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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

A Kimbap-Sushi Hybrid

This was one of the dishes I served for our Valentines' Date Night In. But it's on our table often.

I have always called this 'Kimbap' and I have always made my version with a vinegar-seasoned rice, akin to sushi rice, just swapping out the fishy fillings for vegetables, eggs, and sliced beef. That seemed to make sense to me. However, kimbap has an entirely different rice base. Whoops!

Instead of a vinegar-seasoned rice, kimbap is made with rice simply seasoned with sesame oil and salt. But as we really like the tang of vinegar, I now make a hybrid version of the seasoned rice with vinegar and sesame oil for dish.

My Hybrid Seasoned Rice

  • 2 cups short grain rice (sushi rice)

  • 2 cups water plus more for soaking

  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar or other white vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon organic granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil to taste

  • Also needed: paper fans, wooden spoons, and a non-aluminum pan

Wash rice and soak in water 2 hours or longer. Once you're ready to cook, drain the rice and set aside.

Put water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add drained rice. Mix well, cover, and bring to a boil again Turn heat very low and steam 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes after turning off heat. Turn the rice into a large, wide bowl or pan.

Heat vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool and whisk in 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Fold into hot rice being careful not to mash the rice grains. Fan the rice and cool completely. The rice should be coated with the vinegar and glossy. Taste and, if needed, add in another teaspoon of sesame oil.


I use an assortment of fillings including egg omelet, a variety of pickled vegetables, and my non-traditional version of seasoned rice.

  • thinly sliced vegetables, both cooked, raw, and pickled (I used fresh cucumbers, pickled sprouts, pickled radish, sauteed spinach, and roasted sweet potato)

  • rolled egg omelet

  • imitation crab

  • a batch of seasoned rice

  • seaweed sheets (nori)

  • Also needed: sushi rolling mat

Place a sushi rolling mat on a work surface and top with a sheet of nori. Scoop 3/4 cup rice on the sheet and press rice to the edge of the nori.

Arrange a small amount of fillings in a row about 1-1/2" from bottom edge of nori sheet.

Roll up rice mixture over filling, using the bamboo mat to lift and compress the mixture while rolling until you have a uniform cylinder.

Place the roll, seam-side down, onto a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the rolls into eight pieces.

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