Chamchi Kimbap

Chamchi Kimbap

By Two Red Bowls

The most basic of chamchi kimbap recipes. Feel free to add perilla leaves underneath the tuna before rolling for extra pop, or any number of other fillings -- egg omelette, crab stick, pickled radish, and more.


  • 3 cup cooked short-grain rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked rice)

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • ¼ tsp salt, or to taste

  • 10 oz canned tuna, drained

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise

  • salt, to taste

  • pepper, to taste

  • 6 sheet dried nori

  • 2 Tbsp water, for sealing sushi roll

  • skimchi, for serving


  1. Place rice in a shallow bowl. Drizzle sesame oil and sprinkle the salt over it and mix to evenly distribute. If the rice is freshly made, cover with a damp towel and let it cool to room temperature.

  2. Next, drain the canned tuna. Combine tuna and mayo in a small bowl, mixing until the mayo is well-incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Prepare your seaweed, rice, and tuna filling in one place, along with your two tablespoons of water in a small dipping bowl. Place a piece of nori on the sushi mat (if using -- see Notes below if you don't have one).

  4. Next, place about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of rice over the lower two-thirds of the nori. Wet your fingers with water. Using your fingertips, gently flatten the rice to form a rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the bottom and 2-3 inches at the top.

  5. Place about 1/3 cup of the tuna filling in a stripe across the center of the rice. (Optional: You can spread some additional mayo in a thin stripe under or above the tuna, as well.) Wet one finger in the water and use it to dampen the edge of the nori sheet furthest away from you, to help seal the roll.

  6. Either using the mat for assistance or just the nori sheet, lift the edge of the sheet closest to you up over the filling, squeezing gently as you go. Continue rolling and squeezing (make sure to squeeze evenly across the entire roll -- it doesn't have to be forceful, just evenly done) until you reach the end of the roll. Press the dampened edge into the roll to seal.

  7. I generally like to let the roll sit for a few minutes before cutting because I find it makes the seaweed a little more pliable. Either way, wet a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated one) and cut into pieces of your desired size. Serve with kimchi!


If you don't have a sushi mat, don't worry. This type of "seaweed outside" roll doesn't really need one -- and in fact, the first time I made this I actually didn't use a mat, and I kind of thought it was easier in some ways. It certainly gave better control over the sushi roll. Just be gentle and patient with it, roll slowly, and make sure to apply even pressure across the entire roll as you go. You don't have to squeeze forcefully, just gently and evenly, and it should turn out grand.

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