Vegan Quinoa Kimbap Recipe (Video Included!)

Kimbap. If you’ve never ventured to Korea, it may not be a food you’re familiar with.

Unlike its cousin from Japan, maki sushi, kimbap has remained mostly off the radar, especially in vegan food circles. This is partly because kimbap, in its most basic form, is far from vegan with staples like ham, egg, and odeng (a type of fish cake) rolled into the rice and seaweed sheet.

With a little innovation, however, it is quite easy to prepare vegan kimbap, and even take it to the next level. Enter quinoa kimbap with its purely vegan fillings and the light nutty taste of quinoa in place of dense sticky rice. It’s truly enough to make you want to say mmmm bap.

The following recipe and video will help you achieve your very own vegan quinoa kimpbap 

Vegan Quinoa Kimbap Recipe

(Yield: about 3~4 rolls)

Recipe Ingredients

½ cup uncooked quinoa

5~6 sheets of roasted seaweed (nori or kim)

Vegan quinoa kimbap filled with veg and avocado. Image: TVW.
Vegan quinoa kimbap filled with veg and avocado. Image: TVW.

For the filling

2 cups raw spinach

1 medium sized carrot

½ a red pepper

½ a medium sized cucumber

½ an avocado

sesame oil for frying

pinch of salt

Sauce ingredients*

1/3 cup tahini

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

*Alternatively, simply use ½ cup of humus for the sauce.

Vegan Quinoa Kimbap Preparation

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. If you have time, do this well in advance so the quinoa has time to cool. If not, place it in your freezer while you prepare the other ingredients, or alternatively, use 1 cup of leftover quinoa from your fridge.

Prepare the veggies: Slice the carrots, red pepper and cucumber lengthwise to make long strips. Meanwhile, boil the spinach for a couple minutes and drain.

The veggies in kimbap usually come cooked but it’s up to you if you want to fry the carrots and red peppers in sesame oil or leave them raw.

Mix the spinach with 1 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Set all your veggies aside on a plate.

Now, make the sauce: Mix all the sauce ingredients together – tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil – until smooth, adding water if necessary to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick.

Add the sauce to the cooled quinoa and mix well.

Place about 1/3  cup of the quinoa mixture onto a single nori sheet and spread evenly, leaving about 1½ inches of space at the end of the sheet.

Now place your veggies on top of the quinoa in layers about 2 inches from front of the sheet. You can mix and match as you like, or just put two or three veggie strips in the roll.

Now you’re ready to roll. It’s not necessary to use a sushi roller as the quinoa sticks nicely. Just take the front of the sheet and roll it over top of the veggies keeping it nice and tight. Tuck the front end under the veggies, if possible, and continue to roll to the end of the sheet. Dip your fingers in water and pat the end of the sheet onto the roll so it sticks.

Brush some sesame oil onto the roll and with a sharp knife cut the roll into pieces about an inch wide.

Vegan Quinoa Kimbap perfection. Image: TVW.
Vegan Quinoa Kimbap perfection. Image: TVW.

Cover image: TVW.

Erin Lecky

Writer & Reviewer

Vegan Newbie and Vegan Gal Columnist

My name is Erin and I currently live in Toronto though my true stompin’ grounds are in Nova Scotia. I spent the last six years living in Asia and travelling the globe in search of myself. Although my self remains to be found (‘tis a lifelong journey indeed), I discovered the next best thing during my time abroad: veganism! I basically stumbled upon it, undoubtedly not by accident, and quickly recognized a vegan lifestyle as THE path for me. I’ve been basking in its wonders ever since.

More about Erin

Check out Erin's blog Waking Up the Inner Cosmos