Take note of the cross-thatched pattern on the rice paper. In Vietnam artisans make the rice paper by steaming rice flour batter on cloth over a caldron of water boiling over a fire of burning rice husks and peanut shells. The sheets are sun-dried on bamboo mats that create the pattern, a sign of hand-craftsmanship.
The rice paper is quite simple to work with once you’ve practiced with a few sheets. In Vietnam they eat them quite chewy, only rubbing the rice paper with water and never submerging in water as I recommend below. Make sure to only dip in water briefly, so they still have some bite. They are quite versatile: restaurants across the country are wrapping fillings that include grilled chicken and salmon. Try wrapping up other fillings yourself; such as vegetable slaw and grilled chicken.
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