Edible rice papers are a fragile and almost completely translucent flat sheet made from a dough that is prepared with rice flour, water and salt. The rice flour is mixed with water, sprinkled with salt and then rolled out, cut into the desirable shape, then steamed and finally dried.
They are extremely simple to store, they just need to kept away from humidity, preferably in a resealable bag or airtight container, and then put away in a cupboard.
They come in all shapes and sizes which allows some flexibility for how they can be used in cooking.
In their original form they are dry, they need to be dipped in lukewarm water so they can soften and become pliable, then they can be moulded into the shape you want to be. Rice papers are more often than not used as casings for spring (fried) and summer (fresh) rolls, but there are so many other ways you can experiment with them!
1. Soup and Salad Topping
Add some crunch to your soups and salads with this recipe. Shred your rice papers or cut them into thin strips and place into a bowl. Add a little olive oil into the bowl and toss the rice papers until they’re coated in oil. Transfer the rice wrappers onto a baking sheet, in a single layer. Bake them at 190 degrees celsius for 4-6 minutes until they are golden brown and irresistibly crisp!
2. Steamed Salmon
Rather than steaming salmon the traditional way in a piece of aluminium foil, try cooking it in a sheet of rice paper. This means you will never have to worry about peeling off the foil ever again! You can eat the rice paper which add a subtle tasty crunch to your classic salmon dish.
Begin by seasoning your salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Set the salmon aside and grab 3 sheets of rice paper. Soften them with a damp tea towel and place them gently to form a flower shape. Where all 3 rice papers overlap (the centre of the flower) lay down some shredded cabbage, sliced carrots and sliced mushrooms. Next, layer your salmon on top of the vegetables and dress it with strips of ginger, a few stems of dill, some finely sliced chilli (if you like things hot!), a dash of soy sauce and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Wrap the ingredients tightly to form a brick shape, be careful not to tear the rice papers! Steam your wrap over a large saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes (or up to 15 minutes if you like your salmon well done). Plate your salmon wrap and slice it sideways in quite chunky pieces to avoid any of the deliciously moist contents to fall out and be wasted!
3. Crisps for your Dip
Rice papers can be turned into surprisingly fun and unusual looking crisps in just a few easy steps.
Warm up some oil in a large pan over medium to high heat. Gently slide each rice wrapper one at a time using long kitchen tongs to avoid getting burnt by hot oil that may jump from the pan.
It only takes a few seconds for each rice wrapper to go crispy and puff up.
Set aside your rice wrappers on a kitchen towel to let any residual oil drip off them.
Sprinkle your rice paper crisps with salt and smoked paprika before serving.
Use them as crisps for your dips next time you have your friends round or use to decorate and plate your dishes with, they double as an impressive food centrepiece!
Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of wanting to make a stir fry but that packet of noodles you thought you had at the back of your cupboard is nowhere to be found?
Then fear not because your rice papers can actually double as emergency noodles!
Slightly dampen each rice paper sheet with a wet kitchen towel. Use an oily paper towel to oil each sheet of rice paper (preferably olive or coconut oil) to avoid it from getting sticky.
Roll up your rice paper tightly and then slice the each rice paper into thick strips.
Unroll each strip gently with a chopstick, and then use to add into your stir-fry!
5. Chocolate Coconut Roll
Believe it or not rice papers can also be used to curb your sweet cravings, they are not just a savoury dish! Begin by cooking slim rice noodles in coconut milk for a few minutes. Don’t drain the noodles, just scoop them out and keep to one side in a bowl and hold on to that coconut milk as you will need it at the end of the recipe.
Next, dampen a rice wrapper with a wet kitchen towel to soften it. Layer strips of banana, noodles and dark chocolate pieces on the rice paper. Feel free to get creative here and add anything you would like to indulge in and you think would make your roll utterly scrumptious. Once you have all the ingredients for your filling ready on your rice wrapper you can then wrap it like a spring roll. Be careful not to tear the rice paper!
Dip the roll in the leftover coconut milk and then roll it in dry coconut flakes until completely coated.
Plate your roll and drizzle in chocolate sauce!
We hope you enjoy making these recipes at home, tag us in your culinary creations on Facebook and Instagram so we can see how creative you got with your rice papers!