire base. Leaving to set, gently cook the one side, then carefully flip the eggwhite omelette over to cook the other side (I find this easier with the help of a plate – see what I mean by watching the video!). Once done, carefully transfer to a chopping board. Repeat process to cook the egg yolk omelette.
Take a sheet of nori and, using scissors, cut it into quarters. Using one quadrant as a template, carefully cut out a square of yolk and a square of eggwhite omelette using a kitchen knife. Discard (or eat!) trimmings. Next, cut each omelette square on the diagonals to form four triangles.
Fill a wok or large saucepan half way with vegetable oil and turn onto medium high heat. To test if the oil is hot enough, place the bottom of a wooden spoon in and wait for gentle bubbles. Remove tray of Spam from the fridge. Carefully lower in the Spam slices to the hot oil and, flipping often, cook until the crumbs are lovely and golden. Transfer to a baking tray lined with kitchen paper to drain and sprinkle with sea salt.
Take another sheet of nori and lay it flat on your work surface. Using scissors, and starting from halfway along the edge nearest you, cut up to the centre of the sheet. In the bottom left quadrant, add a neat layer of cooked sushi rice. Top with one of the nori squares from earlier. Now add some kimchi on top of the nori square and flatten out to a thin layer. Now add two crumbed Spam slices, side by side, to the quadrant above. Working in a clockwise direction, in the next quadrant (upper right), form a square out of the egg triangles, alternating between yolk and white. In the final quadrant, add some butter lettuce.
Now it’s time for the folding! Starting at the bottom left, carefully fold the rice square on top of the Spam. Now take that and fold over the egg, then complete the sandwich by folding down on top of the lettuce. Tip: if you find there isn’t much nori ‘bread’ once folded (especially if you’re an overstuffer like me!), cheat a little bit by snipping a slice out of one of your nori squares and add to your gimbap. Wrap the whole creation tightly in cling wrap to compress it slightly. Slice on the diagonal, then remove cling wrap. Take a minute to appreciate your stunner of a sanga, then tuck in!
Gimbap, which is sometimes called kimbap, is a Korean dish that shares a range of similarities to sushi. One of the main differences though is that gimbap traditionally uses a rice that is flavoured with sesame and is sweeter than your traditional sushi rice. Gimbap is traditionally filled with ham (or Spam), pickled daikon and kimchi. For a luxe version, watch this video of mine!