How to Eat Rice Paper, What It is Made of and Is it Healthy

Linda Walton-author-of-mybestricecooker.com
By Linda Walton • Last Updated: April 16, 2022

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How to Eat Rice Paper

Cooking rice is perhaps one of the basic kitchen tasks, however, some people still find cooking rice a challenge. Today I will show you how to cook white rice in a rice cooker and master the perfect, fluffy rice all the time.

Rice Paper What?

Before we get any further, I’m talking about the edible rice paper and not the writing/painting material. It is also popular in the name of Vietnamese rice paper or banh trang.

These yummy rice papers are actually made from 4 ingredients only: rice flour, tapioca flour, salt and water.

Banh Trangs come in different sizes too, they are round in shape with intricate pattern stamps. With these basic ingredients, you can create a healthy meal by incorporating fruits and vegetables for a hearty breakfast or lunch.

Rice papers first came from Southeast Asia particularly in Vietnam wherein it has a lot of variations. They are made into crepes, spring rolls, soups, salads, and stir-fried dishes. Its ingredients are so simple yet its health benefits are so satisfying.

How to Eat Rice Paper

Rice paper recipe

It actually depends on how you want it. You can eat it rolled, strips, and even made into breads and macaroons. The most famous so far is the fresh Vietnamese spring roll. Have you tried it?

Rice paper wrappers or rolls are transparent and plastic-like cover that you see on many Asian restaurants. You can cook it in so many ways too!

You can make home-made rice papers if you want to cook authentic rice paper recipes. There are plenty of rice paper rolls available at the Asian groceries too if you need them fast.

How to Use Rice Paper for Spring Roll

A ready-made rice paper roll is actually hard and crisp. They are sold in dried sheets which need to be re-hydrated before using. You need to soak it in hot water first before you can use it to any dishes you prefer.

Upon opening a pack, you can see white, almost transparent round shape rice paper with cute patterns in the middle. These patterns are actually from the molder they were made from.

There is no need to cook rice paper if you want to use it for spring rolls. This is how you use a rice paper:

  • Soak the rice paper in hot water
  • Remove it when the paper becomes soft
  • Put it on a dry towel to dry and cover with another piece of towel
  • Create a layer of rice paper and towels to allow drying
  • After drying all the pieces, flip the towels so you can use the first layer of rice paper
  • Add in your favorite veggies and fruits and gently roll

That’s it! Your fresh spring rolls are ready!

How to Make Rice Paper

make rice paper making tips

Now that you have learned how to use a read-made rice paper, why not make your own rice paper at home? Surely, eating spring roll is so easy as well as preparing it, so today we will learn how to make rice papers perfect for some outdoor picnics.

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Cornstarch *optional

Procedure:

  1. Mix both flours, rice and tapioca in a large bowl
  2. Add in the salt and the optional ingredient which is cornstarch
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil and gradually add water
  4. Mix it together until you have a pancake-like batter
  5. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Use medium to low heat
  6. Pour in batter and gently fill the entire surface of the pan. Create a thin layer or crepe
  7. Cover the lid and allow it to steam for 30 seconds to a minute
  8. Remove the cover and loosen the batter with a spatula
  9. Turn over the pan to a big plate or cutting board. Be careful not to tear the rice paper roll
  10. Let it cool

Your rice paper wrapper is now ready for rolling!

Health Benefits of Rice Paper

If you think that rice paper rolls are just a cute way of eating vegetables and salads, think again. Rice paper can actually help you LOSE weight. Yup! You read it right.

Lose Weight

In terms of calorie counts versus bread and pita bread, rice paper has lower calories which can help you lose weight. Instead of eating sandwiches for breakfast or lunch, substitute the bread to rice papers.

An 8.5 inch of rice paper has 31.3 calories while normal bread has 80 calories and pita bread has 165 calories per serving.

Fiber

The healthiest way of eating rice paper is by adding fruits and vegetables inside. We know that fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber which aids in digestion and bowel movement. It also lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels. So this is a great alternative to rice for diabetics.

Proteins

Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, add meat such as pork, beef and even shrimps with vegetables for a complete nutrition. You can substitute meat and shrimp based on how you want a low-fat or high protein diet. Eating spring rolls with these contents lets you meet the recommended 5- 6 oz of protein per day.

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Roll

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring roll

Here is a perfect sun weather recipe you can share with friends, Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls with peanut dip. It is so easy to prepare so get your notes ready!

Ingredients:

  • Rice paper
  • Vermicelli noodles
  • Shrimps
  • Lettuce
  • Mint leaves
  • Bean sprouts

For the Dip:

  • Peanut butter
  • Hoisin
  • Garlic
  • Milk or Water
  • Vinegar
  • Chili

Combine all the dipping ingredients in small bowl until dissolved and microwave it for 20 seconds. Set aside

Procedure:

  1. Soak rice paper and vermicelli noodles as per pack instructions
  2. Devein shrimps and cut into half
  3. Cut the lettuce into half. You will only need half side of the lettuce for every rice paper roll
  4. Place bean sprouts, vermicelli noodles inside the lettuce leaves and roll. Set aside
  5. On your softened rice paper, place the shrimps and mint leaves according to your design and add the lettuce wrap. Roll to make a wrapper
  6. Serve with the peanut butter dip! Enjoy!

You may also watch this video tutorial below.

Summery

How to eat rice paper? Simply make a fresh spring roll, dip it on your favorite sauce and put it in your mouth. So delicious! I bet you are craving too!

We have just learned that rice is really a God-given gift to mankind. We only need to be creative enough to make exciting and new recipes out of a plain and ordinary ingredient. Rice paper is a testament on how we can discover more.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! If you have some rice paper recipes to share with us, let us know in the comments below.

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