Korean Tuna Rice Bowl (Chamchi Deopbap)

Difficulty Easy

My favorite pantry meal: Korean Tuna Rice Bowl, also known as Chamchi Deopbap! A quick and satisfying meal made with canned tuna, rice, and spicy kimchi. A drizzle of Kewpie mayo and sesame oil adds richness. Top with a shower of green onion and roasted seaweed snack (called Gim in Korean) to make this 10-minute meal feel extra special and luxurious!

What is a Korean Tuna Rice Bowl or Chamchi Deopbap?

When I don’t want to cook or there’s nothing to eat in the house, I make Chamchi Deopbap or Korean Tuna Rice Bowls.

In Korean, chamchi means “tuna.” Deopbap is roughly translated as “covered over rice.” So Tuna Deopbap is a rice bowl with canned tuna and various seasonings.

Similar to Gyeran Bap (Korean Egg Rice), Tuna Deopbap is a common Korean meal that can be put together quickly and easily. All you need is canned tuna and rice. Then add what you like! Endlessly customizable with pantry ingredients, there are many different iterations of this popular Korean cafeteria meal.

To balance the lean tuna, my recipe calls for the addictively spicy bite of kimchi. Kewpie mayo and sesame oil adds richness and fragrance. A generous shower of green onion and roasted nori or Gim completes it. So simple and so good!

Make this humble, easy dish anytime you like. My kids love it just as much as I do! A truly comforting meal that’s healthy, full of protein, and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Canned Tuna. A household staple, I always have canned tuna on hand. Canned tuna is full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium. Low in calories and saturated fat, it also stays good for several years in the pantry.
  • Rice. Koreans typically use short grain or medium grain rice for everyday cooking. Also called sushi rice, it’s plump, toothsome, and slightly sticky. Popular brands include Botan Calrose, Nishiki, Kokuho, and Shirakiku. For this tuna rice bowl recipe, Jasmine rice also works. Long-grain rice (Basmati, Carolina Gold, etc.) is too fluffy and not typically used.
  • Kimchi. Adds acidity and lots of flavor. A good counterbalance to lean tuna.
  • Kewpie Mayo. Japanese mayonnaise that is slightly sweeter and richer than regular mayonnaise. If you don’t have it, Hellman’s or Duke’s can be used. A squeeze bottle makes drizzling easier.
  • Sesame Oil. Rich, fragrant, and nutty. An essential seasoning.
  • Green onion. Adds freshness, color, and subtle onion flavor.
  • Roasted Seaweed Snack (Gim). Crumble one entire package for each serving. Adds lots of savory, earthy delicious flavor. You can also use seaweed crumbles found at the Korean market. Or furikake.
ingredients for tuna rice bowl (chamchi deopbap)

What kind of canned tuna should I use?

I’ve used just about every kind of canned tuna for this dish. They all taste good! Some suggestions:

  • Tuna packed in oil. Contains the best flavor and texture. Also contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Either Korean or Italian varieties are delicious.
  • Spicy Tuna. Look for Korean canned tuna with kimchi or pepper sauce. Saucy and red, spicy tuna also contains small pieces of potato and other vegetables for added flavor.
  • Tuna packed in water. Contains less calories than tuna packed in oil. Also contains less omega-3 fatty acids and less flavor. Tends to be quite dry and chunky. When using tuna packed in water, I like to break up the big pieces with a fork and add a little mayo to add flavor and moisture.
  • Tuna in pouches. As pouches do not require a can opener, they are convenient and handy for travel and camping trips. However, handle carefully — the tuna tends to shred and break apart easily.

*Note: Korean tuna brands are my personal favorite for this simple tuna rice bowl. They come in several different varieties, flavors, and sizes. They also don’t taste or smell as “fishy” as other brands.

Instructions:

Assemble a Korean Tuna Rice Bowl in only 10 minutes! Recipe makes 2 servings.

  1. Add rice. Divide warm rice evenly between 2 bowls.
  2. Add kimchi. Chop kimchi into small, bite-sized pieces. Add on top of the rice, about 1/4 cup for each serving.
  3. Add tuna. Open a can of tuna. Drain well, pressing the lid of the can so most of the liquid has been removed. Add directly on top of the kimchi. Divide evenly between the 2 bowls.
  4. Add seasoning. For each bowl, add thick drizzles of Kewpie mayo and a little bit of sesame oil. Divide green onion evenly and sprinkle over both bowls.
  5. Add Gim. For each bowl, crumble one package of roasted seaweed snack (gim) on top. Enjoy!

Watch how to make it:

PRO Tips:

  • Drain tuna. Canned tuna contains a lot of liquid. To prevent soggy rice, make sure to drain well. Also, feel free to break up the big pieces so the tuna is not too chunky.
  • Chop kimchi with scissors. A Korean trick to avoid the hassle of washing the cutting board and knife. Transfer kimchi to a small bowl and snip with scissors into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Make instant rice. If you don’t want to wait 30 minutes to cook a fresh pot of rice, use instant Korean rice instead. They are individual bowls of instant rice that can be cooked in the microwave. Get perfectly fluffy rice in just a few minutes!
korean tuna rice bowl with drizzles of kewpie mayo and green onion

Variations:

There are so many different ways to enjoy Tuna Deopbap! Customize to your liking:

  • Spice it up! There are several ways to make Chamchi Deopbap spicier: Use spicy Korean tuna. Or add generous drizzles of sriracha or Cho Gochujang Sauce.
  • Swap the rice. Replace with brown rice or Korean Purple Rice for added fiber and nutrition.
  • Make a salad bowl. Up your vegetable intake for the day with chopped lettuce, cucumber, and perilla leaves.
  • Add avocado. Creamy avocado is such a delicious addition.
  • Add eggs. A classic addition to Chamchi Deopbap. Add a fried, sunny side up egg or scrambled eggs alongside the tuna.

More rice recipes:

More recipes with tuna:

top down view of tuna rice bowl with drizzles of mayo and green onion (chamchi deopbap)

Korean Tuna Rice Bowl (Chamchi Deopbap)

Lis Lam
My favorite pantry meal: Korean Tuna Rice Bowl, also known as Chamchi Deopbap! A quick and satisfying meal made with canned tuna, rice, and spicy kimchi. A drizzle of Kewpie mayo and sesame oil adds richness. Top with a shower of green onion and roasted seaweed snack (called Gim in Korean) to make this 10-minute meal feel extra special and luxurious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Rice, Snack
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2
Calories 348 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can tuna *packed in oil, preferably
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup kimchi *chopped, divided evenly (1/4 cup per serving)
  • 2 drizzles kewpie
  • 2 drizzles sesame oil
  • 1 green onion *chopped, divided evenly
  • 2 packages roasted seaweed snack (gim)

Instructions
 

  • Add rice. Divide warm rice evenly between 2 bowls.
  • Add kimchi. Chop kimchi into small, bite-sized pieces. Add on top of the rice, about 1/4 cup for each serving.
  • Add tuna. Open a can of tuna. Drain well, pressing the lid of the can so most of the liquid has been removed. Add directly on top of the kimchi. Divide evenly between the 2 bowls.
  • Add seasoning. For each bowl, add thick drizzles of Kewpie mayo and a little bit of sesame oil. Divide green onion evenly and sprinkle over both bowls.
  • Add Gim. For each bowl, crumble one package of roasted seaweed snack (gim) on top. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Tips:
  • Drain tuna. Canned tuna contains a lot of liquid. To prevent soggy rice, make sure to drain well. Also, feel free to break up the big pieces so the tuna is not too chunky.
  • Chop kimchi with scissors. A Korean trick to avoid the hassle of washing the cutting board and knife. Transfer kimchi to a small bowl and snip with scissors into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Make instant rice. If you don’t want to wait 30 minutes to cook a fresh pot of rice, use instant Korean rice instead. They are individual bowls of instant rice that can be cooked in the microwave. Get perfectly fluffy rice in just a few minutes!
Variations:
    • Spice it up! There are several ways to make Chamchi Deopbap spicier: Use spicy Korean tuna. Or add generous drizzles of sriracha or Cho Gochujang Sauce.
    • Swap the rice. Replace with brown rice or Korean Purple Rice for added fiber and nutrition.
    • Make a salad bowl. Up your vegetable intake for the day with chopped lettuce, cucumber, and perilla leaves.
    • Add avocado. Creamy avocado is such a delicious addition.
    • Add eggs. A classic addition to Chamchi Deopbap. Add a fried, sunny side up egg or scrambled eggs alongside the tuna.

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 28gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 398mgPotassium: 710mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 6638IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Chamchi Deopbap, Tuna Rice Bowl
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Dinner, Rice, Snack
Korean
Chamchi Deopbap, Tuna Rice Bowl
15 minutes, All Recipes, Kimchi, Korean, Rice, Seafood, Snacks, Weeknight Meals

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