Vegan Kimbab with 2 fillings

Vegan Kimbab

What is Kimbab?

Kimbab is the Korean version of sushi. It is also rice and fillings wrapped in nori seaweed, yet is different from Japanese sushi in 2 ways:

  • Kimbab uses rice mixed with sesame oil, whereas sushi uses rice mixed with rice vinegar and sugar
  • Kimbab uses cooked veggies that are stir fried with salt, minced garlic and sesame oil, whereas sushi uses raw uncooked veggies
  • As the fillings are seasoned already, with kimbab you don’t need a dipping sauce.

What’s special about this Vegan Kimbab recipe?

This is the vegan version of Kimbab, and it uses plant-based ingredients and omitted the traditional meat fillings. To replace the meat filling, I show you two filling options: chickpea ‘tuna’ and fried tofu. The chickpea is mashed and combined with some ingredients as an alternative to tuna in my kimbab. This is made by combining:

  • 200g cooked chickpeas from a can
  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Lime juice

For a meaty texture, I love to use tofu, simply fry the tofu and add soy sauce.

Ingredients & substitutions of Vegan Kimbab

The fillings for Vegan Kimbab are very diverse and versatile, traditionally there is normally a combination of veggies like:

  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Spinach
  • Mushroom
  • Korean radish

Feel free to swap these ingredients with what you have on hand. They will all taste so so delicious!


This recipe makes a good make-ahead lunch or picnic option and you can store in the fridge for 2 days. It’s easy to travel with, you can put it in your lunchbox and take it with you on the road.

If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!

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Vegan Kimbab

Vegan Kimbab

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 rolls 1x


Yummy, easy vegan kimbab with two types of filling: tofu and chickpea 'tuna'. Easy to make, filling and perfect to travel with!


Units Scale
  • 300 g sushi or short-grain rice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt
  • sesame seeds
  • 4 sheets nori

Tofu filling

  • 200 g tofu
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Chickpea Tuna filling

  • 200 g cooked chickpeas from a can
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Juice from 1/4 a lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Veggie filling

  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 150 g spinach
  • 150 g mushroom of choice
  • salt
  • sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic


Make the rice

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to package instructions.
  2. Mix the cooked rice with sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds.


  1. Cut the tofu block into small pieces. Fry in oil, add the soy sauce and mix to combine.

Chickpea 'tuna'

  1. Mash the cooked chickpeas with a fork, then add the vegan mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt and pepper and lime juice. Mix well to combine.

Veggie fillings

  1. Stir fry each veggie separately in a pan for 1 minute with a pint of salt and sesame oil.

Assemble the Kimbab

  1. Gather the rice, nori, the fillings at closeby your Kimbab rolling station. Get a small bowl of water.
  2. On a plate or chopping board, add a sheet of nori (shiny side down). Add enough rice to cover ⅔ of the nori sheet.
  3. Add each filling on top of each other in the middle of the roll horizontally, the order of the filling is up to you. I made some rolls with the chickpea 'tuna' and veggie filling and a few with the tofu and veggie filling.
  4. Once the ingredients are layered, pull up the bottom edge of the nori and roll on top of the ingredients.
  5. Keep rolling until the end, slightly dampen the remaining nori part (that is not covered by the rice) to seal it.
  6. Use a sharp knife and cut the rolls into 1.5cm in width rounds. To sharpen my knife, I like to dip the knife into a bowl/cup of hot water. This also prevents the rice from sticking to the knife.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seed and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Korean

Keywords: kimbab, sushi

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