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Vegan Joomuk-bap (Fist Rice) Recipe!

March 11, 2011

Princess Prosecutor

We’ve just finished up the K-drama, Princess Prosecutor! It is really good – the amazing Park Shi Hoo from Queen of Reversals and Family of Honor, along with Dr. Champ‘s and IRIS‘ heroine Kim So Yun are in it. I watched it alone last year, and I loved it so much, I asked Bill to watch it again with me. :p He enjoyed it as well.

So there is this one episode where his royal hotness, Park Shi Hoo, makes a big batch of Joomuk-bap for Kim So Yun, so she can go have a little picnic with her crush (it’s before she realizes that she likes Park Shi Hoo). When Park Shi Hoo was making joomuk-bap, I was determined to make myself and Bill some as well!

Joomuk-bap is a picnic food for Koreans. When you’re going on a picnic with your friends or for a date, you make kim-bap (basically the Korean version of a sushi roll without the fish) or joomuk-bap. If you make joomuk-bap for your date, it is considered to be very sweet and romantic. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And of course, it’s the same when Korean mothers send their kids on a field trip at school or a picnic with their friends.

When literally translated, joomuk-bap means fist rice. We call it joomuk-bap because we use our fists to make the fist shaped rice ball. It’s a very nutritious, colorful and yummy dish. And it has to be accompanied by miso soup – they are soooooo yummy together!!! So here you go, maybe you can make it for your loved ones when the weather turns a bit warmer for a picnic!

Vegan Joomuk-bap (Fist Rice) Recipe (serves 3-4)

5 cups cooked brown rice
1/8 cup soaked shitake mushrooms (diced)
1 large carrot (diced)
1 large bunch broccoli florets (diced)
other leftover veggies (optional, diced)
flaxseed (or other vegetable) oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper
1/2 to 1 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds (regular sesame seeds if you don’t have black sesame)
2 sheets roasted nori/kim (crumbled)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
flax seeds (optional, for garnish)

1. Dice the mushrooms, broccoli, carrot and other left over veggies (like perrilla leaves).
2. Start stir frying the diced veggies with flaxseed/vegetable oil.
3. Add soy sauce, salt and black pepper and stir until veggies are cooked.
4. In a larger bowl, add brown rice, some salt, lemon juice, and sugar and mix well with hand.
5. Add the stir fried veggies and black sesame seeds to the rice bowl and mix well.
6. Add the crumbled nori/kim with sesame oil and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed.
7. Shape into small rice balls/bites (I find it easier to make the rice ball shape with those disposable plastic gloves you get at Asian grocery stores for like a dollar, although I try my best not to use them. Such a waste and not good for the environment. If you can, try putting some sesame oil on your hand first and then try shaping them, that could work better than just using your hand without the oil, as the rice can stick).
8. Sprinkle some flax seeds over them if you’d like. Serve with miso soup (or a light doengjang guk) and some kimchi or Korean radish pickles! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Dice the veggies and stir fry until cooked!


Add the stir fried veggies into the brown rice bowl.


Mix all the ingredients well, and then add nori/kim crumbles and then mix again.

Black Sesame

These are black sesame seeds! They are used for a fancy traditional porridge and all sorts of other dishes in Korea -considered even better quality than the yummy and nutritious regular sesame seeds. Sesame seeds have tons of calcium in them!


Shape them into little rice balls!


Yummmy…. ;P


Don’t forget to serve with Miso soup and some radish pickles!

28 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2011 2:15 am

    Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer

  2. March 12, 2011 2:58 pm

    Thank god spring is around the corner, I hope I’ll get the chance to go on a picnic soon so I can make these! I assume I can sub white rice for the brown rice? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sunnie permalink*
      March 12, 2011 4:40 pm

      Hi, Julia! Yes of course. White rice is a bit stickier so it will probably be easier to make the rice ball shapes than it is with brown rice. Yes, I can’t wait for some warmer weather – we’re just starting to get our garden ready for sowing our vegetable seeds, and we can’t wait for spring and summer! ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. March 14, 2011 11:08 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve never heard of joomuk bap before, and I’ve read a lot of Korean cookbooks. It looks delicious and fun. I’ll bet you could even use the vegetables uncooked, since they’re chopped so small. That would make it even healthier, although you might lose some flavor depending upon what you would have used to cook them.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      March 14, 2011 11:19 am

      Hello, Lu! Thanks for finding us. It’s so wonderful to hear that you’re interested in Korean cooking. You’re right, Joomuk-bap is really a lot of fun. Leaving the veggies uncooked might be good as well, it would be a more refreshing flavor I think. It could be a bit harder to make them into ball shapes, as they might not stick as well. Hope you have a chance to try it sometime!

      • March 14, 2011 2:16 pm

        Hi! I found you a couple of weeks ago and have really been enjoying your blog. Yes, I love Korean cooking, though it’s often hard when you’re vegan. A couple of friends and I are planning to have a vegan kimjang together this spring. ๐Ÿ™‚ You make a good point about the rice balls holding together–I’ll have to try it and find out!

        Congrats on a very nice blog.

      • Sunnie permalink*
        March 14, 2011 8:12 pm

        Thank you so much Lu, we’ve found blogging so much fun and rewarding! Kimjang this coming spring sounds like an amazing idea, hopefully the weather will warm up soon. Hope you enjoy the joomuk-bap, please share how it turns out if you can! ;P

  4. Jayanti permalink
    March 23, 2011 2:06 pm

    park shi hoo is so handsome! i have been watching korean dramas for the past 10 yrs thanks to the english subtitles. i have stopped watching hindi dramas or movies becoz of super fine acting of the korean actors in the dramas.

    i am planning on trying Joomuk-bap soon. please add more recipes.


    • Sunnie permalink*
      March 23, 2011 2:38 pm

      I am right there with you about Park Shi hoo, Jayanti. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We hope you enjoy the joomuk-bap recipe. It’s easy and yummy. Yes, I will make sure to keep adding more recipes. Thanks for finding us!

  5. Jayanti permalink
    March 23, 2011 2:07 pm

    (small correction) becoz i am addictated to the superfine acting of the korean actors.

  6. BarbwireCowgirl permalink
    May 15, 2011 9:17 pm

    I am going to try making this just for dinner, have a picnic at my own kitchen table! It looks really delicious and I love rice recipes!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      May 16, 2011 4:34 am

      Yay, I’m so glad to hear that. ๐Ÿ™‚ We love joomuk-bap, I hope you enjoy it too!!

  7. Barbwire Cowgirl permalink
    May 26, 2011 1:16 am

    Okay! Made a batch the other day, my brother dropped by and I fed them to him!
    It was a little hard getting them shaped, at first they wouldn’t stick, but I persevered and they came out great in the end! Of course my brother never seems to be satisfied, and while he said he really liked them he topped them off with cayenne pepper! Which actually, if you like things a little hot it was rather good . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sunnie permalink*
      May 26, 2011 9:40 am

      I’m so glad to hear that you tried it! Yes, at first they are quite hard to stick, so you need to play around with for a bit. I’m glad you stuck with it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Joomuk-bap with cayenne pepper actually sounds good to me too – I do like things a little hot!

  8. Jayanti permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:38 pm

    Hi Sunnie,

    The recipes in your blog are mouth watering! I love visiting your blog often for all the tasty recipes. I am Indian by birth but I have fallen in love with Korean culture, art & dramas. I love watching all programs & shows on KBS & MBC. I love everything about Korea so much that my family thinks maybe I was a Korean in my last birth!!! My aunt has recently started watching Korean dramas and she simply loves Joo Sang Wook who acted in “Thornbirds”. I like Han Hye Jin Shi, she is soooo pretty!


    • Sunnie permalink*
      June 20, 2011 9:08 pm

      Jayanti! It is so cool to think that you were Korean in your last life. ๐Ÿ™‚ Koreans love Indian food as well, so maybe the two cultures have some sort of connection! I haven’t seen Thornbirds yet, but I know friends who really liked it. I like Han Hye Jin in Jejoongwon- where she plays the first Korean female western doctor. She is so wonderful – beautiful and a great actor too. Did you see Joo Sang Wook in Giant? He was really good in that drama as well. Very handsome. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will keep posting recipes, Jayanti! Hope you keep visiting us! Take care, Sunnie

  9. June 22, 2011 6:02 pm

    I’m so excited about this recipe and your whole blog! I have everything in the fridge to make this, and it’s a perfect day to pack up a picnic dinner. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      June 22, 2011 11:33 pm

      Trina! Thank you for visiting. We know your blog and have visited many times before! We particularly like your pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are so glad that you are packing up Joomuk-bap for a picnic dinner. I hope you enjoy it. We love it and make it often. Keep us posted and we will keep visiting your blog as well!

  10. eatplayluv permalink
    August 12, 2011 12:48 am

    I read your post on KoreaTaste and followed the link here. Thank you for sharing the idea for a quick picnic food and also for all other interesting articles. I’m interested in fining good restaurants in Korea and hope to get some information on your dining experience in Korea. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Bill permalink*
      August 12, 2011 10:40 am

      Thanks for visiting our site, eatplayluv! We miss the restaurants in Korea now that we’re back in the US. Korean restaurants in the states are so expensive and limited in dish variety that we seldom are willing to go to them. There are so many good options in Seoul, though. Let us know if you have any specific questions about dining in Korea and we’ll be happy to share our thoughts!

  11. May 4, 2012 5:11 am

    This food looks so delicious …. wish i could try it….i have tasted kim bap and kimchy in korean resturant but i haven’t tasted this one….hummm i really must try on nxt day…….
    but our bad luck korean resturants in our country is very expenssive

    • Sunnie permalink*
      May 4, 2012 7:25 am

      Thanks for visiting! Hope to enjoy it, it’s pretty easy to make so hopefully it’ll turn out well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. June 29, 2012 7:59 am

    Awesome! can’t wait to make a picnic for my hubby! I already have most of the ingredients in my kitchen too which is fantastic!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      June 29, 2012 10:32 am

      Awesome! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you both enjoy it!!

  13. February 14, 2013 7:56 pm

    I am slowly making my way through your lovely and informative blog and this dish looks amazing! I cannot wait to give it a try. And…the K-drama reference…oh swoon! I just recently began my foray into the K-dramaverse and am in love! Thank you for sharing your healthy and plant-based take on Korean food. Gamsahamida!! โค

    • Sunnie permalink*
      February 14, 2013 8:18 pm

      Hi Michele! Thanks for finding us! K dramas are fun – and vegan Korean food is even more fun!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you enjoy the recipes and always let us know if you have any questions!

  14. k parkz permalink
    February 16, 2016 1:37 am

    can this be made with white rice instead of brown rice? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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