Do you know that a rice paper comes in different shapes and sizes! Lets dive into the world of these amazingly thin translucent sheets.
In the past, rice papers were made manually by hand with a steam pot. The steam pot often has a rounded shape. After the sheets were moulded in the steaming pot, these were put to dry on bamboo lattices. Therefore, this method lead to the inception of the circular rice papers. Due to the size of the steam pot, popular size of rice papers is between 22 – 25 cm. However, in several provinces in Central Vietnam, local people manually create as large as 30 cm rice papers.
Later on, the habit of using this size made its way into the standard sized rice papers which are now mass manufactured using machines. The 22 cm rounded shape rice paper become the standard one around the world. The thriving consumers of this food, who use it for commercial purposes prefer its smaller version which is 16 cm in diameter. This rounded 16cm rice papers are also used to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls (deep-fried rolls). These are mostly created by machines.
Nowadays, due to the availability of a variety of machine casts, rice papers come in square and rectangular shapes in both big and small sizes. Whatever be its shape, dimensions 22cm and 16cm have become the standard dimensions for the rice papers. This standard in dimension subsequently has become the standard for the kitchen tools to make rice paper rolls.