The tuna filling is typically made similar to tuna salad with mayonnaise and other ingredients. I added a bit of dijon mustard, lemon juice, and diced celery. You can also add a bit of diced onion if you want. Since it’s going inside the rice, you don’t want to make the tuna too watery. Hold back from using the amount of mayonnaise and other wetingredients from your favorite tuna salad recipe.
You can also add other typical gimbap ingredients such as egg, eomuk (fish cake), pickled radish, carrot, and/or spinach. In this recipe, I used romaine lettuce, perilla leaves (kkaennip), cucumbers, crab sticks, and pickled radish. The lettuce and perilla leaves wrap the tuna and other ingredients inside the roll, separating the wet ingredients from the rice. They also give a nice look when the roll is cut. I like the perilla scent in this gimbap, but if you can’t find it, simply use more lettuce.
All the tableware shown in the final photos of this post are sponsored by Huue Craft, an online store dedicated to the finest Korean pottery tableware. They ship worldwide to over 25 countries. Visit their store at the Huue Craft online store.
For the rice
- 2 cups standard measuring cup not the cup that comes with a rice cooker uncooked short grain rice
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- salt to taste about 1/2 teaspoon
For the tuna
- 2 cans 5 to 6 ounces tuna, drained well
- 2 tablespoons finely diced celery
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt start with ¼ teaspoon and pepper to taste
For the other ingredients
- 10 romaine lettuce leaves only use green leafy part
- 10 perilla leaves
- 3 kirby cucumbers cut into thick sticks or julienned (do not used seedy part)
- 5 strips pre-cut pickled radish 단무지
- 10 3- inch pieces imitation crab meat crab sticks
- 5 sheets gim
- Cook the rice using a little less water than usual. (Fresh cooked rice is best for gimbap.)
- Lift the entire bottom edge with both hands, and roll over the filling away from you, bringing it to the other end of rice and tucking in the filling with your fingers. Put firm pressure over the roll with the help of the bamboo mat, if using, to close everything in tightly. Then, continue to roll again, putting pressure evenly over the roll using both hands.
- Rub or brush the roll with a little bit of sesame oil for extra flavor and a shiny look. Apply a little bit of sesame oil to a sharp knife. This will keep rice from sticking to the knife. Repeat as necessary after each cut. Wipe the knife with a damp towel if the rice still sticks. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch bite sizes.