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Easy Rice Paper Rolls for your Backpacker Picnic

Packing something delicious, healthy and portable when you are travelling can be a bit of a challenge. When I know I have a full day of sight-seeing ahead or a hike I generally try to make a sandwich to take with me. However, I am not a big sandwich fan other than my favourite; ham, cheese and tomato. Finding different portable yet tasty and healthy meals to take on picnics have become a life challenge for me. Which is why the day I discovered how easy it is to make rice paper rolls was one of the best days of my life.

Traditionally rice paper rolls are Vietnamese, which is one of my favourite cuisines. However, although the Vietnamese style rolls are delicious and amazing, there is no hard and fast rule that says you can’t branch out and do something different with your rolls.

A rice paper roll is all about combing flavour with texture; something soft (avocado, noodles) something meaty (meat, fish, halloumi, tofu) and something crunchy (cabbage). How you do this is completely up to you – which is why they are one of my favourite ways to eat up leftovers. I often make them the night before while I am making dinner so the next morning I just need to grab my little lunch pack as I walk out the hostel door.

I like to use left overs and salad - not the most traditional but a great way to eat up your left overs and tasty to boot!

Switch out the salmon to make different Rice Paper Rolls

You can easily switch the fish in this to… any other fish. Or meat. Or tofu. Or halloumi. Haloumi rolls are some of the best as they have a great texture and add more salt to the combination. If you have a roast or a leftover protein, put it with some vegetables in a rice paper roll and you have a whole new meal that is easy to whip up before a picnic or a day out. I used salmon as we had some leftover from the night before.

Why use a tea towel when rolling a Rice Paper Roll

Put a tea towel (or if you are backpacking a t-shirt) down to roll the rolls on. This helps soak up the excess moisture and makes it easier to manoeuvre. You can do it without on a plate…. But its harder and can get soggy. The only trick to this dish is organisation. Get all of your sections ready and then create your own work station.

Easy Rice Paper Rolls Recipe
  • ½ capsicum
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 salmon steak – cooked and flaked
  • Rice paper roll papers
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • Chop all of your vegies into small bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl
  • Add soy sauce and olive oil – mix well
  • Slice your avocado and put to one side
  • Flake your cooked salmon and put to one side
  • Soak your rice paper roll in warm water until soft
  • Place your rice paper roll on a tea towel
  • Layer all of your ingredients in the centre of the roll
  • Fold up the ends of the roll first, then slowly roll it all together, tucking it in as you do, to make it tight.

This will easily feed 4 people at $5 each or $20 for the whole meal

  • Tea Towel
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Knife
  • Bowel for salad

You can use any protein – if you have a leftover roast, this is a great way to transform those leftovers.


    1. Author

      Thanks 🙂 I would use them the next day because the rice paper roll gets a little soft. In saying that they would probably last two days. Enjoy!

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