Skip to content

Country

What's the difference between Kimbap vs Sushi? Which is better?

What's the difference between Kimbap vs Sushi? Which is better?

A recent analysis found that sushi is the most shared dish on Instagram globally, which is completely understandable. However, as we get used to the image of sushi, encountering kimbap for the first time can create the misunderstanding that it is just another variation of sushi. On the contrary, reality shows that kimbap has its own unique characteristics! And if you're a sushi lover but not really a fan of raw fish sushi, kimbap can be a great alternative.

Sushi, known as the most popular dish in Japanese cuisine, is famous and loved all over the world. In contrast, kimbap, which is Korea's response to Japan's vinegar rice rolls, is not familiar to everyone. So what is Kimbap and Sushi difference? Although they seem similar at first glance, in reality, between kimbap vs sushi, there are many differences. This article will explain: What is Kimbap vs Sushi, the origins, ingredients, and flavors of kimbap compared to sushi, emphasizing what makes this Asian rice roll unique.

1. Information about Kimbap

1.1. What is kimbap?

Kimbap (also known as gimbap or kimbob) is a traditional Korean dish, similar to sushi in Japan. Kimbap is made from white rice coated with sesame oil, then rolled tightly with various ingredients such as raw vegetables, chicken, beef, crab, boiled eggs, tomatoes, or other vegetables. The kimbap roll is then cut into small pieces before eating. Kimbap is often considered a snack or a convenient takeout food, suitable for lunch or picnics.

Traditional Korean dish made of steamed rice, vegetables, and meat, rolled tightly in seaweed sheets
Traditional Korean dish made of steamed rice, vegetables, and meat, rolled tightly in seaweed sheets

1.2. Origin of Kimbap

The origin of kimbap is a controversial topic in Korean culinary history! According to some views, kimbap appeared in the 1900s, when Japan occupied Korea. At that time, Koreans, especially those who loved norimaki rolled sushi, tried to make this dish themselves using local ingredients.

However, another view of many Koreans is that kimbap existed long before the Japanese invasion, when they used seaweed (norivach) to wrap rice. Although the origin is debated, the term "kimbap" (or "gimbap") was first recorded in a Korean newspaper in 1935, according to historians. This indicates that, although the origin of kimbap is subject to many hypotheses, from the Japanese occupation to earlier periods, the term was officially recorded at that time in culinary history. Korean food.

1.3. Ingredients needed to prepare to make Kimbap

To prepare a delicious kimbap roll, you will need the following detailed ingredients:

Main material:

- Rice: Use white rice, cooked but still retains its stickiness. Rice can be mixed with a little sesame oil to create a unique flavor for kimbap.

- Seaweed (Needle or Gim): The thin shell that wraps around the rice roll. Seaweed provides a salty flavor and crunch to kimbap. Before use, seaweed is often lightly grilled to become soft and easy to roll.

Filling Ingredients:

- Raw vegetables: Carrots, tomatoes, baby carrots, celery leaves, cherry tomatoes, or any other raw vegetables can be used depending on personal taste.

- Meat: Chicken or beef is grilled and cut into thin strips or strips.

- Eggs: Boiled eggs, cut into thin strips.

- Sesame Oil: Adding a little sesame oil to the rice helps create a unique flavor and stickiness for the kimbap roll.

- Spices: Salt and pepper to season the rice. You can also add some other spices like seasoning powder if you want.

- Soy Sauce or Ginger Sauce: Used for dipping when eating, adding flavor to kimbap.

- Butter: If you want, you can add a thin layer of butter to the kimbap to create softness and add a delicious fatty flavor.

Tools:

- Kimbap Rolling Machine (Mat): This is a tool that helps roll kimbap neatly and tightly. Mat is usually made from quality bamboo or plastic.

By carefully combining these ingredients, you can create kimbap that is bursting with flavor and variety in every bite.

1.4. The 3 most popular types of Kimbap

Traditional Kimbap (Chamchi Kimbap) is one of the most popular types of kimbap. The special thing is tuna meat (tuna), mixed with mayonnaise, creating a unique filling. The rolled seaweed provides a salty ocean flavor and crunch, while raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes add freshness and deliciousness.

Chicken Kimbap (Dak Kimbap) is an interesting choice with fillings mainly from grilled or stir-fried chicken. The chicken is delicately seasoned with soy sauce and other spices, giving it a delicious and hearty flavor. Kimbap rolls are combined with raw vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and celery leaves, creating a meal that is both nutritious and appealing to the taste buds.

Salmon Kimbap is unique with the main filling being raw salmon, usually cut into thin strips. Besides, a layer of butter is also added to create more fat and softness. Raw vegetables like carrots and cucumbers help highlight the fresh salmon flavor. Seaweed, as usual, plays an important role in wrapping the roll, giving it a salty sea flavor and a characteristic crunch.

Salmon-filled Kimbap rice rolls, a delicious Korean dish with seaweed wrapping, vegetables, and pickled radish
Salmon-filled Kimbap rice rolls, a delicious Korean dish with seaweed wrapping, vegetables, and pickled radish

1.5. What kind of sauce is kimbap usually served with?

When enjoying kimbap, choosing the sauce is an important part of enhancing the flavor and variety of the meal. A popular choice is soy sauce (Chamkkaejang), with its characteristic fatty flavor of soybeans and mild saltiness. This special sauce blends with the crisp flavors of seaweed and kimbap filling, creating an ideal balance.

Ginger sauce (Yangnyeomjang) is another option, often with a spicy, sweet and slightly acidic flavor. This sauce is especially suitable when eaten with kimbap filled with chicken or cinnamon cones. The unique flavor of ginger creates uniqueness and highlights the meal.

Soy sauce, or soyu sauce, is another popular traditional choice when eating kimbap. The salty flavor of soy sauce combines with the rice and kimbap filling, creating a traditional and familiar culinary experience.

Mayonnaise is also a popular choice, especially when eating kimbap filled with tuna meat. Mayonnaise adds richness and softness to the kimbap filling, making each piece of kimbap more delicious.

If you love spicy flavors, wasabi is a great combination. A little wasabi added to soy sauce or ginger sauce can create a new and interesting flavor, especially when eaten with kimbap filled with salmon meat. Depending on personal preference and taste, the choice of sauce can make your kimbap meal unique and rich.

2. Information about Sushi

2.1. What is Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish, made mainly from rice, with or without fillings such as fish, shrimp, crab, chicken, or raw vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers. An important part of sushi is that it is served with wasabi (a spicy condiment), gari (pickled cabbage), and soy sauce (soyu).

Sushi is not only a delicious dish but also an art in its presentation and preparation. This dish has become an important part of international cuisine and is loved by many people around the world.

Sushi rice rolls with various fillings like seafood, vegetables, and avocado, wrapped in seaweed sheets
Sushi rice rolls with various fillings like seafood, vegetables, and avocado, wrapped in seaweed sheets

2.2. Origin of Sushi

Sushi, the traditional Japanese dish, actually has a rich history and involves many different countries. If we look at history, sushi originated from China, appearing from around the 5th to 3rd century BC under the name narezushi. This is a form of sushi, with the main ingredients being fermented rice and salted fish, helping to preserve the dish without the need for a refrigerator.

Sushi was introduced to Japan in the 9th century through the spread of Buddhism from the Chinese. However, by the 18th century, sushi began to grow in popularity in Edo, where every block was said to have at least 1-2 sushi restaurants. During this period, sushi underwent an evolution as it began to be cooked for preservation.

A major step forward for sushi was the work of chef Hanaya Yohei, who discovered that adding vinegar to rice could replace the long fermentation process, creating a flavor (and smell) of sushi. more delicious.

Sushi became popular in the West after World War II and really spread in the United States in the 1960s. Today, sushi is not only an important part of Japanese cuisine but is also a staple. around the world, reflecting the diversity and style of dining.

2.3. Ingredients needed to prepare to make Sushi

Main material:

- Sushi Rice (Shari): Made from rice with round, short, and sticky grains. Cook and mix with a mixture of sushi vinegar, sugar, and salt to create a unique flavor.

- Seaweed (Nori): Flat seaweed, lightly grilled to become soft and easy to roll.

Filling Ingredients:

- Fish, Shrimp, Crab, Chicken, Raw Vegetables (carrots, cucumbers): Sushi fillings can be diverse with many flavor options. The filling needs to be thoroughly prepared and cut into thin strips to place on the sushi roll.

- Wasabi: Strong spicy spice often placed directly on sushi or mixed into soy sauce.

- Gari (pickled cabbage): Marinated in vinegar and sugar, it is a side dish that helps cleanse the palate between sushi.

- Soy Sauce (Shoyu): Soy sauce for dipping sushi, choose quality to add flavor.

- Sesame Oil: Add to sushi rice to create a unique flavor, while also providing shine and aroma.

Tool:

- Sushi Roll (Sudare or Makisu): Used to roll sushi tightly and evenly.

- Sushi Knife (Sushikiri): A sharp kitchen knife for cutting sushi rolls into pieces.

By delicately combining the above ingredients and tools, you can create sushi rolls at home with unique and attractive flavors.

2.4. The 3 most popular types of Sushi

Nigiri Sushi is the most basic and popular type of sushi. Made up of a small ball of sushi rice that is gently squeezed and placed on top of a layer of fish or other filling. Usually dipped in a bit of wasabi and often accompanied by soy sauce. Nigiri often have a simple shape but highlight the sophistication in each piece.

Maki Sushi, or rolled sushi, is a popular and diverse type of sushi. The rice and filling are wrapped in a sheet of seaweed (nori) and then cut into small pieces. There are different types of Maki such as Uramaki (regional roll) and Hosomaki (thin roll). Uramaki has rice on the outside and Hosomaki has rice and filling inside.

Sashimi is not sushi by the traditional definition because it does not contain rice. These are slices of fresh fish cut thinly and arranged artistically on a plate. Usually comes with wasabi and gari. Sashimi focuses on enjoying the original and fresh flavors of fish.

2.5. Is sushi always raw?

No, sushi is not always a raw dish. Although some types of sushi such as Sashimi (slices of fresh fish) can be served raw, many other types of sushi are prepared and cooked before being eaten.

For example, Nigiri Sushi and Maki Sushi are often made from sushi rice and processed fillings, including fish, shrimp, crab, chicken, or raw vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers. Rice is often cooked and mixed with sushi vinegar to create a characteristic flavor. Seaweed (nori) is also often lightly grilled to make it soft and easy to roll.

Sushi rolls do not necessarily consist entirely of raw ingredients; they can include cooked components as well
Sushi rolls do not necessarily consist entirely of raw ingredients; they can include cooked components as well

Therefore, sushi can exist in many forms, from raw varieties to processed and cooked varieties, depending on the specific type of sushi and the preferences of the eater.

3. Difference between Kimbap vs Sushi

Kimbap vs Sushi are two types of rice rolls with different origins and cultural characteristics, and they have important distinguishing features.

Kimbap and sushi differ in origin, ingredients, and preparation methods, representing distinct Korean and Japanese cuisines
Kimbap and sushi differ in origin, ingredients, and preparation methods, representing distinct Korean and Japanese cuisines

3.1. Main Ingredients and Spices

Sushi: Usually contains raw fish, seafood, vegetables, and rice mixed with sushi vinegar, creating a characteristic flavor. Sushi often comes with wasabi and soy sauce.

Kimbap: Kimbap rice is usually seasoned with sesame oil and does not contain raw fish. Kimbap fillings include meat such as grilled bulgogi, cheese, kimchi, ham, and eggs. Kimbap does not use wasabi or soy sauce and is often eaten with pickled vegetables and kimchi.

3.2. Type of Rice and Rice Seasoning

Both Kimbap vs Sushi use cooked short-grain white rice, but sushi rice is mixed with sushi vinegar, while kimbap rice is often seasoned with sesame oil. Kimbap has a slightly sweeter flavor than sushi.

3.3. Kernel Type and Storage Time

Because sushi often contains raw fish, it must be eaten fresh. In contrast, kimbap can be preserved for longer due to its diverse fillings and usually does not contain raw fish. Kimbap can use many types of fillings such as processed meat, beef, eggs, and fish cakes, making this dish diverse and rich.

3.4. Types of Fillings and Extra Spices

Sushi usually needs to be eaten fresh and is best when the fish and seafood are new. Kimbap can last longer because there are many different types of fillings. Kimbap also often contains side ingredients such as kimchi, ham, cheese, and Korean BBQ, making this dish more diverse and accessible than sushi.

3.5. Cultural Origin

In Japan, sushi has a long and diverse origin, with many dishes using vinegar rice. Kimbap originates from Korea and is usually just a seaweed rice roll, but Koreans like to add many different ingredients, making kimbap seem more diverse.

That's all about answering the question What's the difference between kimbap and sushi.

4. Similarities between Kimbap vs Sushi

Kimbap vs Sushi, two types of rice rolls originating from Japan and Korea, respectively bring unique and attractive culinary experiences. Although there are many differences, notable commonalities also exist.

Both use short-grain white rice as the main ingredient, creating a distinctive flavor and texture. Seaweed (nori) is an important ingredient, helping to roll the rice and the filling inside. This common feature makes both dishes have a traditional roll shape, creating a clear recognition in Asian cuisine.

The fillings of both Kimbap vs Sushi vary, from raw fish, seafood, to meats and raw vegetables. This shows creativity and flexibility in the way the dish is prepared. Kimbap vs Sushi are commonly eaten as a snack, suitable for both at-home meals or on-the-go.

Kimbap and sushi share similarities as rice-based rolls wrapped in seaweed, but with cultural variations
Kimbap and sushi share similarities as rice-based rolls wrapped in seaweed, but with cultural variations

While sushi is often known for using sushi vinegar and wasabi, kimbap stands out for seasoning the rice with sesame oil and not using wasabi. Kimbap is often combined with pickled vegetables and kimchi, creating a unique and delicious flavor.

5. Conclusion

Kimbap vs Sushi, two traditional culinary dishes from Korea and Japan, bring diners unique experiences in how to make and enjoy. Korean kimbap often has a variety of fillings, from chicken to eggs and carrots, rolled in soft seaweed. Meanwhile, Japanese Sushi often uses fresh raw fish and seafood, placed on white sushi rice balls and vinegar. Although different in origin and spices, Kimbap or Sushi demonstrate creativity and sophistication in Asian culinary art.

Visit Kiichin for more interesting information!

Previous article Year's End Update From Kiichin: Awaited Kitchenware for You