If there is something I miss dearly about Korea, it’s their convenience stores. They were the most amazing little stores I’ve ever walked into! I’m sure to the locals they are no big deal, but when you have nothing close to that in Southern California, let me tell you, IT’S A BIG DEAL. Where we stayed during our trip to Korea, there was a GS25 convenience store right at the entrance to our apartment, the amount of times I have wished a GS25 was just an elevator ride away are too many to count. One of the many things I miss is the gimbap. The delicious rolls available with so many different ingredients to choose from. They were so cheap, so good, so nutritious, can we please get a GS25 in Southern California, my local city to be exact?
I’ll keep dreaming, the best we get is having a local asian market, and trust me I don’t take ours for granted. Here’s my recipe for convenience store style tuna gimbap. Something you can typically make at home, easy peasy, and be able to find the ingredients at your local grocery store, all but one ingredient that is only available at Asian markets, but the gimbap is still good without it, and if you can obtain it, it’s EVEN BETTER.
What You Will Need
- Sushi Roll Mat – You can buy one here.
- Sharp Knife
- 1 and a half cup of Jasmine Rice or a short grain rice for Sushi (I find that Jasmine rice works fine for me though people will tell you otherwise!)
- Roasted seaweed packet
- 7 oz can of Tuna
- 2 or 3 Carrots (depending on the size) cut into sticks
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- Toasted Sesame seeds (Optional)
- Imitation crab legs (You will only be using half of the 12 oz packet)
- Yellow Danmuji (This really gives it that authentic Korean style taste, so if you can find it, please do use it)
This recipe makes about 6 rolls, if you wish to make the whole packet of roasted seaweed sheets, you want to double up on all the ingredients.
Funny side story before we begin, I first made gimbap for the first time back in high school, let me tell you as good as my attempt was, I AM WAY better at making the rolls now, it’s been YEARS, so don’t be discouraged if your first try isn’t perfect!
Let’s get to it!
You want to make your rice first. I have a handy dandy RICE COOKER (you can get the same one I have here, it’s a TOTAL game changer, but if you don’t own one, it’s not hard to make rice on the stove, if you need some help on how to make the perfect rice, check out this article here.
While you are waiting for your rice to cook, you want to begin cutting up your carrots.
You then want to sauté your carrots with just a little bit of oil of your choice, I use vegetable oil, and you want to just sprinkle them with a little salt, cook them until they are tender but not overly soft.
After you are done making your rice, you want to put it into another container so it can begin to cool down. Afterwards you want to add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and mix it in well, this is a key difference between sushi and gimbap, you flavor the rice very differently!
Set the rice aside and get started on your egg omelet. Just two eggs, some salt, oil, and let it form a nice little sheet, you will then be cutting this into little strips.
Next, you want to prepare the tuna, strain the tuna well and add 2 tablespoons of mayo, that’s it! But if you want to add a little kick, you can add 1 teaspoon of Gochugaru which are Korean style pepper flakes, or, if you don’t have that home but have some sriracha, you can add a teaspoon worth and mix well.
You now have everything to get started!
You will want to place your sheet of seaweed on the mat and coat it with rice.
It doesn’t have to be thickly coated.
Then you want assemble the ingredients like so…
Roll it tightly, and set it aside to cut later!
When you’re ready to cut the pieces, you want to make sure your knife is coated with a little bit of oil and that the knife is sharp! Trust me, it will make the whole process easier!
And… you’re done! Yes, it takes way longer than it would if we just went downstairs or across the street to GS25 or CU, but it’s the best we’ve got! Enjoy!