Gimbap (김밥) is a Korean-style makizushi, a sushi roll, made from cooked rice and other ingredients that are rolled in gim—dried sheets of seaweed—and served in bite-sized slices, and was formerly known as Norimaki. The dish is often part of a packed meal, or dosirak, to be eaten at picnics and outdoor events, and can serve as a light lunch along with takuan (yellow pickled radish) and kimchi. It is a popular take-out food in South Korea and abroad, and is known as a convenient food because of its portability. It is usually well wrapped (traditionally with aluminium foil, but now sometimes in paper) and does not have any liquid ingredients.
|Place of origin||South Korea|
|Main ingredients||Gim, bap|
Gim (김) refers to edible seaweed in the genus Porphyra and Pyropia. Bap (밥) broadly refers to "cooked rice". The compound term gimbap is a neologism; it was not a part of the Korean language until late modern period.
The term gimbap was used in a 1935 Korean newspaper article, but at the time, the loanword norimaki had been used as well. Norimaki, which borrowed from the name of a similar Japanese dish, was part of the Japanese vocabulary that entered into the Korean language during the Korea under Japanese rule (1910–1945). The two words were used interchangeably until gimbap was made the universal term as part of efforts to clear away the remnants of japanese loanword and purify the Korean language.
Gimbap was derived from norimaki, which is a type of sushi. Norimaki was invented in Edo period and noted in 1750.  Japan introduced the norimaki to Korea during the Korea under Japanese rule.
Gimbap became popular in South Korea from the 1960s to the 1970s as a type of portable food or fast food because it was easy to eat without side dishes. Before that time, only the wealthy were allowed to take gimbap on field trips.
For many years, Gimbap was called "Norimaki" in japanese language in South Korea, but in 1948 the Government of South Korea decided to call it "Gimbap" in accordance with its policy of Linguistic purism in Korean, and it was designated as "Norimaki".
However, the name Norimaki remained commonly used until the 1990s, so the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published "A Collection of Japanese Language Mellowing Materials" in 1995 and "A Collection of Japanese Language Mellowing Materials in Life" in 1996 by the National Institute of Korean Language, which promoted the replacement of Norimaki with Gimbap as one of the Japanese words that remain in the language of everyday life, and since then the name "Gimbap" has become established.
North Korean GimbapEdit
According to Yeoryang Sesigi (1819), eating cooked meat or the other ingredients rolled in leaf vegetable such as lettuce is also a long-standing Korean custom and an early form of ssam called bokssam (박점; transcribed using the hanja 縛苫, pronounced bakjeom in Korean). However, some have pointed out that the gimbap and the ssam are completely different.
About the misunderstandingEdit
Since around the 2000s, the claim that "the origin of Gimbap is Korean" has been frequently made by both media and individuals in South Korea, but the fact that it originated in Japan during the Japanese occupation is clearly stated in the Dictionary of Traditional Korean Culture and many other sources.
Ingredients and preparationEdit
Some varieties of gimbap include cheese, spicy cooked squid, kimchi, luncheon meat, or spicy tuna. The gim may be brushed with sesame oil or sprinkled with sesame seeds. In one variation, sliced pieces of gimbap may be lightly fried with an egg coating.
Fillings vary, often with vegetarian and vegan options. Popular ingredients include takuan (yellow pickled radish), ham, beef, imitation crab meat, egg strips, kimchi, bulgogi, spinach, carrot, burdock root, cucumber, canned tuna, and kkaennip (perilla leaves).
To make the dish, gim sheets are toasted over a low heat, cooked rice is lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil, and vegetable and meat ingredients are seasoned and stir-fried or pan-fried. The toasted gim is then laid on a makisu—a bamboo gimbap roller—with a thin layer of cooked rice placed evenly on top. Other ingredients are placed on the rice and rolled into a cylindrical shape, typically 3–4 centimetres (1.2–1.6 in) in diameter. The rolled gimbap is then sliced into bite-sized pieces.
- Chungmu-gimbap (충무김밥) – Originating from the seaside city of Chungmu (currently Tongyeong), the dish features thinner rolls with an unseasoned surface and only rice as the filler ingredient. It is served with spicy ojingeo-muchim (squid salad) and seokbakji (radish kimchi).
- Mayak-gimbap (마약김밥) – A specialty of Gwangjang Market in Seoul. Mayak translates as "drug", a reference to its allegedly addictive and concentrated flavour. Small gimbap filled with carrots, spinach, and danmuji (yellow pickled radish) is sprinkled with ground sesame seeds and dipped in its pairing sauce made from soy sauce and mustard.
- Samgak-gimbap (삼각김밥) – Literally "triangle gimbap". This variety is similar to Japanese onigiri, and is sold in convenience stores in South Korea. Fillings vary greatly. The expiration date is 1 day, and has a calorific value of between 140 and 200 kilo calories usually.
- nude gimbap – Unlike ordinary gimbap, the ingredients of the gimbap go inwards, and the rice comes out and covers the entire area.[clarification needed] It is similar to Japanese style rolls, but uses ingredients used in Korean-style kimbap (hams, meat fillets, pickled radish, spinach, etc.) and is also served with cheese or sauce.
Many South Korean fast food restaurant franchises specialize in gimbap and noodles. Among the chains are Gimbap Cheonguk (김밥천국), Kobongmin Gimbabin (고봉민김밥人), Chungmu Gimbab Matjuk (충무김밥죽), Teacher Kim (바르다김선생), Gimbap Nara (김밥나라), Gimgane (김家네), Gobong Gimbap (고봉김밥), Jongro Gimbap (종로김밥), Rolling Rice, Gimbap King (김밥 King), and Charles Sutbul Gimbap (찰스숯불김밥). Some of these restaurants also serve other dishes, including dongaseu (pork cutlet), ramyeon (instant noodles), udong (thick noodle soup), naengmyeon (cold noodles), bibimbap, and stews such as kimchi-jjigae (kimchi stew), doenjang-jjigae (soybean paste stew), sundubu-jjigae (soft tofu stew), and omurice.
Cultural signifier of povertyEdit
Gimbap is generally sold, pre-cut, in restaurants. However, due to the negative stigma surrounding begging, unskilled public busking and prostitution (illegal in South Korea), selling whole gimbap as a street vendor is seen as the final noble and dignified form of busking that an otherwise able person, or family members of affected people, can do to get out of poverty. This is because virtually everybody can make this, and it is much more cost and time effective, and less labour-intensive, than making kimchi or preserved fruits. Vendors often sell and eat gimbap as an entire log, even after they are out of poverty or emergency. Selling whole also extends shelf life, and signifies longevity. 
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