In the United States, Trader Joe's frozen packaged gimbap is making a splash, fueling more interest in Korean cuisine.
On its home turf in South Korea, the idea of freezing seaweed rice rolls seems far from appetizing, as gimbap is readily available in convenience stores, street food stalls and anywhere there is demand for on-the-go meals.
To many Koreans, the rice roll wrapped in a thin layer of seaweed with pickled radish and a variety of ingredients inside is synonymous with picnics.
Since childhood, whether on school excursions or family outings, lunchboxes have often been filled with neatly stacked bite-sized slices of gimbap.
Today, an ever-growing array of gimbap variations caters to those seeking a quick and affordable bite to eat, typically priced at around 2,500-4,000 won ($1.87-$2.99). They include “nudeu gimbap" -- inside-out or "nude" gimbap -- which omits the black seaweed wrap, and “samgak gimbap,” which takes the shape of a triangle.