Ingredient IQ: Rice Paper Wrappers

I was hesitant the first time I worked with rice paper wrappers, but now they’re a staple in my recipe repertoire. It turns out that rice wrappers are revolutionary! 

Rice paper wrappers, also known as rice papers or Vietnamese rice wrappers, are edible, flat, usually circular sheets that make dinner—or any meal or snack, for that matter—fresh and fun!

Most varieties of rice wrappers are made with white rice but we recommend opting for more nutritious brown rice wrappers, which are made from whole grain brown rice and have a slightly brown hue. You can find them in many supermarkets, in health food stores, and online.

Rice wrappers’ magic starts once the sheets are rehydrated in water. They soften and become pliable, stretchy, and easy to manipulate. Once you get the hang of it, the wrappers are easy to use, and you’ll fall in love with the versatility they offer. 

One of the most popular and convenient ways to use rice wrappers is by making spring rolls. You can fill the rice wrappers with a medley of raw or cooked ingredients, roll them up like burritos, and they’re ready to eat.

Tips for Making Spring Rolls with Rice Paper Wrappers

— Dry rice wrappers are thin and brittle and prone to cracking; handle with care.
— If you leave the rice wrappers soaking in water for too long, they will become difficult to work with and rip or tear easily.
— When adding fillings, keep at least 1 inch of space around the circumference of the rice wrapper to allow for folding and rolling.
— Don’t overfill your spring rolls or the wraps will tear. You’ll get a better sense of the right ratios as you go.
— If your filling is too heavy for a single wrapper, use two wrappers stacked together for extra strength.
— Once rehydrated, rice wrappers become a little sticky. Try to work quickly. After spring rolls are assembled, place them on a nonstick surface (such as parchment paper) with a little bit of space between rolls.
— You can fill rice wrappers with as much or as little filling as you like. Just remember that if the wraps are stretched too much, they will tear.
— Once assembled, cover the filled spring rolls with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
— Keep unused rice wrappers in a dry, cool area and stored in a zip-top bag or another airtight container.

Rice Paper Recipes to Try Today

Get started using rice wrappers with these easy and delicious spring roll recipes. 

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About the Author

Headshot of Ashley Madden, B.SC(Pharm), ACPR, CHNC

About the Author

Ashley Madden, B.Sc.(Pharm), ACPR, CHNC

Ashley Madden is a full-time food lover and self-professed health nut. She’s also a pharmacist, holistic nutritionist, graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute, and healthy food blogger. Madden is adamant that health starts in the kitchen. She specializes in plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free recipes, which you can find on her blog Rise Shine Cook. Her work has been published on Mind Body Green, One Green Planet, and Healthline as well as in Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and Thrive Magazine. Madden works with individual clients, teaches private and group cooking classes, and educates others about the power of a healthy plant-based diet and lifestyle. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
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