There’s nothing like that crunch of rice paper when tucking into a dumpling or spring roll. But if you’re looking for alternatives to oily frying or baking, then we’ve got the answers for you.
Rice paper can also be air fried, so you get that same level of crispiness for way less oil.
Pre-frying rituals for rice paper
Before air-frying, there are some basic steps you need to follow. This ensures perfect cooking and zero seepage. Because the last thing you want is a roll drenched in oil.
First, the rice paper sheet(s) are to be placed in a shallow bowl of warm water for about 15-30 seconds. You can also use a frying pan or skillet for a relatively flat surface. Each variety of rice paper needs different soak times, so make sure you read the instructions carefully.
Don’t be fooled, amateur cooks! This is a tricky step. It seems deceivingly simple, but so many things could go wrong. Number one, you could over-soak the paper making it permeable and crumbly during frying.
If you soak many sheets together, they could also end up stuck together. So you need to be nimble and quick in separating sheets and shaking them free of excess water
You can also do a texture-test, by feeling whether the paper is flexible and elastic. It should be bendy to the touch, essentially.
Once you have drained them of excess water, keep the moist sheets on a wooden cutting board. You can also use the granite or marble kitchen work surface as long as it is clean.
Whether you are using vegetables, meat, or even sweet fillings there is a process to stuff rice paper. You should only place the filling in 1/4th or 1/3rd of the rice paper surface area. Otherwise, it will burst during frying.
Depending on what the shape of your rice paper is, you can follow online tutorials or your grandma’s go-to for wrapping. Use a little oil to keep your fingers moist and to prevent them from sticking to the paper. Wrapping is made a whole lot easier, with this technique.
How long does it take to air-fry rice paper?
Air fryers use much less oil compared to deep frying. For rice paper recipes you can use about 1-2 tablespoons for a batch of rolls for example. You can use any cooking oil such as coconut or sunflower.
Be careful when using sesame or olive oils, because they have a distinctive, nutty taste which may not go well with all types of fillings.
Before you fry the rolls or the paper, spritz the air-fryer with some oil. This greases the edges so that the rice paper won’t stick or come apart. You can lightly grease the rice paper as well to prevent holes or tearing. You can also use cooking spray on the rolls and the air-fryer.
On its own rice paper takes only seconds to puff up. These can be eaten on their own, dipped in sauces, or with a salad. It is a refreshing, yummy snack.
The cooking temperature is usually 350-400 degrees Celsius, or else they will burn. Preheat the oil at about 390-400 degrees for about 3-6 minutes before dipping the rolls in.
With fillings, these take anywhere between 3-5 minutes to cook through. If you have added meat, it will obviously tend towards the higher side of the time range. One batch of about 4-5 rolls or dumplings will take about 10-15 minutes.
Don’t wait for the rice paper to brown. Most rice paper is made in China, out of only rice, and this takes eons of time to become brown, if at all.
If you want that brown, slightly burnt look, try Vietnamese brown rice paper. These are manufactured with a tinge of caramel coloring, that helps create that toffee-like gooey, yet charred feel.
If you want some browning on your white rice paper, try adding a teensy amount of sugar to the water beforehand. Dipping the paper in this can help make it a little smoky.
*These guidelines won’t work as well for tapioca or wheat papers. Don’t confuse the two; tapioca, for example, is much harder to shape and work with.
Time for lunch? Let’s whip up some scrumptious, gluten-free delights!
I am Anand, and I am a business owner and consultant in my day job. I have spent years studying what’s inside the products we buy. ‘Feedrer’ is a wordplay on you-know-who and talks about all things food.