If you’re looking for Asian picnic food ideas, look no further than the rice paper roll.
For an Asian inspired picnic, rice paper rolls, along with nori rolls, make perfect Asian picnic fare. They are easy to transport and manage al fresco, they are incredibly versatile and are one of the more elegant cold picnic food ideas to grace the blanket.
Also called Summer Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls, rice paper rolls are fresh and light, easy to make, and are very forgiving in as far as how you fill them. There are no set rules; just go with your style.
Serve them with a dipping sauce as the main picnic dish or as a side or starter. Maybe pair with Asian coleslaw and cold Asian spiced or marinated chicken pieces for a full Asian picnic menu.
I have gone with a smoked duck spring roll ( you can find the recipe for smoked duck breast below). Duck and Asian flavours go so well together and the duck makes the rice paper roll a more substantial dish. If you don’t want to smoke your own duck breast, you can buy pre smoked duck from most supermarkets, butcher or poultry supplier.
As mentioned, there are no set rules with how you want to fill your spring rolls. I include chopped nuts inside for added crunch. Sometimes I use bean sprouts and sometimes not. Feel free to experiment.
How Far in Advance Can You Make Rice Paper Rolls
One of the key considerations regarding the preparation for a picnic is – how far in advance can I prepare this dish?
We have put full notes on preparation and storage of rice paper rolls in the recipe notes below. In short, rice paper rolls are best prepared as close to serving as possible and served at room temperature.
However, you can prepare them in advance and store them successfully. We just recommend no longer than 6-8 hours for maximum freshness. You can prepare your fillings the day before and have everything ready to roll on the day. The rolling really isn’t the labour intensive part, you’ve done all the work with the prep.
How to Store Rice Paper Rolls
Again, we give you the full rundown in the recipe notes on how to store your rice paper rolls for maximum freshness. You will see lots of advice about using damp towels. This is a fine short term solution for laying over rolls that will be served immediately.
Use plastic wrap, with plastic separating each roll, so they don’t stick together is the best way for longer-term storage. The rice paper wrapper also stays moist this way. Then, they can be stored in the fridge for a period of time in an airtight container.
Doing this will prevent them from drying and the rice paper becoming rubbery. Some have even had success making the rice paper rolls the night before and storing them this way. Make sure they return to room temperature before serving.
If you have some leftover duck breast, try our Smoked Duck, Fig and Grilled Pear Salad. It makes a delightful picnic salad that is sure to impress.
See the full post on how to smoke duck breast here for more notes and tips on achieving tender, juicy smoked duck breast every time. It’s a lot easier than you might think.