Deep fried Korean fried seaweed rolls is the perfect Korean street food that goes exceptionally well with spicy tteokbokki. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside dipped into a spicy sauce!
Gimmari is seaweed wrapped around glass noodles, dipped into a batter that crisps up deliciously when deep-fried. I’ve thought that making these would be difficult so I’ve often opted for buying the frozen bags but actually found them quite simple to make! It’s perfect for when you have leftover japchae which is how I first came about making these! After having some leftover kongnamul japchae, I stuffed them into the little seaweed rolls and they were so simple and delicious! You can also use regular glass noodles on its own or also add in chopped vegetables like carrots, onions and scallions as well! They are equally good.
These fried seaweed rolls are delicious on its own but best when enjoyed with tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes). Most tteokbokki fast-food restaurants and street carts in Korea offer this as a side dish. Spicy rice cakes go really well with any type of fried food like fried mandoo, tempura vegetables (particularly sweet potato), even mozzarella sticks but the best combo is with gimmari! Dip the fried seaweed rolls into the tteokbokki sauce and enjoy! I particularly like them with this spicy sticky tteokbokki but they also go well with the soupy tteokbokki too!
Gimmari (Korean Deep Fried Seaweed Rolls)
- 3 ounces (80 g) Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon 당면)
- ½ carrot (optional)
- ½ onion (optional)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp honey or sugar
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 3 sheets of gim
- 1 cup frying powder* see note for batter
- 1 cup cold water for batter
- 1/2 cup frying powder or all-purpose flour
- Oil for frying vegetable or corn oil
Prep Glass Noodles (dangmyeon)
- If using, slice the optional carrots and onion. Lightly stir-fry the vegetables on a nonstick frypan with oil until soft. Set aside.
- Soak the glass noodles in water for 30 minutes.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add in the soaked glass noodles and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the noodles are soft.
- Drain the hot water and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Squeeze out the water, and continue to drain. After about 5 minutes, once the noodles are not too wet, place the noodles in a medium sized bowl. Cut the noodles with scissors into short pieces so they are easily bitable when in the seaweed roll.
- Add the soy sauce, honey and sesame oil into the glass noodles. Mix well.
- *Toss in the stir-fried vegetables, if using.
Assemble the Gimmari
- Cut each gim sheet into fourths.*Cut in half, and then in half again for 4 squares per sheet for a total of 12 squares.
- Take one piece of gim. Place the noodle mixture (a little over 1 Tbsp) on the bottom 2/3rds of the gim. Roll the gim.
- Wet the end of the gim slightly so the end slightly sticks on to the roll. Place seam down. Assemble the other gimmari.
- *If the noodles are too wet or if there is too much, the gim will become too damp and fall apart. If you find that the noodles are too wet, lightly stir fry them (without oil), on a frypan for 1-2 minutes. I don’t usually need this step.
- Heat oil in a saucepan until 350 degrees F (180 C).
- Make the batter. Mix the 1 cup frying powder and 1 cup cold water together. Make sure there are no clumps and the batter stays cold.*I usually keep the batter in the fridge until I need it and add ice at times
- In a ziploc bag or a small bowl, add 1/2 cup frying powder (only).
- Place the seaweed rolls into the small bowl of frying powder and mix around. Then using a tong or long chopsticks, dip the seaweed rolls into the frying powder batter. Roll the seaweed rolls around in the batter to evenly coat and then shake the excess batter back into the bowl. (This will make sure the coating is not too thick).*Tip: Rolling the seaweed roll in frying powder or flour first will help the batter stick on to the outside.
- Put the battered rolls into the oil. Fry about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Work in batches so the pan is not overcrowded.
- Place the fried seaweed rolls on to a strainer or wire rack to allow the excess oil to drip. Once all the seaweed rolls have been fried once, quickly fry a second time for just about 30-45 seconds. This will make the seaweed rolls extra crispy!
- Place back on to a strainer or wire rack to drain the oil. And then enjoy! Dip into soy sauce or better, into tteokbokki sauce!