Fried Rice Paper Rolls (shiok & crispy)

Fried Rice Paper Rolls (shiok & crispy)

NGL I was always a fresh summer rolls kind of gal but crispiness and texture has always been my favourite part of food. Rice paper rolls, when fried, provides an initial bite of light crispness that is accessible to any home cook. Yes, it requires a healthy amount of oil to get the rice paper puffy and crispy, but the amount of vegetables you can stuff in a spring roll is absurd. Like your gut will thank you. This recipe is shortened by a good amount of time by using my Midnight Gospel patty, a powerhouse of a patty with beetroot, broccoli and shiitake mushrooms. Oh, I forgot, there's chia seeds inside which act as a binder, so while some spring roll fillings call for an egg, this one doesn't. Add whatever vegetables you'd like, which has always been the mantra at Loaded Gun, but here is my version, and it was such a nice arts and crafts project for a Sunday afternoon.

I never knew I'd fall this much in love with cooking before I started Loaded Gun. Every step of making fried rice paper rolls is so enjoyable, and I promise you, the results are worth it once you get the technicalities of rice paper right.

I will list some mistakes to watch out for which I made and struggled with the first gazillion times I worked with rice paper. But once you know how to manoeuvre this powerful ingredient, all the fibre in the world can be stuffed into this 1 dish. AND WE LOVE THAT HERE

Makes about 20 - 25 rice paper rolls

1 pack of midnight gospel patties (2 patties)
1 carrot
vermicelli noodles
wood ear mushrooms
taro shreds (optional but a fun addition)
Lettuce wraps (like those you'd get at KBBQ)

Im sorry i didn't measure anything because midnight gospel is so forgiving!

The steps to cook this are
1. Make sure your filling is as dry as possible
2. Get the rice paper technique right
3. Dip your rice paper in water to make it pliable and start assembling and rollingĀ 
4. 1.5 tablespoons of filling is enough, no more, no less.
5. To season your filling, you can use oyster sauce, white pepper powder, MSG (msg makes the mushroomy flavour of midnight gospel come even more alive), mushroom powder,Ā 

I think the important part of this recipe is really just to tell you mistakes I made with the rice paper:

1. Use warm water (like boil the water for awhile as opposed to using room temp water) to dip your rice paper in, it makes it more malleable
2. When you are rolling the rice paper you don't want it to be TOO sticky, you have to find the sweet spot between it being pliable but still being able to maintain it's structure
3. There are ridges on the rice paper, i like to press them in while massaging the water in before i start rolling
4. Some recipes call for brushing on cornstarch slurry to make it crispy beforehand, personally I think this step is redundant if you use enough oil (think like a civilised shallow fry)
5. Use enough oil. I poured on at least 6 tablespoons and it lasted me through 25 spring rolls. Again, it's a civilised shallow fry but you cannot scrimp on oil as well. This is not one of those i am scared to get fat recipes.Ā 
6. Fry 4 mins each side to get a crisp on a nonstick pan. As do all frying recipes, there is a fine line between nice golden crisp and burnt, and rice paper burns easily. Adjust your heat accordingly. I used a medium flame.
7. 1.5 tablespoon of filling is good enough for each roll. it's a nice size.
8. to learn how to roll itĀ just youtube but theĀ important thing is to make sure THERE ARE NO AIR BUBBLES before you fry
9. You have to work very fast, meaning your rolling needs to be quick otherwise the rice paper gets too damp quickly and it tears easily
10. They are best eaten hot right out of frying.Ā 
11. The lettuce wraps are necessary to give a nice fresh crunch, perilla leaves would work too.
12. Before you start rolling, get a board wrapped with cling film to stack them on. This prevents the rolls from sticking to plates and tearing.
13. When rolling, do it on a wet, flat surface (but not too wet), a moist flat surface would do. Again, to prevent tearing.