Healthy – Fun to eat – Kids love them – Great for parties – Easy to make in advance!!
Rice paper is naturally gluten-free, cheap and last forever in the cupboards. Using fresh vegetables and tofu, rolling several as a snack or appetiser before dinner is straightforward and best of all, healthy!
The filling in this recipe is for a basic rice paper roll using only vegetables and tofu, but naturally, meat or seafood is a great addition, especially cooked prawns.
Add avocado pieces, cooked rice vermicelli, shredded cabbage, peanuts, spinach or rocket/arugula leaves for some variety. If you like a bit of spice, throw in a few slices of fresh chillis and ginger slivers.
Where can I find Rice Paper?
Nowadays, rice paper can be found in nearly every Asian store and even regular supermarkets in all shapes and sizes.
How to handle Rice Paper
When purchasing rice paper, make sure to check that they are intact and not cracked or chipped. The packaging is usually transparent so viewing the contents should be visible. Keep the package at the top of your shopping basket as any pressure from heavier items will easily crush them.
When storing the rice paper, make sure it has a place on its own or at the top of other groceries. Lying it flat is the best position.
Once opened, the remaining rice paper rolls (and they do seem to last forever!) can be stored in an airtight plastic container.
Rolling Rice Papers
In the recipe card, I have step-by-step photos for filling and rolling each rice paper roll.
You need to have a large-enough, shallow container with warm water ready to soak each rice paper for 20 seconds.
Remove the rice paper and drain it over the water, then transfer it to a dampened kitchen counter or moist wooden chopping board. Please note that the paper may still be a bit hard when removed from the water, it will soften more when assembling the rolls.
I use to lay the soaked rice papers on a tea towel, but I noticed that they start to stick to the cloth and tear. This may be due to me being a “slow roller” so if you are super quick at rolling, then this method might work for you.
Storing Rice Paper Rolls
While assembling the rolls, it is essential to cover the completed rolls with a moist tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Keep them covered if chilling them for later. They can be made up to 3 hours in advance.
Sauces to serve with Rice Paper Rolls
Traditionally, sweet chilli sauce or Nuoc Cham, a Vietnamese dipping sauce is served, or both. Nuoc Cham is a fish sauce and lime juice blend seasoned with garlic and red chillies.
In this recipe, I have included a delicious kids’ friendly peanut sauce that compliments the fresh rice paper rolls perfectly.
Rice Paper Rolls with Easy Peanut Satay Sauce
Rice Paper Rolls
- 20 rice paper (square 17cm x 17cm) or (round 16cm diameter)
- 20 French/green beans
- 1 medium cucumber
- 3 carrots
- 4 spring onions
- 200-250 g smoked tofu
- ½ head iceberg lettuce
- A handful fresh mint leaves
- A handful fresh Thai basil or coriander leaves
Easy Peanut Satay Sauce
- 6 tbsp crunchy vegan or regular peanut butter
- 125 ml coconut milk
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- white pepper & salt, to season
- Store-bought sweet chilli sauce, for dipping
RICE PAPER ROLLS
Preparing the Rice Paper Roll Contents
- Cook the French/green beans in simmering water for 8 minutes. Drain and submerge them in ice-cold water to blanch. Drain and cool completely. Set aside.
- Slice the cucumbers, carrots and spring onions into strips about 5mm thick and cut in half to measure a maximum of 7cm long.
- Tear the lettuce leaves into pieces about a 1/4 of the rice paper roll size. Make sure the hard part (stem) of the lettuce is removed, otherwise, this will pierce and tear the rice paper when rolling.
- Slice the tofu into strips about 8mm thick.
Assembling the Rice Paper Rolls
- Soak each rice paper for 20 seconds in warm water. The paper may still be a bit hard when removed from the water, it will soften more when assembling the rolls.
- Remove the rice paper and drain it over the water, then transfer it to a dampened kitchen counter or moist wooden chopping board.
- Start by adding the fresh herbs to the top half of the rice paper.
- Place a torn lettuce piece on top of the herbs and stack the vegetables and tofu in bundles on top of the lettuce.
- Start rolling the rice paper from the bottom part over the vegetable and tofu filling.
- Next, tuck in the sides of the rice paper over the filling.
- Roll the rice paper with the filling away from you and seal the rice paper along with the roll.
- Place on a serving plate and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent the rice paper rolls from drying out. Continue assembling the rest of the rice paper rolls.
Serving the Rice Paper Rolls
- Serve the rice paper rolls whole or slice them in half before arranging them on a serving platter together with the easy peanut satay sauce for dipping them in.
EASY PEANUT SAUCE
- In a small saucepan, mix in the peanut butter and coconut milk gently over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, chilli sauce and optional fresh chilli.
- Gently cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until it thickens into a “dipping sauce” consistency. Add more coconut milk or water if it needs to loosen up more.
- Add white pepper and salt, to taste
- Allow to slightly cool before serving. Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up if it cools down too much.
- These can be made up to 3 hours in advance – provided they are stored in the fridge and covered with a damp tea towel.
- Rice paper rolls are unsuitable to freeze.
- Easy peanut sauce is suitable to freeze.