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June 24, 2010

Rice paper wrappers (Recipe: grilled chicken and broccoli slaw wraps) {gluten-free}

Chicken and broccoli slaw wraps recipe.

By any measure, I'm a compulsive list maker.

In addition to the usual lists -- groceries, work stuff, projects, and a "honey do" list for my husband Ted, who actually likes it -- I have my own culinary "bucket list" of skills to master and techniques to try.

On that list are a few things I wanted to make from scratch, just one time, like pita bread and puff pastry (done and done). Also on the list: tamales wrapped in corn husks, and Brazilian cheese bread made from cassava starch (done, and done).

Learning how to turn brittle, wafer-thin rice paper wrappers into supple containers for summer rolls is something I crossed off the bucket list years ago.

There are still a few things left to master, like forming sausage links in a casing, and wrapping a cake in fondant. I want to do these things once, to cross them off my list. But I'll keep rolling rice paper wrappers forever.

What are rice paper wrappers?
Flat, brittle, semi-transparent circles (6 to 14 inches in diameter), made from rice flour, salt and water, that must be moistened in lukewarm water to make them pliable. Called banh trang in Vietnamese.

How/where to store:
In the original plastic packaging, in the cupboard. They will keep indefinitely, but will become more fragile over time.

More facts about rice paper wrappers, and ingredients photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Rice paper wrappers (Recipe: salmon and Asian pesto potstickers)

Grilled chicken and broccoli slaw wraps recipe with a miso sauce.

Grilled chicken and broccoli slaw wraps

Even the most humble ingredients look better in an elegant wrap. For these spring rolls, I used leftover grilled spicy chicken breast, but shredded rotisserie chicken would be great. And the broccoli slaw? A real timesaver that came in a bag from Trader Joe's. Makes 8 wraps, serving 2 as a main dish and 8 as an appetizer.

Ingredients

For the dressing:
1 heaping Tbsp mild miso
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp grated ginger root
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp canola oil
Water

8 8-inch rice paper wrappers
2 cups broccoli slaw
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or sliced lengthwise
16 mint or basil leaves

Directions

Combine all of the dressing ingredients, except water, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, and whisk until smooth. Add water, whisking in a tablespoon or two at a time, until you reach the consistency of salad dressing you like (approximately 1/4 cup). The dressing can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Toss all but 2 teaspoons of the dressing with the broccoli slaw, and set aside.

Spread a clean dish towel on the counter top in front of you. Fill a large shallow pan with hot tap water. Take one rice paper round and submerge it in the hot water for 20 seconds or until it is pliable. Transfer to the dish towel. Working quickly, take a small bit of broccoli slaw and place it in the bottom third of the round. Top that with a small amount of chicken and two basil or mint leaves.

Fold the bottom up over the filling. Fold the sides in, and roll to the top. Place seam side down on a plate, cover with a damp cloth, and continue until you have made as all of the rolls. They can be stored in the fridge covered with a damp cloth for up to an hour before serving. Top with the remaining dressing just before serving.


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Fresh Vietnamese salad rolls
Rice noodle salad with shrimp
Pad Thai
Faux pho
Rice noodle salad with chicken

Other recipes that use rice paper wrappers:
Vietnamese crispy spring rolls, from Sunday Nite Dinner
Butternut squash and pumpkin seed spring rolls, from Veganomicon
Roast beef summer rolls, from YumSugar
Lemongrass chicken spring rolls with sweet sesame dipping sauce, from Revel & Feast
Gatekeeper maki, from Sushi Day

Grilled chicken and broccoli slaw wraps, with ginger-maple-miso sauce.

Comments

Used these very things tonight! Great to make summer rolls. Ideal no-cook summer food :)

Oh man....am I the only person who cant get these things to work? Either they fold up on themselves and won't un-stick, they tear, or won't stay closed. I have even tried making chips out of them in the deep fryer but if they have been open for more then an hour, they don't puff up and they are really gross. sigh...must be cursed

I finally used my rice paper wraps a few weeks ago, I love them! It is so easy to turn fresh veggies into a lovely dinner.

I usually stuff them with a standard Vietnamese-style filling, but I like all your variations too! These wrappers also fry well, but they take a bit longer to get crispy than the standard spring roll wrappers.

I haven't used rice paper very much, but this sounds like a yummy way to use it. And using broccoli slaw for this is a brilliant idea!

I love the use of broccoli slaw! Spring rolls are one of my go-to meals, particularly on a warm summer's evening. One of our favorite fillings is sweet potato noodles (a Korean ingredient found in many Asian stores). My kids beg me for them!

Love this! What a great idea to use broccoli slaw in a wrap. Looks terrific!

I love making summer rolls with rice papers - and I love your wrap too! I think my husband would love this in his lunch - so would I - and I'm making plans to make this ASAP!

Somewhere at a deep archeological level of my pantry is another package of rice wraps that are cut in quadrants -- each piece is 1/4 of the circle. Any suggestions? Do they have a specific use? I have thought of patching them together, or making trumpets...
I like the sound of that dressing. Hmm, it's 10 AM now, how about lunch?

My rice paper wraps always break, what am I doing wrong? I have solved the problem by using two at a time:DI love your chicken filling so may give it another go:D

Gudrun, Pam, Susan, Alta: I think wrapping something, no matter how simple the ingredients, makes it look more elegant. And then it's finger food, too, so there's much less clean-up!

Erin, there's no real secret other than practice (don't give up!), but there are two things that might help. (1) Wet the rounds in lukewarm water, and spread them on a dish towel while you fill and roll; the dish towel absorbs excess moisture. (2) Use fresh rice paper rounds. They do get stale, which makes them brittle.

Julia, I don't usually fry things in rice paper, but when I do, I let them dry out a bit before frying to get rid of the moisture from the soaking to make them pliable in the first place. Seems to help.

Kalyn, I have to admit that I love broccoli slaw (the kind you buy in the market), and I find I actually eat more broccoli when I use the slaw because I prefer the stems to the florets.

Cookin' Canuck, what a great idea to use the sweet potato noodles. I must remember to buy some the next time I'm at a Korean market.

Susan G, I've seen those quarter-round rice papers in the Asian grocery. They must have a specific use but I don't know what it is. They're quite small; maybe dumplings? the dressing is one of my favorite all-purpose dressings and it's essential to get some flavor into the slaw.

Bellini Valli, the main reason the rice paper wraps break is because they are stale, or old. The older they get, the more brittle they are. Try to buy from a market with lots of turnover, and use them within a couple of months. Or, as you're already doing, use two at a time.

I love rice paper rolls! Perfect meal for a hot summer day, yours look delicious!

These look yummy! I have some rice paper wraps in the pantry right now!

Lydia, have you done a miso post lately? I don't understand it or how to use it and would love to be educated.

Delicious looking rolls!

I also like your idea of "cooking projects" in a list format (I am a list maniac myself)

will have to make one for me....

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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