Bo Bia - Rice Paper Rolls (Instant Rice Paper Sheets)
Easy - You got this
🛒 Buy Duncan Lu Instant Rice Paper Sheets here!
🛒 Buy Duncan’s Instant Rice Paper Roll Kit here!
When it comes to rice paper rolls, there aren’t many variations that can beat bo bia (popiah rice paper rolls). These naturally sweet and textural rice paper rolls are unlike most Vietnamese rice paper rolls in that they do not rely on the addition of Vietnamese herbs or vermicelli noodles. They’re also ketogenic-friendly and a very easy dish to prepare for lunch or dinner.
Bo Bia is characterised by jicama, a root vegetable that when stir-fried releases its natural sweetness whilst maintaining its firm and crisp texture. Because jicama is a seasonal vegetable and Chinese sausages, the other primary ingredient, can be quite expensive, this rice paper roll filling didn’t appear often in our household. However, when it did these rice paper rolls would be consumed by the dozen.
My favourite part about bo bia was its crisp and chewy textures. Jicama and fried Chinese sausages have contrasting textures but both possess a sweetness that allows them to pair well together. The rice paper roll is completed with the addition of a soft omelette, fresh herbs and topped off with a decadent peanut dipping sauce.
There are a few key tips and tricks to nail the flavour and textural balance in bo bia rice paper rolls. Vietnamese herbs will help to enhance its taste but only add a minimal amount to prevent the rice paper roll from being overpowered with floral and aromatic flavours.
Chinese sausages provide the ideal sweetness and adds a chewy but soft texture that complements the natural characteristics of the instant rice paper sheets.
If flavoursome rice paper rolls tickle your fancy do yourself a favour and give these bo bia with instant rice paper sheets a whirl to experience these Vietnamese home-cooked flavours on another level.
3 Chinese sausages
3 tablespoons cooking oil
½ teaspoon anchovy salt
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 free-range eggs
1 tablespoon water
¼ anchovy salt or sea salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
Rice paper rolls:
Instant rice paper sheets or rice paper sheets
1 bunch Vietnamese/cos lettuce
1 bunch mint
1 bunch coriander (optional)
How to cook Chinese sausage:
1. Steam or boil Chinese sausages in water for 15 minutes.
2. Remove and allow to cool before chopping diagonally into 0.5cm thick slices.
How to cook jicama:
1. In a large fry pan, on medium heat add oil, jicama and sea salt, stir fry for 4-5 minutes, then remove and set aside.
How to cook omelette:
1. In a small mixing bowl, add all omelette ingredients and whisk well.
2. In a small fry pan on low-medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil and omelette mixture, cook for 2–3 minutes or until lightly golden. Flip and cook for a further minute, then remove and allow to cool.
3. Slice into 1cm slices and set aside.
How to make rice paper rolls:
1. Place an instant rice paper sheet vertically onto a medium plate. Add a piece of lettuce, a tablespoon of jicama, two slices of Chinese sausage, a slice of omelette and some mint, then roll up into an open-ended cigar with firm pressure.
Duncan’s tip: Adding too many ingredients can increase the size of your rice paper roll making it difficult to consume.
2. If using rice paper sheets that require dipping, dip in cold water for 10 seconds, then add the ingredients towards the bottom of the rice paper sheet. Roll forward twice away from you then fold in both ends and keep rolling until rice paper roll is sealed.
Duncan’s tip: Roll rice paper rolls with firm but gentle pressure, like cradling a bird you want to apply enough pressure that the bird doesn’t fly away but not too much pressure that you could hurt the bird.