Seriously Asian: Rice Rolls


I have the same feeling about rice wrappers—those circular and transparent wrappers made from rice flour—that I do about bread for sandwiches. If you put some form of protein and vegetables in the middle and roll it up, you've got an easy and transportable meal. And like a sandwich, putting ingredients in the middle of something starchy legitimizes the combination, right?


Use the same sandwich-building mentality to fill your rice wrappers.

First, choose your protein, taking care that it's something you can chew through easily—otherwise, you'll be playing tug of war with your rice roll. I usually use the leftover roast pork and duck I always have sitting in my fridge. For the vegetables, try a mix such as lettuce and cucumber with something pickle like daikon and carrots. If your meat is mildly flavored then pull out a variety of condiments (soy sauce, chili oil, etc.) to drizzle over the contents of the rice wrapper.

Conveniently, rice wrappers are sold in dried form for longterm pantry storage. Simply soften them in water and wait a few seconds for the wrapper to become pliant. But don't overfill the wrapper: it will become difficult to roll and seal and disturb the balance between filling and wrapper.

One of the nicest things about rice wrappers is their texture: slightly chewy but still pliant, they're not only a means to eat more meat and vegetables, but also an enjoyable part of the combination.