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What Is Rice Paper?

Edible rice paper is part of many Asian cuisines.
Rice paper is traditionally dired on a bamboo frame.
Thick rice paper wrappers are often used to make spring rolls.
Rice paper is most often made from mulberry fibers.
Rice plants.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
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Rice paper is paper that is made from the pith of the rice plant or from any of several other plants, including mulberry and hemp. It traditionally is associated with Asian arts and crafts, and it has been used for centuries in Japan and China as a material for writing and artwork. Many crafters enjoy working with this type of paper because it has a distinctive texture, and its slight translucency makes it seem to glow in a way that other paper does not. Many crafts and paper stores sell it, but it also can be ordered online or through companies that sell specialty papers. There are many varieties, including edible types that are used to wrap food into rolls.

Varieties

True rice paper — paper actually made from the rice plant — is fairly rare. Most products with this name on the market are actually made from mulberries, and it tends to be smooth, slightly crackly and rather thin. This paper is often dyed, or includes vegetative ingredients for more texture. It is also known as washi, which is a name for high-grade handmade specialty paper. Mulberry fibers also can be blended with fibers from other plants, including rice, to make paper.

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Another type is made from the fibers of Tetrapanax papyifer, a tree that is native to Taiwan and is commonly known as rice-paper plant. This tree is cultivated for its sheet-like bark, which can be shaved into thin sheets of paper. Centuries ago, these sheets were among the Asian crafts taken to Europe along trade and exploration routes. Many Europeans misunderstood the composition of the paper and believed that it was made from rice, which gave it its name.

One variety is used to make edible food wrappers. This type typically includes rice grains and sometimes tapioca as well. The thin paper essentially melts away when touched by the tongue, making it an excellent wrapper for sweets and baked goods. Thicker rice wrappers can be used to make dumplings, spring rolls, and similar foods.

The more rice in the blend of fibers used to make the paper, the more transparent it will be. True rice paper also is easier to write on, as a general rule, than pure mulberry paper. It comes in a range of sizes, colors and textures, thanks to its assorted ingredients and the different ways of processing it. This can be useful for people who like to do crafts with rice paper, because they will have a number of options from which to choose.

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Discuss this Article

danavn61
Post 13

I am vietnamese, and there are many kind of rice paper (special sweet rice paper).

anon171638
Post 11

Where can I get rice paper in Johor Bahru.

anon30092
Post 8

I am looking for Vietnamese sweet rice paper which looks like rice paper that you just rip it and eat it as is. Please let me know where I may purchase it. Wondering Alice

anon26769
Post 7

My friend robin is from penang omg!! Lol roflmao

anon16880
Post 6

hi, im from penang, may i know where can i buy rice paper in penang? TQ

lozzachops
Post 5

What is the difference between rice paper and sugarpaper? Are they both edible?

curious11
Post 4

This paper is to be used for wrapping the coats of show dogs, specifically Yorkies and Maltese.

anon14029
Post 3

Is this the edible rice paper "Rabbit" sweet type of edible rice paper you are talking about? The only color I know of is rice color, and should not be in multi-color. Where are you importing this from? Where are you located?

curious11
Post 2

I am searching for rice paper in sizes 4"x15", and 6"x15".

in white, and in colors. It would be packaged (per color) in bags of 100 sheets per bag. This is for retail sales. So I would be ordering in volume. Can you help me with that?

Moderator's reply: enter "rice paper" in google, and several online vendor pop up! good luck on your search!

jane007
Post 1

I am located in Penang, Malaysia. I would like to know where can I buy the rice paper which is the edible version used as sweet wrappers.

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