While a member of the debate team in college, I had the opportunity to travel all over the United States to compete. However, I never traveled outside of the US until visiting my husband (boyfriend at the time) while he was studying abroad in South Korea. I will be honest, this was the last place I expected to go for my first time being outside of the country. Growing up I always dreamed of going to the beautiful beaches in greece or exploring Italian culture and cuisine in Rome. I never expected Korea to be on the top of my travel list, but I had a friend who taught debate there for a year and absolutely loved it. Turns out Austin did the same thing before we got together, and he loved it (possibly) even more. I recommend not bringing the topic up to him unless you’re ready for an hour of him trying to convince you to go. My point is… I never stood a chance of not going.
As I mentioned, Austin was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go back to Korea on a study abroad trip for graduate school and he invited me to visit him for a week. I will be honest, I was initially reluctant. Not only had I been dating this guy for barely 4 months, but I was about to go to a country I knew nothing about. However, the spontaneous-need-for-adventure side of me took over and I booked the ticket.
Going to Korea was by far one of the best decisions of my life, it strengthened Austin and I’s relationship, I saw some gorgeous views, and the food was AMAZING. I will admit we were not plant based then and this recipe was not originally entirely plant based [picture of original dish in Korea below], but that’s what makes this blog fun! Turning meat based dishes into plant based dishes.
On the second day, Austin asked if I wanted to try a vietnamese restaurant, to which I replied, “pho yeah!” Get it? Okay, I can’t blame you if you want to leave. He kept going on and on about how amazing the summer rolls were. I was skeptical I’m a crispy spring rolls kind of girl. Rice paper rolls always disappointed me. BOY was I wrong. When the plate of all of the gorgeous vegetables came out my mouth dropped. Now, I could eat these every single day, they are delicious, filled with fresh veggies of your choice, and they look beautiful!
Moral of the story: try new things! You may never know what is in store for you.
If you have never made them before I recommend watching a video or eating them with someone who has made them before (another reason I love Korean food is that it’s all about the experience and sharing meals). It is super easy once you get the hang of it. Here’s our recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did- be sure to let us know in the comments!
- Rice Paper Sheets (5-10 per person)
- All veggies cut into strips:
- Red and Green Bell Pepper
- Purple Cabbage
- Bean Sprouts
- Yellow Onion (sauteed for about 5 minutes)
- Peanut Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Fill a large bowl with hot water.
- Quickly soak the rice paper sheet and place on a flat plate (about 2-3 seconds in the water). Try to use a ceramic plate, it will start to get sticky but that is ok.
- Add in the veggies/fruit in the middle, as if you were going to make a burrito. Choose as many as you want.
- Wrap one side of the rice paper around the vegetables and begin to roll, folding the sides in.