Korean Language Blog

Kimbap: a Bite Size Korean Food Brings a Mouthful of Joy Posted by on Apr 5, 2018 in Korean Language, Vocabulary

Have you ever tried Korean snack food called Kimbap (김밥)? Sesame seasoned bap ( – rice) and various ingredients rolled in dried gim ( – seaweed), 김밥 is one of the most beloved snack to many Korean people.

Photo by KLM

Growing up in Korea, I used to look forward to having my mom’s homemade  김밥  for my school picnic. On the morning of my school picnic, I did not need an alarm to wake up. I was automatically drawn to the kitchen, which was filled with the savory smell of 김밥  ingredients: the nutty smell of warm steamed rice mixed with sesame oil and sweet and sour smell of pickled radishes worked better than an alarm clock in the morning.

김밥  is usually considered as a snack food, but it can become a quick, tasty, and inexpensive meal for you and the whole family. Korean people often enjoy eating their homemade 김밥  together as a meal. If you don’t know how to make 김밥, it is not difficult to find places that serve 김밥  in Korea: food courts, convenient stores, traditional markets, and boon-shik-jip (분식집 – restaurants that specialize in Korean snack foods).

The above picture shows traditional 김밥  that my mom made recently. She usually prepares the following ingredients for her 김밥 :

  1. gim ( – seaweed)
  2. bap ( – rice)
  3. gye-ran (계란 – egg)
  4. ham ( – ham)
  5. ge-mot-sal (게맛살 – imitation crab meat)
  6. dan-moo-ji (단무지–pickled radish)
  7. dang-geun (당근 – carrot)
  8. si-geum-chi (시금치 – spinach)
  9. oh-ee (오이 – cucumber)

Photo by KLM

However, there are various versions of 김밥  depending on the main ingredients. you can customized  김밥  with your preferred ingredients. These are some of the popular variations of 김밥 :

  1. cham-chee Kimbap (참치 김밥 – tuna Kimbap)
  2. Bulgoki Kimbap (불고기 김밥 – Bulgoki Kimbap)
  3. chee-seu Kimbap (치즈 김밥 – cheese Kimbap)
  4. Kimchi Kimbap (김치 김밥 – Kimchi Kimbap)
  5. mo-deum Kimbap (모듬 김밥 – combination Kimbap)
  6. ya-chae Kimbap (야채 김밥 – vegetable Kimbap)
  7. noo-deu Kimbap (누드 김밥 – nude Kimbap: inside out version of regular Kimbap, rice is outside and seaweed inside. )

Kimbap is convenient, cheap, and delicious food that many people love to enjoy. Korean people also enjoy eating  김밥  with other snack food such as,

  1. ramyun (라면 – instant noodle),
  2. Teok-bbok-ki (떡볶이 – a Korean snack food: a chewy rice cake dish covered with a spicy and sweet flavored sauce)
  3. mandoo (만두 – Korean Dumplings)
  4. oh-deng-gook (오뎅국 – fish cake soup).

Talking about  김밥  makes my mouth water, and I am getting hungry for 김밥. I plan to try my favorite 모듬 김밥  and 참치 김밥 tomorrow. What is your favorite 김밥?

감사합니다. (Thank you!)

Keep learning Korean with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...


  1. Alpha Sierra:

    This makes you learn current live subjects.

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Alpha Sierra An-nyeong-ha-se-yo!(안녕하세요!– Hello!)
      Thank you very much for your comment. I have tried to make this Korean blog as useful as possible for Korean learners, so I was very happy to hear your thought about this article.
      Kam-sa-hap-ni-da. (감사합니다-Thank you.)

      • Kyung-Hwa:

        @Kyung-Hwa An-nyeong-ha-se-yo!!! (Hello!!!)
        Thank you very much for showing interested in the Korean language and culture.
        I hope you had a wonderufl experience in Korea.
        Is Kimbap one of your favorite Korean food?