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No Wrappers, No Problem. Top Rice Noodles With Your Dumpling Filling

making dumplings by hand
making dumplings by hand - Kool99/Getty Images

Dumplings are one of the world's most popular foods. From humble beginnings, the dumpling has risen to superstar status, appearing on countless Michelin-star menus and featuring as the subject of an episode of David Chang's Ugly Delicious (Season 1, Episode 8: "Stuffed").

There are plenty of mistakes to avoid if you're making dumplings from scratch, which makes store-bought dumpling wrappers an infinitely more convenient choice. This makes it easier to make dumplings at home, but it's all too often you find yourself with (sometimes quite a lot of) leftover dumpling filling. Or perhaps you're out of dumpling wrappers entirely, or can't find any in nearby stores? Either way, it doesn't need to matter: What makes a dumpling special isn't just its wrapper, but its filling too, and the way they combine to create complimentary textures and tastes.

There's no real reason why you can't take, for example, a rice paper dumpling recipe and reinvent it as a rice noodle dish, using the dumpling filling or the ingredients for the filling creatively. It might not be traditional, but you can use almost any dumpling filling as a secret ingredient to give homemade rice noodle dishes an extra je ne sais quoi.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Different Ways To Turn Your Dumpling Filling Into Rice Noodle Deliciousness

prawn pad thai on green background
prawn pad thai on green background - Enviromantic/Getty Images

Rice noodles and dumpling filling make a surprisingly good pair. They're both versatile ingredients that can be transformed for use in a variety of ways. Also, dumplings and rice noodles are generally cooked using similar methods: boiled, steamed, or fried. So, if you have dumpling filling that was intended to be used in boiled dumplings, you could shape your dumpling filling into little balls and boil these together with your rice noodles. If your filling contains beef, call them meatballs and include them in a pho bo recipe.

Probably the most easily adaptable thing to do with your dumpling filling if you're using it in a rice noodle dish is to break it apart in a hot pan, as you might do with beef or pork mince when you make a bolognese sauce. This works best when you're working with a filling that hasn't yet been cooked, but in theory, it can work with cooked filling too. Once your filling has taken on some color and broken down into pieces of your desired size, you can mix it with rice noodles to make dishes like Thailand's iconic pad thai. This also works well stirred into fried rice.

More Rice Noodle-Related Ideas For Dumpling Filling

bún noodle bowl with meat
bún noodle bowl with meat - Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

The magic of rice noodles is that they are used in both warm and cold dishes. One all-time classic rice noodle dish that can be served hot or cold is the Vietnamese bún noodle bowl. A sort of noodle salad made using vermicelli rice noodles and topped with pickled veg, herbs, and usually sliced grilled meat such as chicken or beef for protein. Add your dumpling filling as an extra component to a bún bowl, or swap it in for the meat and you'll have an equally great meal.

There are other ways to combine rice noodles and dumpling filling. Dip ping-pong ball-shaped amounts of filling into egg wash, roll them in panko breadcrumbs and fry them until golden, then plate them on a 'nest' of rice noodles shaped into a ring.

But what happens if you have neither dumpling wrappers nor rice noodles? Well, there's good news: Many other types of noodles and rice will work just as well with most dumpling fillings, it just depends on the recipe you're making. Alternatively, why not follow a recipe to learn how to make your own dumpling wrappers at home?

Read the original article on Daily Meal.