how to eat kimbap

How To Eat Kimbap

Versatile, diverse– there are lots of words to describe kimbap. It has become popular almost worldwide in recent years because of the sudden popularity of Kdrama and Kpop. Whatever the reason, you must admit kimbap is a fantastic dish.

But sometimes, just kimbap may not satiate you. Or, if you’re planning a party and want to keep kimbap on the list, you’ll have to pair it up with something else. So, what do you pair it with? How do people eat kimbap? And how do you serve it, hot or cold?

If you’re wondering how to eat kimbap, this is for you. Here is how to eat kimbap if you want to pair it up with something.

How to Eat Kimbap

You can eat kimbap in a lot of ways. You can eat it as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. It entirely depends on you and the setting you’re in.

Often, kimbap is preferred as a snack, especially a convenience store one. They’re usually triangle shaped. They’re sized so you can grab a quick bite and not feel hungry. For convenience store kimbap, there’s usually no pairing. You just eat as it is using your hand.

Kimbap is also considered an appetizer or a light breakfast sometimes. Usually, you pair kimbap with something like spam or imitation crab sticks. There’s also pickled radish or squid salad. You typically avoid heavier snacks when served kimbap as an appetizer.

For a side dish, you usually pair kimbap with heavy main dishes. Chicken katsu, bulgogi (thinly-sliced marinated meat), chicken and pork dishes like bulgogi, galbi (braised beef rib), and tonkatsu (pork katsu)– are some of the famous main dishes choices. It usually accompanies other side dishes like shrimp tempura, tuna, or fish cake.

Most of the time, you eat kimbap with chopsticks. But you’ll have to use your hands if it is more of a snack variant.


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Is Kimbap Eaten Hot or Cold?

Neither. Kimbap is eaten fresh and at room temperature. It usually isn’t warmed up because it ruins some ingredients’ flavor, like fresh vegetables. And if kimbap gets cold, the rice becomes hard and loses its texture. So the best way of eating kimbap is fresh and at room temperature.

Related reading: How to Reheat Kimbap?

Can You Eat Kimbap Cold?

If by cold you mean the room temperature, then yes. Room temperature is the most preferred way of eating kimbap. Colder than that, and the rice will become chewy. The seaweed will also start getting soggy, ruining the taste. It is why kimbap is eaten at room temperature, comparatively colder than its initial state.

What to do with Leftover Kimbap

Kimbap is something you’re supposed to eat within your meal time. It is never meant to last for more than a day without proper storage techniques. But if you made a little extra and can’t finish it now, you can save them. You don’t have to throw them away.

You can store your kimbap for later and reheat it. Here is a detailed guide on how to reheat kimbap.

Do You Eat Kimbap with Soy Sauce?

It depends on the kind of kimbap you have. If it is a traditional kimbap, then it usually isn’t served with soy sauce or any other dip. The same goes for the convenience store kimbap people eat as snacks.

But if you’re eating mayak kimbap, you can eat it with soy sauce. Mayak Kimbap is traditionally served with soy sauce, spinach, radish, and other side dishes.

Food is personal at the end of the day. If you want to eat your kimbap with soy sauce, do it! There’s no limit to taste combinations!

Do You Eat Kimbap with Chopsticks?

Yes, the traditional way of eating kimbap is with chopsticks. But sometimes you’re allowed to use your hands, especially for the triangle kimbap you can find in convenience stores. Since they are considered snacks, you’re allowed to use your hands.


And here it is, our guide on how to eat kimbap. But don’t let this limit you; feel free to experiment with the palette.

As chef Remi the rat said in Ratatouille, the possibilities are endless, so eat however you want.




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