It’s one of the best-selling kimbaps offered at Korean Bunsik Restaurants.
Bunsik (분식) is the Korean term to describe hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve “Korean fast-food”.
My usual order at bunsik restaurants is 1 roll of kimbap + 1 bowl of spicy ramen. Eating the two dishes together is so satisfying… heh!
Today, I’ll break down how to make Shrimp Kimbap.
(In the past, we’ve introduced the other two most popular kimbap rolls: Traditional Kimbap and Tuna & Mayo Kimbap. Go check those out as well)
For me, I judge the quality of a bunsik restaurant by the taste of their kimbap. If they pay attention to the small ingredients in a kimbap, you know chances are high that the other dishes will taste great too.
Making a great kimbap involves (1) using high-quality ingredients and (2) right combination of ingredients
The beginner mistake is stuffing too much protein into a kimbap! For example, there are some shops in Korea that will add slices of processed ham to a shrimp kimbap?! (Why??)
For our shrimp kimbap today, we’ll use a mix of 5 simple but tasty ingredients: (1) Fried Shrimp (2) Carrot (3) Cucumber (4) Danmuji (Korean Pickled Radish) (5) Ueong Jorim (Pickled Burdock Root).
Use regular-sized shrimp (no tiger shrimp!) if you want to fit two into the roll
If you don’t have a Korean market nearby, feel free to substitute or leave out the Danmuji and Ueong Jorim. Using less ingredients is fine!
This kimbap will need some sauce on them – otherwise it will taste dry. Make sure to add a good amount of sauce - even more than what you see in the picture below. (We ended up adding more 🤫)
You can use mayonnaise mixed with a touch of wasabi. Or place on a generous amount of tartar sauce!
(We have a great recipe for homemade tartare sauce – highly recommend it!)
Rolling kimbap is not easy – especially if it’s your first try! The roll may fall apart but don’t worry, you’ll get it on the 2nd or 3rd try!
NOTE: This will make 3 Kimbap Rolls. Also, we'll use 2 Seaweed Sheets for each Kimbap Roll - one sheet for the outside, one sheet for the inside)
Enjoy ya’ll and if you make it, tag us on IG (you know how much we like to see you photos!)
- 6 Kimbap Seaweed Sheets
- 2 Whole Cucumbers
- ½ whole Carrot
- Few pieces of Ueong Jorim (Braised Burdock Root) (spelled 우엉조림 김밥용 in Korean - optional)
- Few pieces of Danmuji (Pickled Korean Radish) (spelled 단무지 김밥용 in Korean - optional)
- 6-8 Fresh Shrimp
- Few shakes of Salt
- Few shakes of Black Pepper
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour (Or use Pancake Korean Mix 부침가루)
- 2 whole Eggs
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs (Panko works well)
- 3 cups Cooked Short-Grain Rice (aka Sushi Rice)
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- Few squeezes of Mayonnaise
- Dab of Wasabi
- Get your rice cooker started in the background. In the meanwhile, let's work on the veggies.
- Carefully cut the outer peels off the cucumber (make 4 sides) - we won't use the core! Once you have the 4 outer peels, julienne them as thinly as you can. (Reference video)
- Then carefully julienne your carrot as well. (Try to get them as thin as you can!) Then place a frying pan on a medium-heat. Add-in some vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to a low. Then add-in the carrots and season with a few pinches of salt. Stir-fry the carrots pieces around for 1 minute - just enough to soften them up. Then take out of pan and set aside.
- Julienne the Ueong Jorim (Pickled Burdock Roots) and Danmuji (Korean Picked Radish) into thin matchstick pieces as well.
Prep and Fry Shrimp
- Remove the shells and devein each shrimp. Then make cuts on the bottom of the shrimp to help flatten it out (note: don't cut all the way through). Flip them back up-right and use 2 fingers to gently press on top of each part of the body - you'll feel small pops. This helps to elongate the shrimp.
- Then season each shrimp with a few shakes of salt and black pepper.
- Lay out 3 bowls: (1) Add Flour to one bowl (2) Crack two Eggs into another bowl. Whisk it and add a few pinches of salt (3)Then add Breadcrumbs into the last bowl.
- Dip the shrimp into the flour first, then coat in the beaten eggs, and thoroughly coat in the breadcrumbs.
- Now, take out a small pot and place in a good amount of oil. Fry the shrimp until golden-brown. Set aside for now.
Make Sushi Rice
- After you rice is cooked, scoop out 3 cups into a large bowl. Spread the rice around the bowl with a rice paddle. Then add-in Rice Vinegar (2 Tablespoons). Pour it onto the paddle to help it spread evenly over the rice (reference video). Then use the rice paddle again to thoroughly mix the vinegar into the rice.
- Once the vinegar is mixed in, add-in Sesame Oil (2 Tablespoons). Use a rice paddle again to help pour evenly over the rice. Thoroughly mix-in the sesame oil.
- Finally, finish the rice by adding in Sesame Seeds (1 Tablespoon). Once the rice is mixed evenly, cover the bowl with a few wet paper towels - this will keep the rice from drying out. Plus, we want the rice to cool down a bit - it's hard to roll kimbap if the rice is hot and steamy!
- Place a seaweed sheet on top of a kimbap mat (aka sushi mat).
- Measure the 1st crease in your pinky finger and place it next to the top of your seaweed sheet - mark this line in your mind. We will then cover the seaweed sheet with rice up till that line (reference video). Place on plastic gloves - this makes it easy to spread the rice. Also, make sure to fill any gap, nook and cranny with the rice - we want a uniform spread.
- Then take out another seaweed sheet and use sciscorrs to cut off ⅓ of it. Place this smaller sheet on top of the rice. This extra layer of seaweed separate the ingredients from the rice - prevents soggy kimbap!
- Now add-on each of the prepped ingredients to the sheet - including the 2 pieces of fried shrimp. (The tails should be facing outwards.)
- Finally, spread on a generous amount of mayo + wasabi sauce (or you can also use tartare sauce). Add a good amount or the kimbap will taste dry!
- Carefully roll the kimbap with the help of the kimbap mat - gently squeeze it as you go (reference video)
- Cut the rolled kimbap into small circles and ... Bon Appetit!