One of the people I follow on the Fedi shared a food pic of a starter they’d had in a vegan restaurant in Lisbon. I was hungry, so I decided to reverse engineer the thing. As it happened, I had almost all required ingredients around.

This is a starter that comes with strong flavours. It should be brightly acid, salty, spicy and umami. It should combine crunchy and soft textures.

No worries though, this one’s really easy to prepare, provided you’re minimally competent at deep-frying.

Use rice paper for a vegan recipe (and check your kimchi for fish sauce, if you didn´t make it yourself. Which you should, cause it’s easy and fun.)

(JFC, I suck as a recipe writer. Let’s skip the poetry, and head straight for the prose.)

Stuff you need

  1. Rice paper in pieces, or shrimp chips (what are these called in English?). You’ll want 2-3 per person.
  2. Oil for frying
  3. a small carrot
  4. a stalk of celery
  5. a couple of bell peppers (red and green. In a pinch, just one will do)
  6. spring onions
  7. a lemon
  8. kimchi

Chips & veggies on a plate

How to prepare

  1. Heat the oil, and deep-fry the rice paper or shrimp chips
  2. Julienne the veggies, and dump them all into one small bowl.
  3. Squeeze the lemon, and pour the juice over the veggies. Stir.
  4. Cut the spring onion into fine diagonal slices - it’s more of a decoration here.
  5. Chop the kimchi.

From now on, timing matters: don’t start putting anything on the chips / rice paper until everything else is ready, and your hungry people are seated at the table. You don’t want things to go soggy.

  1. Put some chopped kimchi on the rice paper / shrimp chips
  2. Ladle some julienned veggies on top
  3. Put a couple of spring onion slices on it
  4. Repeat for the rest of the chips / rice paper pieces.

You’re done! Now, serve the whole thing quickly.

Once you’ve practiced this a couple of times, you’ll probably want to adjust the flavour by seasoning the veggie julienne, with whatever sauces / spices you think make sense.