Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings

5 from 9 votes
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These crispy rice paper dumplings are a perfect mix between rice paper rolls and crispy dumplings, filled with a simple yet delicious mushroom and vegetable filling with a crisp outer shell and slightly chewy, flavorsome filling. Plus, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan dumplings with mixed vegetables!

Crispy rice paper dumplings and sauce

I gave dumpling-making a try this year, and I’ve shared recipes for homemade dumpling wrappers and vegan steamed mushroom dumplings. However, the actual pleating of dumplings is definitely an art that requires practice. Luckily, these crispy rice paper dumplings are perfect for any cooking level, super simple to prepare, and require no complicating folds/pleats!

Even better, these pan-fried rice paper dumplings can be pulled together in around 20 minutes, are super adaptable to use whatever leftover veggies you have in your fridge, and did I mention that they taste amazing too?!

For this filling, I used a tried-and-tested vegetarian filling with a combination of cabbage (for texture), carrots (for a mild sweetness), and mushrooms (for the meaty, umami-rich element). When combined with several aromatics and seasonings, this simple filling of humble ingredients is surprisingly delicious!

A half-eaten rice paper dumpling

By using rice paper wrappers in place of regular dumpling dough, these vegan dumplings are also naturally gluten-free, will fill you up without weighing you down (your tummy will approve!), and create a wonderful texture. In fact, these vegan rice paper dumplings are all about the texture – a perfect mix of crispy and chewy that is reason alone to eat these time and time again, as an appetizer, snack, or light meal!

The Recipe Ingredients

  • Rice paper wrappers: you can use medium or large rice paper sheets (adjust the amount of filling used accordingly). These are easily found in many supermarkets and Asian markets.
  • Aromatics: I used a combination of minced ginger and minced garlic (adjust the amount to taste or you could also use garlic puree/ginger puree) along with scallions (spring onion).
  • Vegetables: these gluten-free dumplings contain a simple vegetable filling of carrot, cabbage (regular green is fine, but feel free to experiment), and mushrooms (use your choice of mushrooms; I used regular brown chestnut mushrooms).
  • Seasoning: sesame oil, soy sauce (use reduced-sodium if preferred, though dark soy will provide deeper flavor; use tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free), and black pepper. I don’t add salt due to the saltiness of the soy, but feel free to adjust to personal preference.
  • Oil: just a little of any neutral cooking oil is needed to pan-fry the rice wrapper dumplings.
  • Sesame seeds (optional) for topping the fried rice paper dumplings.
Ingredients for crispy rice paper dumplings

Optional Add-ins and Variations

There are several ways to adapt the filling in these rice paper gyoza, particularly by using whatever veggies you have to hand!

  • Noodles: I recommend using a very fine noodle, like vermicelli (prepared according to the package instructions then left to cool in an ice bath or under cold water).
  • Protein: for additional protein, you can add crumbled firm tofu or tempeh. If your diet allows, ground meat (like chicken or beef) would also work as long as it’s fully pre-cooked.
  • Onion: to cook along with the other aromatics. Use a yellow/white onion or shallot.
  • Other vegetables: you can experiment with different veggie fillings, including zucchini, leek, bell peppers, etc. This is an excellent “clear out the fridge” recipe!
  • Water chestnuts: don’t add much flavor, but I like the crisp texture. Just a few, finely chopped.
  • Herbs: enhance the filling flavor with extra herbs, like cilantro, parsley, etc.
  • Spice: feel free to add heat to the vegan dumpling filling with a little cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or even some freshly sliced chili. You could also serve with a little chili oil.

How to Make Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings?

Step 1: The Mise en Place

First, grate or julienne (very thinly slice) the carrot and cabbage.

Then chop the mushrooms into tiny pieces (I used a veggie chopped for small, cubed pieces).

Mince or grate the garlic and ginger (if you aren’t using garlic paste or ginger paste).

Finally, thinly slice the scallions.

Chopped ingredients for dumpling filling

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

In a large, dry (no oil) skillet, add the chopped mushrooms and allow them to cook, occasionally stirring, for a few minutes to allow the excess water to release.

Then, add the cabbage and stir well.

Next, add the ginger, garlic, and carrots. Stir well to incorporate.

Step 3: Add the Seasonings

Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and scallions. Stir in well, and then remove from the heat.

Give the mushroom dumpling mixture a taste and adjust any seasonings to taste.

A pan with dumpling feeling

Step 4: Assemble the Rice Paper Dumplings

It’s best to assemble these rice paper rolls one at a time. First, dip one rice paper wrapper in water for 3-5 seconds. You can do this by filling a large plate with water (I used a specific rice paper dipping tool, but it’s not necessary).

The rice paper will continue to soften for several seconds, so be careful not to over dip it. It should be bendy but not wholly soft when removing it from the water.

Dipping rice paper in water

Then, place it on either a plate or a damp wooden chopping board (this will stop it from sticking). Next, add 1-2 tablespoons (or slightly more, but be careful not to overstuff) to the center of the rice paper wrapper in a general square/rectangle shape (not necessary, but it helps with folding).

Next, it’s time to fold the wrapper. I start by folding in the left side all the way over the filling. Then work either clockwise or anti-clockwise to fold in all the sides.

Steps for wrapping rice paper dumplings

While not necessary, I like to double wrap the parcels to avoid any tearing while cooking. To do so, place the side with the seams down on the second layer; that way, both sides are even in thickness.

If you want to make them sesame-coated, brush each parcel with a bit of oil or butter and then sprinkle or dip with sesame seeds (optional).

Rice paper parcel topped with sesame seeds

Step 5: Cook the Vegetable Dumplings

Wipe out the large skillet and then reheat with a little more oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the parcels to the pan and fry for several minutes (2-3minutes) on each side until browned and crispy.

Make sure there is plenty of space between each rice paper gyoza in the skillet; otherwise, they can (and will!) stick together and tear!

Serve your gluten-free rice paper dumplings with this quick dumpling sauce and enjoy!

How to Make Ahead and Store?

Make ahead: you can prepare the cooked filling 2-3 days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator. However, I don’t recommend making the entire fried rice paper dumplings too far in advance, as the texture of the rice paper wrapper changes quickly.

Rice paper parcels on a chopping board

Store: it’s best to enjoy these crispy rice paper dumplings immediately for the best texture. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Reheat: for the best results, reheat the dumplings in a skillet with a little extra oil. This will help to slightly crisp up the outside again. Avoid the microwave!

FAQs

Can I use an air fryer for cooking the dumplings?

Yes, though they won’t be quite as crispy as the pan-fried version. Make sure to spray your air fryer basket well AND brush each mushroom and vegetable dumpling with oil/butter. Then air fry at 400ºF/200ºC for 10-14 minutes, flipping after 7 minutes.
Keep an eye the first time you make them, as the time can vary between brands. When air frying, you may even be able to get away with only one layer of rice paper wrapper, as it’s a less hands-on method.

Can I freeze the crispy rice paper dumplings?

I wouldn’t recommend it, as I don’t think the texture of the rice paper will hold well upon thawing. However, I haven’t actually tried. If you do, let me know in the comments.

What to serve with the rice paper dumplings?

You can enjoy these dumplings either as an appetizer, side, or light lunch. My favorite way to serve them is alone with your dip of choice (for me, that’s a simple gyoza dipping sauce).

Is rice paper gluten-free?

Absolutely! Rice paper makes fantastic gluten-free dumpling wrappers instead of regular spring roll/ dumpling wrappers.

Crispy rice paper dumplings and sauce

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • Chop your veggies finely: and in fairly even-sized pieces. That way, all the flavors combine, rather than having any stand-out flavors/textures within the vegan dumplings.
  • Don’t over-dip the rice paper wrappers: having made a LOT of rice paper rolls, this is an important tip to remember as they’ll become challenging to work with.
  • Keep the surface damp: rice paper wrappers are fairly sticky once softened, so it’s best to work with them on a damp surface (I use a damp chopping board, though a damp tea towel would also work).
  • Don’t overstuff the veggie dumplings: this can lead t the rice paper wrappers tearing/falling apart. I like to wrap them in two layers, just in case – but note that only the outer layer becomes crisp, so your gluten-free dumplings will be slightly chewier.
  • Use a nonstick pan: the wrappers remain fairly sticky after dipping, so making sure to use plenty of oil AND a non-stick pan is best when making rice paper wraps.
  • To save time chopping: you can use a food processor (regular blade for mushrooms and shredding disk for carrots/cabbage).

More Simple Appetizer Recipes

For even more inspiration, feel free to browse my entire collection of appetizer recipes!

If you try this vegan crispy rice paper dumplings recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings (Gluten-free | Vegan)

5 from 9 votes
By: Samira
These crispy rice paper dumplings are a perfect mix between rice paper rolls and crispy dumplings, filled with a simple yet delicious mushroom and vegetable filling with a crisp outer shell and slightly chewy, flavorsome filling. Plus, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan dumplings with mixed vegetables.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 rice paper wrappers or more, use medium or large
  • 8.2 oz mushrooms I used chestnut mushrooms but feel free to experiment
  • 4.9 oz cabbage
  • 1.5 oz carrot 1 small
  • 0.8 oz scallions 4 small
  • 0.1 oz fresh grated ginger
  • 0.1 oz minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce tamari/coconut aminos if gluten-free. Dark or reduced sodium will work.
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp cooking oil just a little to pan-fry the dumplings

Instructions 

Step 1: The Mise en Place

  • Grate or julienne (very thinly slice) the carrot and cabbage.
  • Chop the mushrooms into tiny pieces (I used a veggie chopped for small, cubed pieces).
  • Mince or grate the garlic and ginger (if you aren’t using garlic paste or ginger paste)
  • Thinly slice the scallions.

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

  • In a large, dry (no oil) skillet, add the chopped mushrooms and allow them to cook, occasionally stirring, for a few minutes to allow the excess water to release.
  • Add the cabbage and stir well.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and carrots. Stir well to incorporate.

Step 3: Add the Seasonings

  • Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and scallions. Stir in well, and then remove from the heat.
  • Give the mushroom dumpling mixture a taste and adjust any seasonings to taste.

Step 4: Assemble the Rice Paper Dumplings

  • It’s best to assemble these rice paper rolls one at a time. First, dip one rice paper wrapper in water for 3-5 seconds. You can do this by filling a large plate with water (I used a specific rice paper dipping tool, but it’s not necessary).
    The rice paper will continue to soften for several seconds, so be careful not to over dip it. It should be bendy but not wholly soft when removing it from the water.
  • Place the wrapper on either a plate or a damp wooden chopping board (this will stop it from sticking). Next, add 1-2 tablespoons (or slightly more, but be careful not to overstuff) to the center of the rice paper wrapper in a general square/rectangle shape (not necessary, but it helps with folding).
  • It’s time to fold the wrapper. I start by folding in the left side all the way over the filling. Then work either clockwise or anti-clockwise to fold in all the sides.
    While not necessary, I like to double wrap the parcels to avoid any tearing while cooking. To do so, place the side with the seams down on the second layer; that way, both sides are even in thickness.
  • If you want to make them sesame-coated, brush each parcel with a bit of oil or butter and then sprinkle or dip with sesame seeds (optional).

Step 5: Cook the Vegetable Dumplings

  • Wipe out the large skillet and then reheat with a little more oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the parcels to the pan and fry for several minutes (2-3minutes) on each side until browned and crispy.
    Make sure there is plenty of space between each rice paper gyoza in the skillet; otherwise, they can (and will!) stick together and tear!
  • Serve your gluten-free rice paper dumplings with this quick dumpling sauce and enjoy!

How to Make- ahead and Store?

  • Make ahead: you can prepare the cooked filling 2-3 days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator. However, I don’t recommend making the entire fried rice paper dumplings too far in advance, as the texture of the rice paper wrapper changes quickly.
    Store: it’s best to enjoy these crispy rice paper dumplings immediately for the best texture. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
    Reheat: for the best results, reheat the dumplings in a skillet with a little extra oil. This will help to slightly crisp up the outside again. Avoid the microwave!

Notes

  • Chop your veggies finely: and in fairly even-sized pieces. That way, all the flavors combine, rather than having any stand-out flavors/textures within the vegan dumplings.
  • Don’t over-dip the rice paper wrappers: having made a LOT of rice paper rolls, this is an important tip to remember as they’ll become challenging to work with.
  • Keep the surface damp: rice paper wrappers are fairly sticky once softened, so it’s best to work with them on a damp surface (I use a damp chopping board, though a damp tea towel would also work).
  • Don’t overstuff the veggie dumplings: this can lead t the rice paper wrappers tearing/falling apart. I like to wrap them in two layers, just in case – but note that only the outer layer becomes crisp, so your gluten-free dumplings will be slightly chewier.
  • Use a nonstick pan: the wrappers remain fairly sticky after dipping, so making sure to use plenty of oil AND a non-stick pan is best when making rice paper wraps.
  • To save time chopping: you can use a food processor (regular blade for mushrooms and shredding disk for carrots/cabbage).
Optional Add-ins and Variations:
  • Noodles: I recommend using a very fine noodle, like vermicelli (prepared according to the package instructions then left to cool (in an ice bath or under cold water).
  • Protein: for additional protein, you can add crumbled firm tofu or tempeh. If your diet allows, ground meat (like chicken or beef) would also work as long as it’s fully pre-cooked.
  • Onion: to cook along with the other aromatics. Use a yellow/white onion or shallot.
  • Other vegetables: you can experiment with different veggie fillings, including zucchini, leek, bell peppers, etc. This is an excellent ‘clear out the fridge’ recipe!
  • Water chestnuts: don’t add much flavor, but I like the crisp texture. Just a few, finely chopped.
  • Herbs: enhance the filling flavor with extra herbs, like cilantro, parsley, etc.
  • Spice: feel free to add heat to the vegan dumpling filling with a little cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or even some freshly sliced chili.  You could also serve with a little chili oil.
Check the blog post for answers to top FAQs!
Course: Appetizer, Main, Side
Cuisine: American, Asian, Fusion
Shelf life: 1-2 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1dumpling, Calories: 87kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 625IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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