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What is Soy Paper and Why Should You Cook With It?

If the slightly fishy taste from seaweed (nori) is the primary reason you avoid consuming sushi, it's time to try soy paper. This alternative to seaweed paper comes in various colors and is flavorless, so it's the perfect option for picky eaters or those who don't enjoy the taste of seaweed. While not all sushi restaurants offer the option of soy paper sushi, some do. All it takes is a quick search for soy paper wrap sushi, and you'll see options pop up near you.

Continue reading to learn more about soy paper, including how to make sushi, soy paper-wrapped, at home.

What Is Soy Paper?

Soy paper is typically made from soybeans that have been compressed. This ingredient goes by various names like mamenori and soybean paper. It's a delicate sheet easily dyed in multiple colors, making it a fun alternative to nori.

What Is Soy Paper Used For?

It’s usually used as a replacement for nori on sushi rolls to hold the ingredients together. You’ll also see it used for some desserts and spring rolls.

What Is Soy Paper Sushi?

Simply put, you're using soy paper for sushi instead of seaweed.

What Does Soy Paper Taste And Look Like?

Soy paper usually is semi-translucent paper and comes in a white color. It is nearly flavorless and only offers a slight aroma, allowing the other sushi ingredients like the rice and fish to shine through.

Is Soy Paper Better For You?

Regarding soy paper calories versus nori calories, it has slightly more. However, it is lower in carbs. The main reason people consider eating soy paper as a healthier choice is that soy paper is a gluten-free option. However, it's always necessary to read package ingredients, as certain flavoring can contain gluten.

Difference Between Soy Paper And Its Alternatives

If you want a different option than soy paper, there are alternatives you can use. Below, you'll find the difference between each soy paper sushi roll substitute.

Soy Paper Vs. Seaweed

Nori Seaweed Sheets

As mentioned, seaweedhas a stronger flavor. If you want a more traditional sushi roll, you can use nori instead of soy paper. However, if you want to be able to taste the seafood and veggies more fully, you can use soy paper.

Soy Paper Vs. Rice Paper

Soy paper and rice paper are very similar. Rice paper is typically made from rice starch; like soy paper, it does not have a strong flavor. This is the closest alternative to soy paper. You can also use it to make rice paper rolls.

Soy Paper Vs. Cucumber Wraps

Cucumber wraps are what they sound like – thinly sliced cucumbers that you wrap around sushi rolls. If you enjoy a light veggie flavor, you'll enjoy cucumber wraps. They're a little harder to work with than soy wraps unless you slice them very thin.

What Is Soy Paper Made Of?

The ingredients for soy paper vary depending on the brand. However, the common ingredients are sesame seeds, soybeans, soy flour, soybean oil, organic rice syrup, and food coloring (for options other than white).

How to Make Soy Paper Sushi Rolls?

You can recreate some at home if you can't find any sushi restaurants that make soy paper rolls near you. You'll need sushi-grade fish or chopped veggies, imitation crab, and your favorite fillings. You’ll also need to prepare sushi rice. Once you have your fillings and rice prepped, it’s time to assemble.

Slice your soy paper in half. Then, add some sushi rice and press down. Add your fillings and roll. Wet your fingertips and run them along the edges to help the soy paper stick together. Slice the log into rolls and serve!

How Do I Store Soy Paper?

Since soy paper is thin, it can easily be affected by moisture and temperature. Once a soy paper package is open, you'll want to seal it tightly and keep it in a dry, cool environment. You'll need to use an open package of soy paper within two weeks. Otherwise, it won't be fresh.

Soy Paper Recipes Ideas

Besides using soy paper for sushi, you can also use it for the below recipes:

  • Soy paper spring rolls (fried or unfried)
  • Poke burrito (like a sushi wrap with soy paper)
  • Shrimp dumplings (using soy paper)
  • Sweet fruit sushi
  • As a decoration for tea sandwiches (using brightly colored soy paper)

Where To Buy Soy Paper For Sushi

Most grocery stores carry soy paper for sushi in the Asian aisle. If you can't find it in your regular grocery store, you'll likely find it in an Asian marketplace or online. For any other Asian grocery needs, you can look at Bokksu Market. Purchasing items from Bokksu Market allows you to have Asian groceries delivered right to your door.

Get more sushi inspiration by reading through this article: Crunchy Sushi Roll Recipe.

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