Photo of Tuna Melt Gimbap

Tuna Melt Gimbap

Recipe by @dougchoi

Gimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice, vegetables, fish, and meat rolled in dried sheets of seaweed and served in bite-sized slices. This version is a mashup of the underrated Tuna Melt and Korean Chamchi (Tuna) Gimbap. It celebrates a love of tinned fish, mayonnaise, American Cheese, and Korean flavors. 

Image of Tuna Melt Gimbap


3-4 rolls


    Tuna Salad

  • 1 (5oz) can Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna 

  • 1 Stalk Celery (minced) 

  • 2 Scallions (minced) 

  • 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce 

  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil 

  • 1 tsp Sugar 

  • 1 Tbsp Kewpie Mayonnaise 

  • Other Fillings

  • 3 Small Dill Pickles (quartered) 

  • 2 Scallions (batons) 

  • Seasoned Rice

  • 2 cups Cooked Short Grain Rice 

  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil 

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds 

  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 

  • American Cheese Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Flour 

  • 1 Tbsp Butter 

  • 1 cup Whole Milk 

  • ½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded) 

  • 2 slices American Cheese 

  • 1 Tbsp Gochujang 

  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil 

  • Garnish

  • 1 cup Potato Chips (crushed) 

  • 1 Scallion (Chopped) 

  • Wrap

  • 5 Sheets of Gim (dried sheets of seaweed)



    Seasoned Rice

    1. To your cooked Short Grain Rice, add Toasted Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, and Kosher Salt. Mix gently to combine. Make this first as it will give the rice time to cool so that you don’t burn your fingers when you try to assemble the Gimbap. 

    Make Tuna Salad

    1. In a bowl combine the Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna, Scallions, Ce Direction In a bowl combine the Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna, Scallions, Celery, Kewpie Mayonnaise, Light Soy Sauce, and Sugar together. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Cover and place in the fridge.

    Make a Cheese Sauce

    1. Melt your butter in a small saucepan set to medium low. Add your flour and whisk gently to incorporate. Keep stirring for several minutes until the foamy mixture darkens to a light caramel color.  

    2. Add your whole milk and keep whisking. It might get clumpy at first but if you keep patiently stirring it will eventually thicken up. Be mindful of the heat. If it starts to simmer vigorously or even boil, back the heat off. 

    3. Once the sauce has thickened, add your shredded Monterey Jack gradually until it’s completely incorporated. Do the same with the American Cheese slices. 

    4. Lastly, add the Gochujang and Sesame Oil. This will give the sauce sweetness, a little heat, and a little zing. 

    5. Keep warm and stir occasionally while you’re preparing the other components. 

    Prepare your Gim & roll it up

    1. Take 2 of your sheets of Gim and orient them the same way you’ll place the Gim when rolling. Divide them in half with a knife so that there’s a top half and a bottom half (vs. a left/right). You will use these to put your fillings on.  

    2. On top of a bamboo rolling mat, lay one sheet of Gim, rough side up. Take ⅓ of your rice and begin rolling it onto the Gim with your fingers, redistributing where you need to. It helps if you dip your fingers in water first. Spread the rice in an even layer ¼” to a ½” thick until you only have 1” left bare at the top of the sheet. Then, place a ½ Sheet of Gim down in the middle of the rice. (Whether this recipe yields 3 or 4 rolls depends entirely how generous with rice you are on each roll.)

    3. Add fillings: Start by putting down a third of your Tuna Salad in an even row. Follow that up with the your quartered Dill Pickles and several batons of Scallion. 

    4. Carefully roll the fillings up and press firmly once they’re enveloped. The bamboo mat helps a lot here. Peel back the mat slightly, roll further and press again. Before you make the last roll to seal it up, make sure to brush the naked edge of the Gim with water. The final roll will help seal the Gim. 

    5. Repeat until you run out of rice, fillings, or Gim. 

    6. With a sharp knife, cut your rolls into even ½” coins. Try to cut through in as few passes as possible. Wiping down the knife between every few cuts will help make it easier. If you have a long knife, you can even cut several rolls at once.

    7. Place the coins, cut side down on a plate. You can arrange them in a circle, and even build a little hill out of them. 

    8. Give your sauce a quick whisk to make sure it’s ready to pour. If it looks a little too thick, you can add a little milk to loosen it up before serving. 

    9. Pour the sauce over your hill of Gimbap leaving some of them exposed so others can see what’s underneath. 

    10. Garnish: Take your Potato Chips and crush them with a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle over the plate of Gimbap. Lastly, sprinkle chopped Scallions over the plate and serve.

    Image of Tuna Melt Gimbap
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