How to Eat Rice Paper


Rice paper is typically made from a mixture of white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, and water, making them gluten-free. They are transparent and very thin, mainly used to wrap food in various Asian cuisines. If you aren’t sure how to consume rice sheets, here are some recipes that you can try out!

How Can You Eat Rice Paper?

Rice paper sheets are used in a variety of recipes! From the best rice paper rolls to dumplings, to chips to pizza! They can also be made into rice noodles in a pinch or consumed on their own.

Do You Have to Cook Rice Paper to Consume It?

You don’t have to cook rice sheets to consume them. Once you rehydrate them by dipping them in a bit of water, you can snack on them already. 

Do You Need to Soak Rice Paper?

Yes, rice paper wrappers need to be soaked in water for a couple of seconds to make them pliable enough to wrap around food. Warm water in a shallow dish should be used because if the rice paper is soaked in water that is too hot, it will disintegrate. If the sheet is too wet, leave it to air dry for 1 to 2 minutes or place it on a dry kitchen towel. 

However, if you will be cooking them as chips, there is no need to soak them.

Is Rice Paper Healthy to Eat?

Yes, it is! Rice sheets have a high nutritional value and don’t have any added fats or calories. It has a low glycemic index, making it a healthy option for individuals who want to maintain their blood sugar levels. Rice paper is also naturally gluten-free!

Rice Paper Recipes

Soft and thin rice sheets can be used in many recipes. They are a staple in Asian cuisine. You can make various flavourful goodies with rice sheets and never get bored of them. Remember, before making food with rice sheets, you will need to wet them briefly to make them pliable. Use a shallow bowl a bit larger than the size of the sheets, then dip them one at a time for 3 to 4 seconds. 

Additionally, if you aren’t going to use up all of them, be sure to store them in a cool and dry place. Place them into a resealable bag or an airtight container and then put them away in a cupboard.

Fried Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are believed to have originated from China sometime between 266 to 420 A.D. In those days, people usually made spring rolls to commemorate the first day of spring, hence their name. These days, spring rolls can be made and consumed anytime. 

Most rice paper spring rolls have fillings such as minced pork, tofu, carrots, mushrooms, cabbages, and the like. You can even find sweet spring rolls made with red or black bean paste filling. Some enjoy spring rolls as they are, but fried spring rolls are great too. 

Making a spring roll is pretty easy! All you need is your preferred filling ingredients and rice paper. Before you make a spring roll, be sure that your surface is dry. Any amount of excess water can make the rice paper too wet. 

Gently submerge the rice paper and then transfer it to a dry, smooth, and flat work surface. Place your filling in the middle, around the lower third of the rice paper. Then, fold the sides gently but make it tight towards the middle. Take the bottom seam and fold it upwards gently, then use your fingers to tuck the filling tight within the rice paper before rolling it all the way up. Place your finished spring roll on parchment paper with the closing seam on the bottom. 

Don’t forget to serve a dipping sauce on the side. Some recipes call for a vinegar dip, while others use sweet and sour dipping sauce or sweet plum sauce.

Rice Paper Summer Rolls

Summer rolls are a famous Vietnamese delicacy known as “gỏi cuốn,” made by using rice paper. Typically served fresh, they consist of pork, prawn, vegetables, rice vermicelli or glass noodles, and other ingredients wrapped in a thin, translucent rice paper wrapper. In other regions, fresh summer rolls are also known as salad rolls. 

Just like spring rice paper rolls, the fillings of a summer roll can vary. The most common summer rice paper rolls recipe is pork and shrimp, but you can also find chicken or a combination of shrimp and avocado. Summer rice paper rolls with fresh vegetables as the filling are highly popular as well. These rolls are also typically paired with a dipping sauce.

Fried Rice Paper Chips

Rice papers aren’t just for wrapping or making a roll. They can also be turned into crunchy chips for munching! The only ingredients you’ll need are oil, rice paper wrappers, and your choice of seasoning. Some popular seasoning choices include salt and pepper, paprika powder, fajita spice mix, cheese powder, and the like. Here’s an easy rice paper chips recipe that you can follow:

  1. Take a frying pan or a large skillet and heat it over medium heat. 
  2. Cut the rice papers into pieces. The larger the pieces are, the easier to work with.
  3. Add oil approximately 0.5-inch deep. You don’t need to deep fry the rice papers to get them puffed. Since they are super thin, adding oil to cover them while they are still flat will be enough.
  4. Place the rice papers in the oil and wait for them to get crispy. It will take approximately 5 seconds. 
  5. When they are puffy, take them out immediately. No need to wait longer than a few seconds.
  6. Use tongs to gently grab and transfer them to a paper towel. 
  7. Sprinkle your preferred seasoning all over the rice paper chips.

Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings

Chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, these rice paper dumplings are sure to be a hit. Cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms are a classic combination for rice dumplings but you can also use minced shrimp, ground chicken, pork, and beef. Tofu is also a perfect veggie-friendly option. 

Dumplings made with rice sheets can be very soft and plump, so it’s recommended to double-wrap them before giving them a quick sear for a crispy coating.

You can also make instant dumplings. Simply shred all the ingredients finely then season with soy sauce and sesame oil. Next, cook the filling in the pan and use rice paper to wrap the mixture in a dim sum shape. If you want your instant dumplings to have an extra crunch, you can fry them. 

Rice Paper Pizza

Another recipe that you can make with a rice paper sheet is a rice paper pizza! It’s exactly what it says on the tin — instead of dough, you use rice paper as the base to make a thin, crispy pizza. It is topped with various ingredients such as shallots, green onions, dried pork floss, dried shrimp mixed with chicken eggs, tuna, and such. 

To prepare the toppings for this recipe, stir-fry the green onion, meat, and shallot together. Season with soy sauce or oyster sauce. Next, fry the paper sheet in the pan, add the egg on top, and scramble until the egg is set. Add the cooked ingredients on top of the sheet, then flavor it with other sauces. Serve with sriracha sauce or mayonnaise. 

Final Note

Rice paper is a highly versatile food that can be used in numerous recipes. You can create various dishes with these soft sheets, and you’ll surely never get bored of serving any of them! Best of all, they’re healthy to consume and are naturally gluten-free! Try your hand at making any of these recipes today!

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