The rice paper roll is a fantastic, healthy and easy to make family favourite. It is perfect because it is easy to make, fresh and tasty, with plenty of fresh vegetables it is a healthy snack or meal. This little dish is also great to make with the kids and can facilitate teaching them about fresh ingredients as well as improving fine motor skills. I personally love it, get your hands into it and work with the ingredients to make the perfect roll.
One of the best things with the rice paper roll is you can make it a day or two earlier and cover it with a damp paper towel. They store well in the fridge and allow for fresh healthy snacks throughout the week. Or what if you placed all the prepared ingredients onto a board with a couple of dipping sauces, with a side bowl of water for rice paper soaking! Now you have a roll your own dinner party that is fresh, healthy and interactive.
Food is to be celebrated over! Make the meal not just food, but an experience! Be mindful of what you are eating and who you are eating with, I guarantee the taste and memory of the meal will be a reference point to smile over for years to come!
Let’s have a quick chat about rice paper
Simply, rice paper is a thin gluten-free paper-like sheet, made from rice starch. Rice is washed and soaked, the mixture is then blended into a paste and cooked over steam to make a thin smooth paper-like casing. The papers are often dried to increase storage life and to transport. However, the rice paper can be easily re-hydrated simply by soaking in water. The casing can be used to hold any filling that is required and can be served cold. You can purchase dried papers at most supermarkets or Asian grocers as shown below:
The humble rice paper is made as simple as it sounds. The following YouTube video is a great example of how one variation of how the rice paper is made:
Chicken and crispy vegetable rice paper rolls with chilli and lime dipping sauce
Serves 2 people (4 rolls each)
8 Sheets of rice paper
Fillings are limited by your own imagination; the following is only a guide (Image below)
1 chicken breasts cut into strips– poached in chicken stock
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds or black sesame
¼ wombok / cabbage or bok choy
½ red capsicum – cut into strips
½ green capsicum – cut into strips
1 carrot sliced into thin strips (use a peeler to make strips)
1 stalk celery – cut into strips
red cabbage – shredded fine
1 shallot sliced
1 cup cooked rice
Dipping sauce – Chilli and lime
Lime juice and zest from a single lime
1 tsp Fish sauce
5 drops of sesame oil
10 Coriander leaves – sliced fine
1 tsp salt-reduced soy
2 tsp cane sugar or brown sugar
½ chilli (finely diced with seeds removed)
1 TBLSP water
Method for making a rice paper roll
1. Prepare all fillings for the rolls (vegetables as shown above)
2. Poach chicken by gently simmering strips of chicken in chicken stock until cooked – cool
3. Cook 1-2 cup of rice in 2-3 cups of boiling water until soft, rinse under cold water to cool, stir in 1 tsp salt-reduced soy to season
4. Have all filling ingredients out onto preparation bench and ready to roll
5. Place a rice paper roll into a tray of water for 1 min to soften – Hot tip – Make sure the rice paper is covered in water, do not over soak paper as they will break easily. As you are rolling one you can have the next paper soaking, work quickly and be organised.
6. Once the paper is soaked lay onto a flat bench or plate, fill the paper with your favourite ingredients, as shown in the image below:
7. Roll in the following order – Fold base overfilling and firmly tuck in the filling, fold the left side over, fold the right side over, firmly roll bundle along the remaining paper, using the resistance of board to roll tightly. Set aside and set the paper set. Rolling is demonstrated below:
1. Wisk all wet ingredients together with sugar
2. Gently stir in coriander and chilli in at the end
|Protein||Starch||Vegetables or fruit|
Roast beef strips
Sweet potato mash
|Mango and apple
Remember, the variations are only limited by your imagination. Test new fillings and new dipping sauces. Have fun, get your hands into it and enjoy your fresh healthy food!
Co-Founder of Fooderii
Food is life, and Chris has spent his career learning, teaching, producing and refining this art. As a qualified chef and restauranteur Chris has 15 years experience in producing high-quality fine dining meals, writing menus and teaching his passion of cooking to his teams. Chris has also pursued his love for health and fitness gaining a Certificate III & IV of Fitness in 2011. Combining health and fitness with food lead Chris to further study, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics gaining 1st class Honours and the University Medal. With all of these skills and accomplishments Chris works hard on his passion for health and food by teaching the art of cooking and sharing his experience with food whilst promoting health.