This Rice Paper Dumpling recipe is quick, easy and made with simple ingredients. They’re crispy on the outside and stuffed with a flavourful filling of tofu and vegetables. Vegan + gluten free.
After testing several rounds of my vegan chicken drumsticks and vegan shrimp recipe that call for rice paper, I had a ton left over. We made fresh summer rolls stuffed with vermicelli, tofu and vegetables but wanted to switch it up one night and decided to try pan frying them instead.
To be honest, the first time pan fried them it didn’t work. The wrapper broke… so I threw it all into a bowl and served it for dinner anyways. Despite the messy look, it was SO GOOD. Think… deconstructed dumplings. Delicious dumping filling with bites of crispy yet chewy rice paper (kinda like noodles?). While I didn’t mind eating it straight out of the bowl like that, I decided to try again but this time wrapping it twice so it holds better… and it worked!! Beautifully golden crispy on the outside while not breaking apart. The best part? These dumplings literally take me less than 20 minutes to make which is pretty quick for dumplings. Let’s make them, shall we?
Ingredients for Rice Paper Dumplings
- Rice paper
- Tofu: medium firm, firm or extra firm all work for this recipe. Just be sure to cook off or press out the excess liquid.
- Vegetables: The recipe for the filling is my go-to, simple filling I typically use for vegan gyoza. It has carrots and cabbage but you can use any (un-juicy) vegetables of your choice.
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce: or tamari for gluten free.
This recipe is really customizable though, so feel free to experiment with the aromatics, spices, sauces and vegetables! If you’re not vegan, you can also change up the protein as well.
- Make the filling: add the shredded vegetables, tofu, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper to a bowl. Use your hands to mash the mixture together until well combined.
- Soak the rice paper: Fill a shallow dish with warm water and wet the rice papers for 3 seconds or until slightly softened (they will continue to soften after taking it out of the water), and then place it onto your working surface.
- Wrap: Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling into the middle of the rice paper. Fold the top of the rice paper down, fold the left side over to the right, the right side over to the left and then bring the bottom portion of the rice paper up to seal. Repeat one more time for a double layer to ensure it does not break when cooking. TIP: place the first wrapped dumpling folded side down so that the thickness of the wrapper is the same on both sides.
- Cook: Heat a pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan. Place the dumpling in the pan and cook until golden brown (you can cover the pan if you wish). Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Remove from pan and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks for Making Rice Paper Dumplings
- Do not over soak: Dip the rice paper in water for about 5 seconds. They continue to soften out of the water. Over soaking the rice papers will cause them to break when pan frying them and cause them to be soggy.
- Soak rice paper in cold water: Warm or hot water causes them to get too soft and tear.
- Use a wooden cutting board to wrap: When wrapping, I find it easier to do it on a wooden cutting board because they do tend to stick on glass and plastic, causing them to tear.
- Use two rice papers to wrap one dumpling: Especially if you are new to using rice paper or it’s your first time making them, this prevents them from tearing when cooking.
- Second layer: When wrapping the second layer, keep the folded side down so that the thickness of the skin it same on both sides.
- Cover dumplings with a slightly damp lint-free towel or paper towel: this prevents the dumplings from drying before cooking.
- Brush and cook with oil: Ensure to either brush the dumplings with oil or add oil to the pan. The most common cause of the dumplings tearing is because they stick to the pan.
- Use a non-stick skillet: This makes them easier to flip and cook without tears because they won’t stick to the pan.
- Don’t over-crowd the pan: Rice papers tend to ‘stick’ when they touch each other so when pan frying, do not let the edges of the dumplings touch one another or they may cause tearing. Brushing them with oil also helps with this.
- Serve & eat them immediately! These rice paper dumplings don’t stay crispy for a long time so they are truly best consumed as soon as they’re done cooking.
- Can you air fry these rice paper dumplings? Yes! Once you wrap them all up, spray with a little oil and then air fry at 375 F (190 C) for 12-15 minutes, flipping half way.
- Can you bake rice paper dumplings? While I haven’t tried baking them myself, I have had feed back that you can bake them by brushing them with oil and then cooking them in the oven at 375 F (190 C) for about 15-20 minutes, flipping half way.
- Do you soak the rice paper in cold or hot water? Dip the rice papers in cold water for a few seconds. Warm or hot water makes the rice papers too soft and causes tearing.
- Can you make them ahead? You can prepare the fillings ahead of time but you must wrap them before serving.
- Can you freeze rice paper dumplings? No. The rice papers do not freeze well and the texture really changes when defrosted.
These rice paper dumplings have been on REPEAT. It’s perfect for using up left over ingredients in the fridge and I love that it comes out slightly different each time for some variation.
Plus, if you’ve been looking for gluten free dumpling wrappers these are a great option. Rice papers are inexpensive and can be found at just about any grocery store.
I haven’t tried baking or air frying them, but if you do please share how it goes in the comment section below! I think if you spray and brush them with a little oil they will crisp up pretty nicely 😉
More delicious vegan dumplings to love:
- Steamed Rose Dumplings
- Cheats Soup Dumplings
- Gyoza (Japanese pan fried dumplings)
- Vegan Sheng Jian Bao
- Zongzi Rice Dumplings
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
If you recreate this Rice Paper Dumplings recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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