Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most well-known in the world. Vietnamese food is renowned for its intense flavors, textures, and cooking styles. Pho, rice, and rolls are the principal staples of Vietnamese food. Two of the most famous Vietnamese dishes are summer rolls and chả giò. The rice paper wrappers give these dishes a unique texture and flavor.
If you love Vietnamese food and want to learn more about rice paper, you have come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about making rice paper and rice paper rolls.
What Is Rice Paper?
Rice paper is a thin, translucent wrapper made from rice flour and water. It can also be called rice sheets or banh trang in Vietnamese.
The rice is pounded into a paste, spread thinly on a cloth, and dried in the sun until it becomes hard and brittle. Rice paper has a mild, slightly sweet taste and is used to make Vietnamese spring rolls (chả giò), rice paper salads, and rice paper rolls (gỏi cuốn).
You can easily find it at a taste of Vietnam market or even regular supermarkets. However, if you can’t find them at your local store, they are readily available to purchase online.
Rice paper has a slightly chewy yet tender consistency and pairs well with various meat and vegetables.
So whether you want to replicate a dish of rice paper from Scottsdale or the open rice menu, or you want to make a side for your Eden Center pho, here’s how to make delicious rice paper.
Tasty Vietnamese Rice Paper Recipe
For a rice paper:
- 2 cups Rice flour
- 1½ cups Tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 cups Water
- Plastic wrap
For the Vietnamese rice paper roll filling:
- 11 Cooked shrimp or pork
- Thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers
- 1 cups Bean sprouts
- 7 Lettuce leaves
- 50 grams Vermicelli noodles
- Hoisin sauce or peanut sauce for dipping
How to make this staple like a rice paper:
- Mix rice flour, tapioca starch, and salt in a large bowl.
- Gradually add water and mix until it forms a thick paste.
- Cover a plate with plastic wrap. You want to use a large dinner plate that is microwave safe. The plastic wrap should cover the entire dish and fit tightly.
- Pour the rice flour mixture onto the plastic wrap-covered plate until a thin layer covers the entire dish. You can use a spoon to spread the batter if need be.
- Put the plate with the plastic wrap and batter in the microwave and cook it on high for about 45 seconds.
- Remove the plate from the microwave and peel off the plastic wrap from the plate. The rice paper will stay attached to the plastic wrap. Let the rice paper and plastic cool for several minutes.
- Gently peel the rice paper off the plastic wrap, but be careful. You don't want it to tear.
- Immediately use the rice paper or store it in an airtight container. If you keep the rice paper and use it later, you will have to rehydrate it in water before using it.
How to make Vietnamese rice paper rolls:
- Prepare your fillings by cooking the meat and thinly slicing the vegetables.
- In a small bowl, soak a rice paper wrapper in warm water until it becomes soft and pliable (about 30 seconds). You can skip this step if you are using freshly made rice paper.
- Place lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, vermicelli noodles, meat, and sliced vegetables on the wrapper.
- Roll up the wrapper, tucking in the sides as you roll.
- Serve with hoisin or peanut sauce for dipping.
Tips & Tricks for Vietnamese Rice Paper Recipe
Whether you’re using rice patties from Vietnam or want to veganise the dish, here are some tips and tricks:
Prepping the Rolls
To keep the rice paper wrappers from sticking, sprinkle tapioca starch on them before stacking them in an airtight container.
If you want to freeze the rice paper wrappers, wrap them individually in plastic before placing them in a sealed container or freezer bag.
When making the rolls, a pro tip is to wrap up the filling in a piece of lettuce before putting it inside the rice paper.
Alternative Uses for Rice Paper
You can also use rice paper to make a bánh mì sandwich or as a wrap for sushi rolls. If the rice paper is old and dry, you can cut them into noodles.
For a healthier option, try using rice paper wrappers instead of regular tortillas for your next taco night.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the filling of the rice paper rolls. You can add different meats or vegetables, such as mushrooms and bell peppers. Also, try adding pickled vegetables or chili for an extra kick.
You can also veganise the recipe by using slices of marinated tofu as the protein base and dipping your rolls in plant-based sauces.
Nutrition Information of Vietnamese Rice Paper Recipe
One rice paper wrapper (about 4 inches in diameter) has about:
- 70 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 16 grams of carbohydrates
Rice paper is also gluten-free and vegan.
One Vietnamese rice paper roll filled with shrimp, vegetables, and vermicelli noodles has about:
- 120 calories
- 2 grams of fat
- 18 grams of carbohydrates
Both of these items are full of healthy ingredients, and you can consume them as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Rice paper is a versatile and tasty ingredient that can be used in many different ways. Give it a try for your next meal or snack.
Made this for dinner tonight for my fam. Absolutely loved it!
I made this for my husband and I and another couple.