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Deconstructed Tuna Kimbap Bowl

Deconstructed Tuna Kimbap Bowl

The summer is coming to a close, but the weather is still in the 80-90° here everyday in California.  Follow along as I recreate a deconstructed tuna kimbap bowl that’s easy to prepare and doesn’t require standing over a hot stove for a long duration.  Read more below for the recipe and instructions.

Tuna Kimbap Bowl Ingredients

Tuna Kimbap Bowl

To make the tuna bowl you will need one can of canned tuna, mayo, rice, salt and pepper, seaweed, and sesame oil.  Possible toppings include green onions, kimchi, egg, carrot, spinach and sesame seeds.  This tuna kimbap bowl is perfect to prepare when you want to prepare an easy meal that’s filling and tasty.  You can enjoy this dish for lunch or as part of your dinner.  Tip: If you’re packing this bowl for a work lunch, pack the prepared tuna, and toppings separately.  You can always reheat your rice in the microwave and then add the toppings later since they don’t need to be cooked.

Because of various dietary requirements the ingredients can change depending on your personal dietary preference.  This deconstructed tuna kimbap bowl is another perfect beginner Korean dish for novices such as myself to cook. 

The recipe I will be referencing is from Christie At Home, you can see her recipe, get the ingredients, instructions and video here.

Related Reading: Korean Food: Bloggers And YouTube Resources

Traditional Cooking

The traditional method to prepare tuna kimbap, or  참치 김밥 is to use a bamboo mat and place a large sheet of seaweed on top, gently press rice that’s room temperature to nearly half of the seaweed sheet, place one thin layer of  tuna and build your desired veggies on top of the tuna.  Roll the kimbap over the veggie filling, all the way up and seal it with a dab of sesame oil.  


There are so many variations of this dish that the possibilities are endless.  I have seen some recipes they use yellow pickled radish, and others use cucumbers or spinach for the veggies.  Additionally, you can also use perilla leaves, butter lettuce, or purple cabbage.  I think it really just depends on what you have in your fridge and what veggies you really like to eat.  After all, if you don’t like cucumbers or are allergic, you will need to tailor this recipe to your dietary requirements. 

In order to try an easier method than rolling the tuna kimbap, I will use the deconstructed method and place my veggies on top of a bowl of freshly cooked white rice. 

Tuna Bowl Directions

In a bowl drain a can of tuna.  Pour the drained tuna into a mixing bowl.  Next add the mayo, onions(optional) salt and pepper to taste.  I like yellow onions in my tuna because of the crunch.  Feel free to leave them out if you don’t like the taste of raw onions.   

Set the tuna bowl aside while your rice is cooking.  Follow the cooking directions for your rice. 

Tips: If you are cooking your rice on a stove top you can add one tablespoon of sesame oil for taste.  *Also, if you’re really pressed for time and want an even easier method you can use the single serving of already prepared cooked rice. 

If you don’t like the skin on your carrots, peel one to two carrots ( depending on size).  Cut the dirt off the front/back of each carrot.  Set the initial peeling aside to be composted or thrown in the trash.  Continue peeling the carrots to create thin long pieces.  Once you’re done peeling the carrots, cut in half and set aside to garnish the tuna bowl.    

Once your rice is fully cooked, place the desired amount of rice into a serving bowl.  Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top of the rice.  Get two forkfuls of the tuna mixture and place it on top of your rice.  

Now add your vegan kimchi, 3-5 sheets of seaweed, sliced carrot peels, top with a sprinkle of green onions and more sesame seeds.    


5 oz, canned tuna 

2 tablespoon of Kewpie mayo (substitute regular mayo)

1 cup cooked (short or medium white rice)

1 pack of seaweed snack

⅔ cup of vegan kimchi

1 green onion (optional toppings)

1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

1 – 2 peeled carrots


1 hard boiled egg

5 – 7 slices of cucumbers 

½ yellow onion

1 tablespoon of sesame oil 


You can serve with slices of yellow pickled radish, and or a bowl of fresh fruit.  Additionally, dishes/appetizers that go well with tuna kimbap include tteokbokki, and fried chicken.

Allergy Aware

This recipe has four of the major allergens: dairy, eggs, fish, and sesame from the top nine allergens.  Depending on your food allergy or dietary preference you can substitute the ingredients as needed.  Instead of sesame seeds you can try pumpkin seeds.  Additionally, if you’re allergic to fish or are a vegan the recipe can be made with just veggies. 

Recipe Notes

I want to share this recipe with everyone that I found because sometimes I feel that it can be overwhelming while learning to cook.  Especially if there is a gimbap/kimbap rolling technique that requires a little bit of practice.  

This recipe allows you to enjoy all the flavors of a tuna kimbap bowl without the worry and stress.

If you try this recipe or have any additional tips that you want to share with the community I would love to read about them in the comments down below.    

Have you checked out the Korean Convenience content creator cooking challenge?

This Cooking Challenge is a fun way for content creators to join together, cook, and share recipes! The Korean Convenience community gets to see how we enjoy Korean food, the changes we make, ingredients we add, and more. 

If you like this recipe then you might also like these recipes: kimchi jeon or green onion pancakes .  Or if you like to buy your snacks and appetizers check out the blog posts on How To Read Korean Food Labels, Where To Buy Korean Food, and Food Safety While Buying Korean Products.

If you’re looking for more information about Korean snacks and grocery products check out our product page where we provide the top nine food allergies, vegan and gluten information, ingredients, weight, calorie, and cross-contact information whenever available. 

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