Rice paper wrappers are common in a wide variety of Asian cuisine, most commonly Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Often sold in small squares or rounds, rice paper wrappers are usually soaked and then used to make spring rolls, which are often deep-fried. However, rice paper wrappers can be baked as a healthy alternative to deep-frying. Make sure to check rice paper wrappers regularly when baking them, as overcooking will cause them to become rubbery and overly chewy.
Rice paper is a healthy alternative to flour-based papers, and many people that are allergic to or simply don’t want to include gluten in their diet opt for rice paper wrappers. Rice paper wrappers are also slightly firmer and easier to use, which is beneficial for home cooks that are just learning how to cook with them.
Before you bake rice paper wrappers and the ingredients inside, you need to soak them in water to soften them. Otherwise they will crack or break when you roll them. Start by separating the rice paper wrappers and dipping each one in a bowl of water until it is nearly transparent and soft. Place the rice paper on a clean, damp towel and add the filling. Roll the rice paper wrapper and place it on a dry towel to absorb some of the excess water.
Once prepared, the outside of the rice paper wrappers should be brushed with just enough oil to lightly coat them all over. You can use a variety of cooking oils, including vegetable, canola, olive or avocado oil. Place the rolled rice paper wrappers on a baking sheet on the center rack of an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the rice paper wrappers for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time, or when they are lightly golden brown.
After the rice paper wrappers have been baked, transfer them to a cooling rack for five minutes. The outside of the rice paper wrappers will continue to brown and harden. After the five-minute resting period, you can easily slice the rice paper wrappers and their fillings before serving them. Baked rice paper wrappers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours and warmed in a lightly oiled skillet or in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
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