Why I Love Rice Paper

I’m addicted to rolls. Each and every time I’m at a Thai restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant, an Indonesian restaurant, you name it, I’m looking at the appetizer list to see what kind of rolls they serve. Some rolls are enrobed in wonton-esque wrappers such as lumpia. Crispy spring rolls are wrapped in sweet mint and tender lettuce. These are delectable and delicious, but they are also fried.

Rice paper wrapped rolls avoid the fried calories and are remarkably easy to make at home with endless possibilities of fillings:

  • julienned vegetables

  • quinoa

  • rice

  • sandwich meats

  • leftovers

  • noodles

  • seafood/sushi

  • couscous

  • even fruit

RicePaper.jpg

The mild flavor and tacky texture make rice paper a great mess-free transport for your favorite salads and sandwiches. Try pairing them with a variety of dipping sauces like:

  • peanut

  • aioli

  • sweet and sour

  • mustards

  • nutella

Rice paper wraps can be prepared easily even a couple days before without risk of drying out or becoming soggy. They are packaged much like tortillas but in their rigid state, and can be purchased at Whole Foods and many big brand grocery stores, as well as Asian markets.

Prior to using your wrappers, prepare a warm bath in a large-ish bowl. Place one wrapper at a time into the warm water until it becomes limp, then carefully remove it from the water allowing excess water to run back into the bowl before placing the wrapper onto your work surface (such as a plate or cutting board). Fill and roll up similar to a burrito. The tacky nature of the rice paper will grip to itself and hold its delicious contents in without unravelling, which is why I love rice paper rolls.

Give it a shot and then let me know how you roll!