Sep 23, 2016

bulgogi spring rolls

Although I have a more authentic (and still easy-to-make) recipe for Korean Bulgogi - which is barbecue that is served in lettuce leaves - in my cookbook Vegan Bowls [Amazon, B&N], I wanted to make a more portable version of this dish, so putting it into rice roll wrappers seemed to be the answer.

This version is simpler and less traditional, but still very delicious in its own right. I used my SteaK Setian recipe for this (found HERE), but you can also use portobello mushrooms or even tofu, if you like. The seitan is quite delicious, though, and isn't difficult to make at all.

The seitan is grilled to perfection after marinating in the sweet and salty mixture for a little while (or overnight) and is then chopped into strips.

The seitan is then rolled into rice spring roll wrappers along with rice noodles (I used udon noodles here), carrots, lettuce leaves, scallions and the ssamjang sauce, which is a spicy paste (here turned into a sauce) that usually accompanies Korean barbecue.

Although the recipe calls for doenjang (a fermented soybean paste) and gochujang (a spicy chili pepper paste), you can use dark miso (not white - it is too sweet) and sriracha as substitutes.

It is very important that you don't soak the rice paper for a long time; soak it only until it is pliable. It will soften up further as it sits with the moist ingredients rolled into it. A mistake folks often make is soaking it too long (please, ignore the package directions to soak for up to a minute) and then having the paper fall apart on them before they have a chance to roll it up. Remember: only until it is pliable.

Now, go forth and create your own masterpiece.

Bulgogi Spring Rolls 
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon date paste*** or sugar
1/2 medium apple, cored and chopped
2 medium garlic cloves
1/2 order Seitan SteaK or 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and gills scraped out

2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoons doenjang or dark miso
1 tablespoon date paste*** or sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons gochujang or sriracha
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds 

8 (9-inch) spring roll wrappers
8 small lettuce leaves
1 large carrot, julienned
3 scallions, minced
4 ounces dry rice noodles or udon, cooked and cooled under running water, reserve the hot water for the spring roll wrappers

1. Combine the broth, tamari, sweetener, apple and garlic in a small blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a shallow pan and add the seitan. Coat well and set aside to marinade, from 10 to 60 minutes. 
2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat for 4 minutes. Spray with oil and add the seitan. Cook, about 4 minutes per side, basting as needed. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cool, cut into strips.
3. Make the sauce by combining the hot water, doenjang, sweetener, gochujang and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Mix well until everything is dissolved. 
4. Dip a spring roll wrapper into the hot water reserved from the pasta and soak for 5 to 10 seconds, depending on how hot the water is. Soak only until the wrapper is pliable. It will soften once you add the other moist ingredients. Add a lettuce leaf and spread with the sauce. Add some seitan, carrots, scallions, and noodles. Roll up like a burrito, from the back roll to halfway and then fold in the sides. Finally roll it all the way up.  Serve or store, covered, for later enjoyment. 

*** Date Paste: Pit 10 medjool dates. Add to a mason jar and fill with enough water to cover, about 1 cup. Soften overnight in the fridge. Blend until very smooth, including the soaking liquid.  

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



  1. These look so good! I can't wait to try them. I'm going to get my husband to make me those seitan steaks and I'll do the rolls. :)

    I didn't know you had a book! Congrats! I'll check that out!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for #HealthyVeganFridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    1. Thank you! Definitely tag team it; it's more fun that way, anyway.

      Yes, as a matter of fact, my third cookbook is coming out in a few weeks!

      Thank you for visiting!

  2. This looks so good! I think if I try to make it, I'd try it with tofu to make it gluten-free.
    "It is very important that you don't soak the rice paper for a long time" Ah yes, I definitely learned this the hard way I used rice paper for the first time.
    I look forward to trying this out =)

  3. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

  4. Thank you for visiting, John. Hope you'll like it!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu