Wrap party

Homemade Vietnamese dinner

One of our favorite things is when a friend hosts a “wrap party”. This is where she prepares all of the ingredients to make one of the best home cooked dinners we ever have. She prepares the meat filling for egg rolls, lays out egg roll wraps and rice paper and then puts us to work. Usually there are at least five pairs of hands busy filling and wrapping egg rolls, stacking them high on a baking sheet so that she can take them into the kitchen to fry them.

Prior to us even arriving, she has prepped the vegetables, a beautiful plate of varying shades of green. There’s lettuce, cucumbers, green apple, cilantro, and other herbs. While the guests are wrapping egg rolls, she is preparing beef, pork, and shrimp for our rice paper rolls. Each person gets their own dish of fish sauce and sweet chili sauce for dipping. Then there are bowls of pickled radishes.

All of a sudden, plates of grilled pork, beef, and shrimp arrive. Then come the rice noodles. Then the golden brown egg rolls. And then the rice paper which we get to get ever so slightly damp, so that we can wrap the veggies and the meat into an opaque roll.

It’s all just so damn good. And the only thing better than the food is the conversations, and just being with friends.

Her mom stopped by for a few minutes (to pick something up) and I witnessed this exchange:

Friend’s mom (in Vietnamese): is he Japanese?

Friend (in Vietnamese): No, he’s Korean.

Friend’s mom, with disappointing tone: Oh.

I was sitting right next to her (friend’s mom). She was so disappointed that I wasn’t Japanese. It was funny and adorable and funny. Really, she was “disappointed” that she hadn’t guessed correctly.

Being the conversation was in Vietnamese, I only heard/understood: Japan? No, Korea. Oh.

Still makes me laugh. It was so funny.

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