Does rice paper expire? It’s a topic as fragile as rice paper itself, but it deserves all our attention.
It might not be the most thrilling topic, but it’s important stuff, especially if you have a whole pack sitting at the back of your pantry for years now. So does it really expire? Can rice paper go bad?
Good news: Rice paper doesn’t expire as it lasts indefinitely.
Bad news: However, it will become dry and brittle over time.
Lucky for you, all you need to do to make sure that the rice paper can last as long as possible is to store it properly. Read this article to know how!
What are you waiting for? Grab your dipping sauce and let’s get rolling!
Does Rice Paper Expire?
No, rice paper doesn’t expire. According to Andrea Nguyen (James Bean Award winner), rice paper lasts indefinitely. (*)
Rice paper is made of a few ingredients—salt, white rice flour, tapioca flour, and water. Since all ingredients are shelf-stable, the rice paper itself is shelf-stable too.
So as long as the rolls are kept dry, there’s no to little chance that they will go bad.
However, it will go bad eventually in the sense that it will become dry and brittle over time.
But what about its printed date?
Oftentimes, the printed date on the rice paper is not an expiration date. It’s a best-before date.
While the expiration date tells us when the product is safe for consumption, the best-before date indicates when the product will retain its maximum freshness.
Beyond the printed date (and as long as there’s no sign of spoilage), you can still safely consume the product. However, its texture may have already changed.
How Long Does Rice Paper Last?
As we’ve shared with you, rice paper is a shelf-stable product, and it can last longer than the printed date in its package. However, its shelf life depends on whether it has been opened or not.
If the package is still unopened, rice paper can last for 2 years. On the other hand, opened rice paper can last between 6 months to 1 year after it has been opened.
How to Tell if Rice Paper Has Gone Bad?
If stored properly, rice paper can last for as long as the abovementioned shelf life. However, there are certain conditions when rice paper might go bad sooner than expected.
With that said, you should inspect the rice paper carefully for any signs of spoilage before using it.
To help you out, here are some of the signs to look for:
If there’s a strong musty smell upon opening the rice paper package, you should throw it out right away.
This off odor indicates either bacterial contamination or mold growth, so you might experience a few health issues if you consumed rice paper with this kind of smell.
One of the best ways to tell if rice paper has already gone bad is to carefully inspect its color.
Rice paper is translucent. Any dark or white spots and fuzzy growth indicate that rice paper has already gone bad and must be discarded right away.
Cracks or Tearing
If the rice paper has cracks or tears, it means that it has already become dry and brittle instead of soft and pliable.
Because of this, the texture is no longer enjoyable, so it’s best to throw them out than use them.
How to Store Rice Paper?
The only way you can ensure rice paper’s longevity is to store it properly. Check out some of the best storage tips below:
- If you won’t open it yet, keep the rice paper rounds in their original packaging.
- Store unopened rice paper in a cool, dark, and dry place like your kitchen pantry.
Heat, light, moisture, and humidity can make the rice paper deteriorate faster. With that said, make sure that it’s placed far away from heat sources like ovens or stove tops.
- Once opened, you should store rice paper in the refrigerator.
- To protect the rice paper from moisture and strong odors inside the refrigerator, place it in an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to prepare rice paper?
Rice paper is prepared by soaking it in water. However, certain tips can help you achieve the right chewy texture every single time. Here they are:
Use cold water.
Hot water makes the rice paper soggy fast. On the other hand, old water moistens the rice paper slowly, so you’ll have enough time to roll them properly.
Soak the rice paper in water for only a few seconds.
You don’t need to soak the paper in water for minutes. Doing so will cause them to become extra watery and saturated.
To achieve a rice paper that’s stretchy enough to roll but not too soft that it tears, you should soak the rice paper for just 2 seconds. After that, you just allow the rice paper to soften while you work.
The Bottom Line
Does rice paper expire? No, it doesn’t. However, it can get dry and brittle over time.
Because of this, rice paper is one of the best kitchen staples to stock up on. To make the most out of its shelf life, you just need to protect it from moisture, heat, and humidity, and you can do that simply by following our storage tips!
Up Next: Your Common Food Ingredient’s Shelf Life – A Comprehensive Guide By Groups