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Rice Paper

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spring roll wrappers

What is it?

Thin, translucent sheets of rice-flour dough, rice paper is used to wrap up Vietnamese summer rolls. The sheets are brittle and fragile straight out of the package, and then are soaked briefly in water to soften them to a pliable texture. Once soaked, rice paper doesn’t need further cooking, but it’s often fried to make a crispy spring roll.

Don’t have it?

If you plan on frying your spring rolls, you can substitute wonton wrappers or other wheat-flour wrappers, but for soft summer rolls, only rice paper is edible without further cooking.

How to prep:

It can take a little practice to master the knack for soaking and rolling rice paper, so be sure to have extras on hand. Fill a shallow bowl or skillet with very warm water. Slide a sheet of rice paper into the water, and press gently to submerge it until it becomes very pliable, 15 to 30 seconds. Remove the rice paper carefully, shaking gently to drain the excess water, and then lay it on your work surface. Don’t let multiple sheets of moistened rice paper touch each other, or they’ll stick together.

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