5 Vegan Kimbap Recipes

Vegan Kimbap Recipes

These 5 vegan kimbap recipes are inspired by my childhood! You will find instructions on how to make vegan kimbap in five different ways and various versions! Make sure to watch the YouTube video below and scroll down to see the written recipes.

Kimbap (김밥) or ‘seaweed rice’ (literal translation!) is a traditional Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients all rolled with dried seaweed sheets. Some say it’s the Korean version of Japanese sushi, but there are many differences (although not at first sight). 

While sushi rice is typically made with a mixture of sugar and rice vinegar, making it sweeter, kimbap is usually more savoury. Sushi also uses raw fish ingredients (obviously unless speaking of vegan sushi!), while kimbap usually includes cooked or preserved ingredients. Both, however, are cut into smaller, cylindrical pieces (not all sushi, of course!).

In Korea, kimbap is a typical “on the go” type of food – often people will simply wrap a roll of kimbap in aluminum foil, making it super easy to carry wherever you go. It’s often eaten with fingers and Koreans often make kimbap for hikes, picnics or a simple lunch. I like to think of kimbap as a Korean version of sandwiches, except better (my opinion, of course).

The good news is that kimbap is super easy to veganize, and I’m excited to share how you can also make this delicious Korean dish in FIVE different ways! 

CheapLazyVegan eating Vegan Kimbap

5 Vegan Kimbap Recipes

For all these kimbap recipes, I’ll be using the same base ingredients (all vegan):

  1. Cooked short-grain rice (or sushi rice)

It is highly important to use short-grain or sushi rice instead of long-grain for one reason – the stickiness! Long grain rice will not stick to the seaweed (nori) sheets so make sure to use sushi rice or any short-grain rice.

  1. Toasted sesame oil (chamgireum)

This is what gives the rice its special savoury flavour! Do not even attempt to make kimbap without this because this is one of the key ingredients. 

  1. Nori (seaweed) sheets

Nori sheets will hold all your ingredients together. There are different kinds of nori sheets, but make sure to pick the larger ones made for sushi rolls (not little ones in multiple packets) so you can make rolls like the ones I’m making in this recipe. 

  1. Bamboo mat (optional but recommended)

While I don’t always use a bamboo mat to roll my kimbap, using one makes the rolling process easier so if you are new to rolling kimbap or sushi, I would recommend using one. 

  1. A small bowl of water

This one serves as a dipping station for your fingers and knife (when cutting) so you can easily work the rice with your hands. As mentioned, short-grain rice is stickier compared to long-grain rice, and the water prevents the rice from sticking too much on your fingers. Also, the water is useful for dampening your knife (to make it much easier to cut your roll), and for sealing the kimbap after rolling. 

Kimbap Recipes (Vegan)

Now that you have your base of rice, seasame oil and nori sheets to make Vegan Kimbap, let’s check out the FIVE different recipes below! 

Things to remember before making the recipes:

  • Use 1 cup of cooked short grain or sushi rice for ONE roll of kimbap
  • Use around 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil per 1 cup of cooked rice
  • Add a generous pinch of salt into the rice 
  • Use 1 seaweed (nori) sheet for each roll
  • If you’re planning to make more than one roll, prep the rice first by adding it into a mixing bowl and mixing with toasted sesame oil. This will save you from having to prepare your rice every time you start making the next recipe.
Vegan Kimchi Kimbap

Vegan Kimchi Kimbap

Vegan Ingredients (makes 2 rolls):

  • 2 cups warm cooked short grain or sushi rice 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (chamgireum
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp oil 
  • 1/4 cup vegan kimchi
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 4 long slices of pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 2 nori (seaweed) sheets

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, toasted sesame oil and a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside. 
  2. Pulse onion and chickpeas in a food processor (or dice onion and mash chickpeas with a fork). 
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add in the onion-chickpea mix. Add in the vegan kimchi (along with a small amount of kimchi juice!) and mix. 
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix and let it cook for a few minutes until most of the juices are absorbed.
  5. Once cooked, transfer into a medium-sized bowl and mix in the vegan mayo. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside. 
  6. Lay a piece of nori sheet flat onto a bamboo mat (shiny side down). Dampen your  fingers with some water and place seasoned rice on the sheet and spread evenly, pressing down (leave a small one inch gap at the top of the seaweed). 
  7. In the middle of the rice bed, lay out half the chickpea-kimchi mixture horizontally across (see video or visuals). Add in 2 slices of the pickled radish. 
  8. Lift the bamboo mat and carefully fold the seaweed sheet over the insides like folding a burrito, covering everything. Lightly dampen the top end of the seaweed sheet with water and roll to seal. Repeat to make another roll.
  9. Spread a small amount of sesame oil on top of the rolls to make them shiny (optional). 
  10. Dampen your knife with some water and carefully slice the rolls into roughly 1 inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe for Vegan Kimbap

Vegan Kimbap (Standard)

Ingredients (makes 2 rolls):

  • 2 cups warm cooked short grain or sushi rice 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (chamgireum
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 30g soy curls – soaked in water
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/4 tsp ginger
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp of oil (or more) for cooking
  • 1 carrot, julienned/sliced very thinly + 1/2 tsp sesame oil + pinch of salt
  • 1/2 bunch spinach (one handful) + 1/2 tsp sesame oil + pinch of salt
  • 1 Just Egg patty/square (optional)
  • 2-4 long slices of pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 2 nori (seaweed) sheets

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, toasted sesame oil and a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside. 
  2. Rehydrate soy curls by soaking them in water until soft (around ten minutes). Drain and add in soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and sugar. Mix and allow to marinate for a couple of minutes while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Preheat a pan with a small amount of oil and cook carrots for 2-3 minutes or until slightly cooked. Season with salt and sesame oil. Set aside.
  4. Add spinach on the same pan with a small amount of oil and cook just until spinach begins to wilt and turn greener. Season with salt and sesame oil. Set aside. 
  5. Add a little more oil on the same pan and add the marinated soy curls on one side and the Just Egg patty (optional) on the other. Cook the Just Egg according to instructions and cook soy curls until all the liquid is absorbed. 
  6. Set aside and slice the just egg patty into thin strips.
  7. Lay a piece of nori sheet flat onto a bamboo mat (shiny side down). Dampen your  fingers with some water and place seasoned rice on the sheet and spread evenly, pressing down (leave a small one inch gap at the top of the seaweed). 
  8. In the middle of the rice bed, add half of all ingredients horizontally, one by one. 
  9. Lift the bamboo mat and carefully fold the seaweed sheet over the insides like folding a burrito, covering everything. Lightly dampen the top end of the seaweed sheet with water and roll to seal. Repeat to make another roll.
  10. Spread a small amount of sesame oil on top of the roll to make it shiny (optional). 
  11. Dampen your knife with some water and carefully slice the roll into roughly 1 inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Scrambled Tofu Kimbap Recipe

Scrambled Tofu Kimbap

Ingredients (makes 2 rolls):

  • 2 cups warm cooked short grain or sushi rice 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (chamgireum
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp oil (or more, if desired) for cooking
  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu
  • 1-2 tbsp Scrambled Tofu Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into long slices
  • 2 nori (seaweed) sheets

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, toasted sesame oil and a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Crumble up the tofu with fingers and add into the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, tossing frequently, until tofu starts to become golden. 
  3. Add in the Scrambled Tofu Seasoning. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Once cooked, transfer into a bowl and mix with vegan mayo. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Lay a piece of nori sheet flat onto a bamboo mat (shiny side down). Dampen your  fingers with some water and place seasoned rice on the sheet and spread evenly, pressing down (leave a small one inch gap at the top of the seaweed). 
  6. In the middle of the rice bed, add half of the scrambled tofu horizontally along with half the avocado slices.
  7. Lift the bamboo mat and carefully fold the seaweed sheet over the insides like folding a burrito, covering everything. Lightly dampen the top end of the seaweed sheet with water and roll to seal. Repeat to make another roll.
  8. Spread a small amount of sesame oil on top of the roll to make it shiny (optional). 
  9. Dampen your knife with some water and carefully slice the roll into roughly 1 inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Spicy Tofu Kimbap

Spicy Tofu Kimbap

Ingredients (makes 2 rolls):

  • 2 cups warm cooked short grain or sushi rice 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (chamgireum
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 1/2 block smoked tofu, cut into thin, long slices
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thinly 
  • 4 long slices of pickled radish (danmuji)
  • 2 nori (seaweed) sheets

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, toasted sesame oil, a generous pinch of salt and gochujang and mix well. Set aside. 
  2. Lay a piece of nori sheet flat onto a bamboo mat (shiny side down). Dampen your  fingers with some water and place seasoned rice on the sheet and spread evenly, pressing down (leave a small one inch gap at the top of the seaweed). 
  3. In the middle of the rice bed, lay half of the smoked tofu, bell pepper and pickled radish horizontally. 
  4. Lift the bamboo mat and carefully fold the seaweed sheet over the insides like folding a burrito, covering everything. Lightly dampen the top end of the seaweed sheet with water and roll to seal. Repeat to make another roll.
  5. Spread a small amount of sesame oil on top of the roll to make it shiny (optional). 
  6. Dampen your knife with some water and carefully slice the roll into roughly 1 inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Veggie Kimbap

Veggie Kimbap

Ingredients (makes 2 rolls):

  • 2 cups warm cooked short grain or sushi rice 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (chamgireum
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 1 tsp of oil for cooking
  • 4-5 leaves of kale, cut into long, thin slices
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thinly 
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into long slices
  • 2 nori (seaweed) sheets

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, toasted sesame oil, a generous pinch of salt and gochujang and mix well. Set aside. 
  2. Heat oil on a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook lightly, tossing frequently, just for a couple of minutes. Mix in a pinch of salt and sesame oil and set aside.
  3. Lay a piece of nori sheet flat onto a bamboo mat (shiny side down). Dampen your  fingers with some water and place seasoned rice on the sheet and spread evenly, pressing down (leave a small one inch gap at the top of the seaweed). 
  4. In the middle of the rice bed, lay half of the cooked kale, green bell pepper and avocado slices horizontally.
  5. Lift the bamboo mat and carefully fold the seaweed sheet over the insides like folding a burrito, covering everything. Lightly dampen the top end of the seaweed sheet with water and roll to seal. Repeat to make another roll.
  6. Spread a small amount of sesame oil on top of the roll to make it shiny (optional). 
  7. Dampen your knife with some water and carefully slice the roll into roughly 1 inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Kimbap Recipes (Vegan)

Vegan Kimbap Recipes

These 5 vegan kimbap recipes are inspired by my childhood! I will show you how to make Korean-style vegan kimbap in 5 different ways!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: kimbap, korean, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Vegan Kimchi Kimbap
  • 1 Vegan Kimbap
  • 1 Scrambled Tofu Kimbap
  • 1 Spicy Tofu Kimbap
  • 1 Veggie Kimbap

Instructions

  • Use 1 cup of cooked short grain or sushi rice per one roll of kimbap
  • Use around 1 tsp of toasted seasame oil per 1 cup of cooked rice
  • Add generous pinch of salt into rice
  • If you’re planning to make more than one roll, prep the rice first by adding it into a mixing bowl and mixing with toasted sesame oil. This will save you from having to prepare your rice every time you start making the next recipe.
  • Choose vegan kimbap recipe to make.

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13 thoughts on “5 Vegan Kimbap Recipes”

  1. 5 stars
    My son watched this video on YouTube and told me I should try making Kimbap (he’s vegan I’m not) but I’m happy to try new plant-based dishes and really enjoyed this! Made a batch for lunches this week and really enjoyed them!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like a great recipe to try out! I’m always looking for something that is quick to make, but can be made in a variety of ways. I will have to try this one out!

  3. 5 stars
    Made the kimchi version of this. It was honestly the perfect treat for hiking. Ate it at the top of a mountain- mmmmm. Can’t wait to try the other versions!

  4. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite thing to make after watching Rose’s video. I’ve only tried the traditional one so far and I loved it. Very excited to try the others.

  5. 5 stars
    I tried the kimchi kimbap but with tofu instead of chickpea and it was so good!! I can’t believe how easy this was too. Definitely making again soon 🙂

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