Crispy Tuna Rice Paper Dumplings

These extra crispy rice paper dumplings are made with tuna, cabbage, tofu, and perilla leaves. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a mochi-like texture!

I love the addition of perilla leaves in this recipe because they add a nice freshness to the dumpling but you can leave it out if you don’t have any. You can usually find them at your local Korean supermarket and I highly recommend including it if you can find them! 

Can we agree that a good sauce is essential to a complete dumpling experience? So of course, I had to whip up a delicious dipping sauce for this and let me tell you… it’s bomb! Only a few simple ingredients are needed. 

If you’re looking to switch up your dumpling game, this is it!! I promise you’ll thank me later. 

What are Tuna Rice Paper Dumplings?

Tuna rice paper dumplings are pan-fried dumplings made with canned tuna, cabbage, tofu, perilla leaves, and aromatics wrapped in rice paper. It is a quick and easy-to-make healthy dish that you can eat as a light meal, a snack, or an appetizer.

Like most dumplings, these are easily customizable according to what you like or have access to! Feel free to swap out any vegetables or protein in the filling to fit your preferences.

How to Make Tuna Rice Paper Dumplings

These crispy rice paper dumplings take about 35 minutes to make, which is relatively quick compared to traditional dumplings. Below is my step-by-step guide to making this addicting delectable dish!

Step 1: Prepare your ingredients.

The first step is to gather all your ingredients. Slice the cabbage and perilla leaves into thin slices. Chop up the scallions and mince the garlic. 

Take the tofu and mash it with the back of your knife. Finally, drain your can of tuna, making sure that you remove as much oil as possible. You wouldn’t want your dumpling fillings to have too much liquid.

Step 2: Make the filling.

Make the filling by mixing the sliced cabbage and perilla leaves, mashed tofu, drained tuna, eggs, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, salt, pepper and potato starch in a bowl. Make sure to mix everything well and then set aside.

Step 3: Wrap the dumpling filling.

Take a shallow plate and pour lukewarm water about half the way up. You’ll use this to wet the rice paper.

Rotate the rice paper on the shallow plate until it’s completely wet, but don’t over soak it. Oversoaking will make your rice paper hard to work with when assembling and easy to break apart when pan frying.

Next, place the wet rice paper on a cutting board or clean work surface. I like to wet the cutting board to ensure the rice paper doesn’t stick. 

Now place a whole perilla leaf on top of the wet rice paper and add a heaping tablespoon of your filling. Flatten the filling using your fingers or utensils and form a rectangular shape. Keeping the filling flat will allow it to cook all the way through. 

To wrap the dumplings, start by folding the bottom section of the rice paper over to the top. Tuck the excess rice paper under so it wraps around the filling completely. 

Next, take the top section of your rice paper and fold it over to the bottom. Again, if there’s excess rice paper, tuck it under. 

Now it’s time to fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over each other. Once done, wet a second sheet of rice paper, and place the wrapped dumpling seam side down. Repeat the same wrapping method mentioned above. 

Pro-tip: double wrapping is a trick I like to do to ensure both sides have an equal thickness of rice paper wrap. This will also make the dumpling extra chewy. 

Repeat this until you’ve double-wrapped all your filling. This recipe should make about 8 to 9 dumplings.

Step 4: Cook your dumplings.

Take a pan and add about 4 tablespoons of oil. Heat it over medium low heat. 

It’s important that the oil is hot enough before adding the dumplings to prevent them from getting too greasy. When placing the dumplings in the pan, make sure that they have enough space from each other. 

Don’t overcrowd them in the pan because they will tend to stick together when they touch, resulting in tearing. And no one wants that. 

Cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Add more oil if needed!

Step 5: Make the dipping sauce.

This dish is not complete without the dipping sauce. Simply combine the soy sauce, black vinegar, fish sauce, and chopped Thai chili peppers in a bowl.

Mix thoroughly and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to develop and combine thoroughly.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy!

These tuna rice paper dumplings are best served fresh out of the pan, so serve them while they’re hot and enjoy with the dipping sauce!

Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings

These extra crispy rice paper dumplings are made with tuna, cabbage, tofu, and perilla leaves. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a mochi-like texture!
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 16 pieces of rice paper
  • 1 can of tuna in oil drained
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 block tofu firm
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 perilla leaves sliced
  • 8 perilla leaves whole, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp potato starch or corn starch
  • cooking oil

Dipping Sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 thai chili peppers chopped, optional

Instructions

  • Slice the cabbage and 6 perilla leaves into thin slices.
  • Spread and mash the tofu with the back of a knife.
  • Drain the can of tuna. Make sure to remove as much oil as possible.
  • Place the cabbage, sliced perilla leaves, tofu, eggs, tuna, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, salt, pepper and potato starch together in a bowl. Combine and mix well.
  • In a shallow plate, add warm water about half the way up.
  • Wet the rice paper by rotating it all the way around until completely wet. Place on a cutting board or clean surface.
  • Place a whole perilla leaf on top of the wet rice paper. Add a heaping tablespoon of the tuna filling. Using your fingers or utensils, flatten the filling and form it in a rectangular shape (see note 2).
  • Fold the bottom section of the rice paper over to the top. If there is excess rice paper, tuck it under so it wraps around completely.
  • Take the top section of the rice paper and fold it over the bottom. If there is excess rice paper, tuck it under so it wraps around completely.
  • Fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over each other.
  • Wet a second piece of rice paper. Place the rice paper dumpling seam side down. This will ensure that both sides of the dumpling have an equal amount of rice paper. Repeat steps 8-11.
  • Once the dumpling has been double wrapped, set aside. Repeat for rest of the dumplings. Makes about 8-9 dumplings.
  • Heat a pan on medium-low heat and add about 4 tablespoons oil. The pan should be heated thoroughly before adding in the dumplings to avoid a greasy and oily dumpling.
  • Place the dumplings in the pan and make sure they have enough space on all sides. These dumplings will stick together if they touch.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with dipping sauce!

Dipping Sauce

  • Combine soy sauce, black vinegar, fish sauce, and thai chili peppers in a small bowl.
  • Let this sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

Notes

  1. When cooking, be sure to use medium-low heat. The rice paper dumplings can burn fairly quickly. 
  2. After you add the filling, use fingers or utensils to flatten and form into rectangular shape. These dumplings should be on the thinner side to reduce the cooking time while ensuring the filling is fully cooked. 
  3. The rice paper dumplings become more malleable and harder to work with the longer they sit after wet. Try to form the dumplings as fast as possible to avoid them from sticking to your work surface. 
  4. Perilla leaves can be omitted however, I recommend adding them in the filling if you can. 
  5. For the dipping sauce, black vinegar can be substituted for any vinegar of your choice. Thai chili peppers are optional. 
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Fusion

Final Thoughts

These super crispy and chewy tuna rice paper dumplings are not only filled with delicious flavors and ingredients, but they are also very healthy. This is a fantastic dish you can quickly put together with a few ingredients you may already have in your pantry. 

So try this recipe, and let me know your thoughts! I love it when people try and enjoy my recipes so please feel free to share your experience with me!

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