I got to make my very own Kimbap with DJ's mom in Korea! At first glance kimbap does resemble the Japanese rolls that us "westerners" associate with sushi.
Kim or gim translates to dried seaweed in Korean, and bap or bop is rice.
First off, the rice is lightly seasoned with sesame oil and salt. For sushi - the rice is seasoned with vinegar, while kimbap is instead cut with sesame oil making it sweeter.
The fillings of kimbap are individually seasoned and cooked, making for a very interesting combination of textures and flavors. Everything is well seasoned, so kimbap is not served with any type of dipping sauce. This is what makes it so great for picnics, snacks and road trip food!
The basic ingredients are carrots, eggs, danmuji (pickled radish), burdock root (우엉), spinach, cucumber, kimchi and sesame seeds. Many recipes call for sausage, beef or other meat - but we did just veggies and egg. Once you have all the ingredients you have to lay them on top of the seaweed and then roll them all together. That is the hardest part for most people, but eventually you get the hang of it. I got yelled at a few times, because my rolls were not tight enough. But nothing like some Korean tough love to make you get better faster ♡
Here is a recipe by Maangchi to guide you: www.maangchi.com/recipe/kimbap
And some images from my kimbap making experience.