For years I avoided bread because of my allergy to wheat. The gluten-free bread on the market was expensive and not very good. Some of that has changed – it is now possible to get excellent gluten-free bread, although it is still expensive.
A great alternative is rice paper. Traditionally, it is used to make spring rolls (a Vietnamese dish), but you can wrap almost anything in rice paper.
The pros of using rice paper to make a gluten-free meal is that it is versatile and inexpensive.
The cons of using rice paper is that you have to prepare it (easy to do, but this makes it less portable) and it does not keep well, making it hard to pack a lunch.
Rice paper is made of 100% rice. It comes in packages of dry sheets. To use it, soak it in water for a moment, then remove it and allow it to stand on a plate for a minute or two until soft, flexible and slightly tacky.
You can now place filler in a mound along the center of the rice paper, fold the ends over, and roll it up into a sausage-shaped sort of sandwich.
Traditionally, it is filled with vegetables, meat such as beef or pork, seafood such as prawns, and rice vermicelli.
I have filled them with any number of other things, including cold cuts, filling made with diced ham, mayonnaise and vegetables, and nut butter.
This style of meal works best at home or on a well-prepared picnic. It is best to eat the rolls as you make them, rather than making many in advance, although you could do the latter for a party (serve within minutes of preparation).
- Wikipedia on Summer rolls