Rice Paper Kim Bugak in a paper lined basket

Korean Rice Paper Fried Seaweed Trend (Rice Paper Kim Bugak)

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Recently, I wrote about a Korean fried seaweed snack known as ‘kim bugak’ (or gim bugak). Traditionally, people in Korea make this fried crispy seaweed chip by coating dried seaweed in a glutinous rice paste. Then, they would once again dry out the seaweed and rice paste before deep-frying it. 

Nowadays, people have started making this traditional dish using pre-made rice paper instead of making rice paste from glutinous rice flour. Not only does it skip a few steps, but it also is less messy. Here, we will learn about this new trendy way of making kim bugak! 

A closeup shot of rice paper fried seaweed in my hand.
The Rice Paper Bubbles When Fried!

Tips & Tricks for the Rice Paper Hack Method: 

Recently, people have started using rice paper as a hack when making kim bugak. Below, we listed some tips & tricks to help you make this delicious snack. If you want to try making this snack using the traditional method, you can find our recipe here

Tips & Tricks:

  • Unlike the traditional method of making kim bugak, you do not need to cut or layer the seaweed. Instead, start by placing one sheet of dried seaweed on a flat surface. 
  • Then, wet the rice paper in warm water. You can either buy circular rice paper or square rice paper. I used the circular because that is the type sold most often in the grocery store. Once wet, lay the rice paper on the seaweed and press the two ingredients together.
  • Then, you need to let the seaweed and rice paper dry. Once again, you can let it air dry or use a dehydrator. This process is much quicker than the rice paste traditional method. It took 1-2 hours for my rice paper and seaweed to dry using a dehydrator. It can take 3-5 hours for the chips to dry with natural light and air.
  • Next, you cut the dried seaweed and rice paper into pieces. While you cut the seaweed first when using the traditional method, you cut the seaweed into strips after the seaweed and rice paper dry in this method. 
  • Once again, to keep the strips from curling up while frying, use a spoon to hold down the sides.
  • Once fried, place these snacks onto a paper towel on a plate. Let them cool completely on the paper towel. This process allows the paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil from the frying process. 

We hope these tips and tricks were helpful for you while making kim bugak! The full recipe will be listed below at the bottom of the post. 

The kim bugak on a plate before being cut or fried.
The Snack Before Cutting and Frying.

Rice Paper Kim Bugak (Gim Bugak) Frequently Asked Questions: 

Below, we listed some questions you may have about Korean gochugaru. If we do not answer your question below, feel free to leave a comment or email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com!

Is Korean Rice Paper Fried Seaweed Free of Major Allergens? (Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Etc.)

Like the traditional version of this snack, our rice paper kim bugak recipe does not contain any major allergens. It is free of gluten, wheat, soy, milk, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and eggs! 

Though that is the case, some people who cannot eat shellfish or fish have reactions to seaweed as well. This is because some people are allergic to iodine found in fish and shellfish. This is different from an actual shellfish or fish allergy. If you have an iodine allergy which makes you unable to eat fish or shellfish, you will have issues with seaweed as well. 

As always, check all your ingredients to make sure they do not have any cross-contamination. If you buy pre-made kim bugak, check the ingredients on the back of the packaging before consuming. 

A photo of the rice paper fried seaweed in a basket lined with paper.
A Basket Filled With Delicious Snacks.

Is This Rice Paper Fried Seaweed Hack Vegetarian or Vegan? 

Yes! For people living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, this Korean snack is the perfect treat for you. 

Can You Make This Recipe in Advance? 

Yes, you can easily make this rice paper fried seaweed snack in advance. If you do, store them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. You can keep them in your pantry or on your counter. I recommend eating each batch within 3 days. 

If you do not wish to make these, you can buy them as well! I recommend looking for these snacks in Asian markets or on Amazon

A Delicious Snack to Enjoy Once in Awhile

We Hope You Enjoy Making this Korean Rice Paper Fried Seaweed Snack!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about this Korean fried seaweed snack. If so, let us know in the comment section below. Also, if you cook with seaweed, what do you typically make?

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Korean Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com.

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Korean Rice Paper Fried Seaweed Hack (Rice Paper Kim Bugak)

Recipe by EmilyCourse: Recipes, SnacksCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

24

Chips
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Total time is approximately 4-5 hours. The dehydrating process takes 2-4 hours. It yields 24 chips.

Ingredients

  • 7 Sheets of Kim (Also Known as Gim, Nori, or Dried Seaweed)

  • 7 Sheets of Rice Paper

  • Warm Water, to Wet the Rice Paper

  • Sesame Seeds, to Garnish

  • Vegetable Oil, for Frying

Directions

  • Preparing the Kim Bugak:
  • Place the dried seaweed sheet on a flat surface. Heat some water and place into a shallow and wide bowl. Then, dip a sheet of rice paper into the water and get it completely wet. Once wet, place the rice paper over the sheet of dried seaweed. Press down so that they stick together. Finally, top with sesame seeds to garnish. Make sure that they stick to the rice paper.*
  • Place the wet seaweed and rice paper chips on a flat surface to dry. Repeat the process for the rest of the sheets of seaweed and rice paper.
  • Drying the Rice Paste and Seaweed Chip:
  • You can use two methods to dry the rice paper and seaweed: On one hand, you can use the natural sun and air that can take 3-5 hours. On the other hand, you can use a dehydrator that uses 1-3 hours.
  • Using natural sun and air, place the wet chips on a flat surface. Let them sit in the sunlight for 3-5 hours. The chips should harden enough to snap in half.**
  • If you are using a dehydrator, set it to the vegetable setting (approximately 125°F-135°F). Place the wet chips into the dehydrator for approximately 1-3 hours until they become hard enough to snap in half.**
  • Once dried, use scissors to cut each sheet into 4 equal-sized pieces. During this process, some sesame seeds may pop off. This is perfectly normal.
  • Frying the Kim Bugak
  • Place vegetable oil in a pot or wok. You should fill approximately 3-4 inches worth of oil. A little bit more or less of the oil will work. Slowly bring up the oil temperature to 350°F. To test the oil, you can dip the corner of a piece of the rice paper kim bugak into the oil. If it bubbles, it is ready to start frying.
  • Using tongs, lower a piece into the oil. Let it fry for approximately 5 seconds on one side and 5 seconds on the other side. Continue to do this until the rice paper puffs up and becomes a light golden color.
  • Once again, using the tongs, remove the kim bugak from the oil. Then, place it onto a paper towel to remove excess oil and drain. Continue this process until you fry all the pieces. When using 7 sheets of dried seaweed, it makes 28 pieces of the rice paper kim bugak. Serve immediately with beer, soju, or cider! Or, place it in an airtight container and keep for up to 3 days on the counter.

Notes

  • The sesame seeds do not stick as well to the rice paper (compared to the traditional kim bugak method). This is perfectly normal. When sprinkling the sesame seeds onto the wet rice paper, press them down to make them stick.
  • **To speed up the drying process, flip and rotate the uncooked kim bugak every few hours. You should do this whether you are using a dehydrator or a sunny window.

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