Gimmari (김말이) is Fried Korean Seaweed Spring Rolls.
You’ll find these savory treats being served at Tteokkbokki Street stalls throughout Korea. When eating Tteokbokki, many people will order a side plate of Twigim (the Korean word for Tempura).
The most popular types of Twigim are Shrimp, Squid, Fried Vegetable and Gimmari.
Gimmari has a crispy coating with a chewy interior – it has a light bounce to them.
The seaweed sheets are stuffed with Dangmyeon Noodles (Korean Glass Noodles) that have been lightly seasoned in Soy Sauce, Sugar and Sesame Oil. The stuffing is essentially a very simple Japchae.
If you try the Gimmari made by street vendors, you’ll see that the stuff is entirely Dangmyeyon Noodles. But for our homecooking recipe, let’s throw in some onions for flavor and carrots for color.
Gimmari is great for soaking up leftover sauce. You can dab it across the bottom of your Tteokbokki plate and enjoy that spicy, sweet and savory flavor.
Cooking Notes for Gimmari
Typically, Dangmyeon noodles are supposed to be pre-soaked in cold water to make them cook through quicker and evenly.
However, you can skip this pre-soaking and achieve the same results by hard boiling them for 7 minutes. Makes sure to add the noodles once the pot comes to a roaring boil!
After boiling and rinsing the noodles, make sure to give a good shake to get rid of excess moisture – you can let it sit in a strainer for 5-10 minutes for best results.
For this recipe, you want to get seaweed sheets that are not seasoned with salt or covered in oil. At Korean supermarkets, you can ask for Kimbap Seaweed Sheets (or show them this text 김밥용 김).
The tricky part about this recipe is rolling the sheets.
I would recommend using a whole sheet of seaweed (as opposed to cutting them into smaller pieces first), rolling it, and then cutting it into 3 smaller sections with a pair of scissors.
After you roll the sheets, you’ll see that the seaweed turns slightly soft, wrinkly and slightly mushy. That’s because it soaks in the the moisture from the noodles. But that’s ok! The texture actually makes the roll easier to cut.
Make sure to dab your finger in some water and run it across the edge to make a seal.
When coating the rolls in the Tempura mix, makes sure to use your fingers and hold it at both ends – this will keep the ingredients from falling out of the sides.
If you have some noodles that are hanging out of the sides, you can use a knife to trim it off – it will make the rolls looks cleaner. But I like this rugged look!
If you give it a try at home, send us a pic on IG! We love to see pics of your dishes.
-Daniel Out! 🕺
- 1 whole Onion
- Small piece of Carrot (length of your pinky finger)
- 2 stalks of Green Onion
- Few shakes Salt
- Few shakes Black Pepper
- Small bundle of Dangmyeon Noodles (bundle, about the diameter of a quarter)
- 1.5 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 4 sheets Seaweed (Use the one for Kimbap - not salted and not oiled)
- 1/2 cup Tempura Mix
- 1/2 cup Cold Water
- 4-5 Ice Cubes
- Cut 1 onion into thin slices. Julienne a small piece of carrot into thin slices as well. Then finely dice 2 stalks of green onion.
- Place some oil into a frying pan. Turn on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced carrots and onions. Season it with Salt and Black pepper. Then stir-fry it for a few minutes or until the onions turns translucent. Afterwards, turn off the heat and set it aside for later steps.
Boil Dangmyeon Noodles
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to boil on a high heat. Wait until the pot comes to a roaring boil.
- Then place in a small handful of Dangmyeon noodles. Boil on high heat for 7 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, drain the noodles through a strainer and give the noodles a rinse under cold water. Then shake off as much excess water as you can.
- Now place the boiled noodles into a mixing bowl. Season it with Soy Sauce (1.5 Tablespoons), Sugar (1/2 Tablespoon) and Sesame Oil (1/2 Tablespoon). Stir evenly and give it a taste.
- Then add in the stir-fried onions and carrots. Also add in the diced green onion. Toss everything in until it gets mixed evenly.
- Now, use a pair of scissors and cut the long noodles and veggies into smaller pieces. (But don't chop too much and turn the noodles small!)
Roll the Gimmari
- Take out a sheet of seaweed. Then place some of the filling into the center. Carefully roll it up (reference video). When you reach the edge of the sheet, dab on some water to make a seal. (Note: The seaweed sheet will turn soft from the moisture of the noodles - that's normal!)
- Now, very carefully, use your scissors and cut each seaweed roll into a third.
Batter the Gimmari
- Take out a large plate and pour-on some Tempura Mix.
- Then carefully pick-up each seaweed roll by its ends and coat it in the Tempura mix. Repeat for all the pieces.
- Now, time to dip in a wet batter. To make the wet batter, mix Tempura Batter (1/2 Cup) with Cold Water (1/2 Cup). Give it a thorough mix first. Then add in a few ice-cubes to keep it cold!
Fry the gimmari pieces.
- Take out a pot and fill it with neutral (vegetable) oil. Once the oil is hot, add-in a small drop of the wet tempura mix. If the drop sizzles and comes back-up to the surface quickly, you're ready to fry!
- Take one of the battered seaweed rolls and carefully submerge in the wet tempura mix. Then very carefully, place it into the oil. Repeat for each seaweed roll. (P.s. Don't overcrowd the pot when frying - do small batches at a time)
- Then take out the fried pieces and place them onto a paper towel - so it soak up any residual oil. Let it cool down for a few minutes.
- Then enjoy the Gimmari... or pair it with some Spicy Tteokbokki on the side! Bon Appetit 🙂