Samgak-gimbap, or triangle-shaped gimbap, is a delicious Korean snack or simple lunch that is fun to make and eat. What makes this gimbap so different is that you make it with a sheet of gim (seaweed paper) that’s wrapped in plastic. The plastic is removed just before you eat, so the gim is fresh and crispy until the last minute.
It’s very popular among Koreans to buy or make, so samgak-gimbap kits are readily available in Korean grocery stores. I originally made a samgak-gimbap recipe in 2009 early in my YouTube period, and in that recipe I used tuna and kimchi. The triangle mold given out in the packages has improved a lot since then, the new ones are much more comfortable to use, as you’ll see in this video. Ever since I made that recipe a lot of people have enjoyed samgak-gimbap from it and I’ve had many requests to update that old low-resolution video. I recently traveled to Rome, Italy and took a day trip to Pompeii and I wasn’t sure where I could eat lunch. It was a good chance to make this samgak-gimbap for myself and also make a video for you guys. It’s so easy to make!
2½ cups of cooked rice made from 1 cup of rice is the perfect amount for 4 samgak-gimbap with either bulgogi or kimchi filling. If you want to make 4 of each just double the rice. The beef version uses bulgogi seasonings and taste, even though the beef is just ground beef. The real secret with that filling is to make it juicy, not dry. Whichever filling you choose, I’m sure you will love this recipe.
- 4 sheets of seaweed paper made for samgak-gimbap
- 2½ cups cooked rice (made with 1 cup of short grain rice) for 4 samgak-gimbap
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
For kimchi filling:
For bulgogi filling:
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 ounces lean ground beef (about ½ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown (or white) sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fluff the freshly made rice and add it to a large bowl.
- Add ½ teaspoon sesame oil and mix it together. Let it cool down.
For fillings, you can use kimchi or bulgogi, or both. If you use both, you will make 8 samgak-gimbap and you need 5 cups cooked rice (made from 2 cups short grain rice).
For kimchi filling:
- Squeeze out excess kimchi brine from the chopped kimchi and put it into a small bowl.
- Add the gochujang, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and sesame seeds.
- Mix well and set aside.
For beef filling:
- Heat a small pan over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ground beef, and garlic.
- Cook for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until the beef is no longer pink.
- Stir in soy sauce, sugar, and ground black pepper. Cook another minute until flavorful but still a little juicy.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
Wrap it up:
- Divide the rice into 4 portions.
- Take a sheet of seaweed wrapped in plastic paper, and find the side with the numbers. Put it on a cutting board, with the numbers side down and #1 pointing away from you, at the top of the sheet.
- Place the triangular mold on the gim, in the middle of the sheet and towards the top. The point of the mold should point away from you, and towards the #1.
- Add about ⅔ of a portion of the rice into to the mold. Flatten the rice with a small spoon and make a little indent in the middle, to put your filling.
- Add about 2 tablespoons filling (kimchi or beef) to the center, in the indent. Add the rest of the portion of the rice over top and flatten it gently.
- Take the triangular press and gently put it into the mold and firmly press down on the rice with enough pressure that the rice sticks together. Don’t squash your rice! Just a little pressure is enough.
- Slowly lift the mold and take it away, while you keep your other hand on the press to keep the rice down.
- Remove the press, and you should have a nice triangle of rice with some fillings in the middle. Fold the sheet over the rice. Start with the bottom of the sheet, lifting it up over the rice, towards the #1. Then fold up the sides and keep them in place with a sticker provided with the samgak-gimbap gim package.
- Make 3 more samgak gimbap with the rest of rice and the fillings.
How to eat:
- Look for #1 on the side of the packet. Pull the tab and the plastic will peel off. Remove the sticker, too
- Gently remove the side of #2 and #3 plastic, leaving the crispy seaweed and rice. Place the seaweed back to the rice and eat.