Celebrating Chinese New Year – Easy Recipe for Shrimp Rice (Paper) Rolls

Image presents Chinese New Year, Chiang Mai, Thailand Photo credit : THESTANDARD

Chinese New Year, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Photo credit : THESTANDARD

Last week, February 8th – 10th, 2024, was Chinese New Year. It is one of the festivals that are meaningful among many Thai-Chinese families. In 2021, there were around 8 million Thai-Chinese people living in Thailand. Chinese culture has grown and become a part of Thai culture over time. Having this season in the back of my mind, I was craving a Chinese dim sum classic – Shrimp Rice Rolls. This is a fun and easy to make recipe that all family members can enjoy together.

From what I have learned, Thai-Chinese families in Thailand take this occasion seriously, especially the food. Certain dishes that carry meanings related to the New Year become a highlight during this time. For example, dumplings signify the changing of the year. Long noodle refers to long life. (The longer you can eat, the better. And whatever you do, don’t cut the noodles!)  Rice cake means success and a better year than the last. As a Thai person, I love to celebrate Chinese New Year if I can. This celebration makes me feel blessed and sets us off for another good year.

Image presents Dumplings

Dumplings signify the changing of the year.
Photo credit: mamalovestocook

Long noodle symbolizes happiness and longevity.
Photo credit: baology

Image presents Rice cake

Rice cake means success and a better year than the last.
Photo credit: alvawater

I think the main part of any celebration is to eat well. In addition to preparing the food at home, many families also like to eat out at a dim sum restaurant as a part of celebrating their food culture. My favorite dim sum item is Shrimp Rice Roll.

Image presents Shrimp Rice Rolls

Shrimp Rice Rolls
Photo credit: thewoksoflife

I searched for the recipe for this dish. It is easy after you have everything together but the preparation can be a bit much. The original version calls for 4 different dry ingredients, rice flour, mung bean starch, wheat starch, and cornstarch, to make rice noodles. To make the rice noodle sheets, you will need to steam the batter in a shallow pan that is lined with cloth. If that sounds like a lot of work, there is a short-cut version of this dish, by using rice paper! It is very simple, even kids would enjoy making this. A chewy texture of rice paper transforms the soft rice rolls into something fun to eat.

Image presents Shrimp Rice (Paper) Rolls

Ingredients for 3 rolls

3 rice papers
9 shrimp
Chopped green onion for garnish
1 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp sesame oil
sour soy sauce and chili oil (optional)

  1. Prepare the steaming process by boiling the water in a wok. Put the bamboo steamer on top (You can use a steamer rack and a plate instead of the bamboo steamer, and use a pot instead of a wok).
  2. Chop some green onion for garnish.
  3. Prepare a bowl or plate with water and dip rice paper in. Get the paper completely wet.
  4. Line 3 shrimp in the middle of the rice paper, garnish with chopped green onion and roll them up.
  5. Repeat the step with the rest of the rice papers.
  6. Once the water is steaming, put all the rolls in the basket. Steam for 5 minutes.
  7. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil together for dipping sauce.
  8. Serve with the sour soy sauce and chili oil (optional)

Lining parchment paper on the steamer and spraying cooking oil on the paper prevent the rolls sticking to the bottom.

Reference :



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