These 12345 sauce rice paper nuggets are so fun to make and delicious to eat.
If you think rice paper is only for spring roll, then you’ll need some new fun ways to use it. The possibilities are endless. I have used it to replace tofu skin in my sweet and sour vegan ‘fish’ recipe and today, I’ll use it to wrap the mushrooms into nuggets.
I fell in love with Vietnamese cuisine in my college years because their noodle dishes are very close to the flavors I grew up with. Then comes the Vietnamese spring roll made from rice paper — AMAZING! I had that almost every night with lime juice in sweet chile sauce for dinner. It was DELISH!
Rice paper is one of the greatest substitutes for wraps for you who want gluten-free options.
What exactly is 12345 sauce?
I found this sauce when I was googling Asian spareribs sauce and saw my favorite chef’s (chef James) on YouTube with his own version. As the name implies, it has 5 ingredients and is pretty much the same in most recipes. I like it because it’s so easy to remember and can be measured using a spoon. The number represents the spoonful of each ingredient. The ingredients are:
1 tablespoon – Cooking wine (Shaoxing, Michiu, or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons – Vinegar (Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar. Some recipes use apple cider vinegar as well)
3 tablespoons – Sugar
4 tablespoons – Soy sauce (Light soy sauce or a mix of light and dark soy sauce)
5 tablespoons Water
The first and last ingredient usually stays untouched and you can vary the 2-3-4 ingredients according to preference. So, for example, you like a sweeter sauce, you’ll swap the sugar with soy sauce or with vinegar if you like a tangier taste. I used the exact same ratio as above but used light soy sauce instead of regular. If you use regular, it will be a little on the saltier side.
How to make rice paper nuggets in 12345 sauce
Step 1: Prepare the mushrooms
I am using king oyster mushrooms again since I bought a lot to test the vegan roast ‘chicken’ recipe but you can definitely use tofu. Simply cut the mushrooms into large bite-sized pieces. There is no need to get them into uniform sizes as you can wrap more than 1 piece if the cutlets are small.
Next, heat a large non-stick skillet and add a tablespoon of oil. Pan-fry the mushrooms until they release their aroma, about 3 minutes. Then, season with salt and continue to cook until a brown crust forms.
The mushrooms will have a shiny glaze on the outside by now and shrunk. Set them aside to cool.
Step 2: Assemble and cook the rice paper nuggets
To make things easier, I like to gather all the ingredients and utensils so everything is within reach. So, fill a bowl with water, then prepare a chopping board, get a pair of scissors and have your rice paper and mushrooms next to you. Before you start, grease a large plate so the wrapped nugget can be transferred to the air fryer easily.
Next, cut the rice paper in half. Then, immerse the paper in water and count to 20. Lift it up and place it on a chopping board. I like to spread it so they stick to the board. This step will trap the moisture from the paper and slowly softens it while you wrap it.
Place 1-2 pieces of mushrooms on the paper and roll to wrap it up. Transfer to the greased plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the air-fryer to 390°F for 3 minutes. Spray the inner basket with oil, place the nugget in, slightly apart. Then, spray the nugget top with oil. Air fry for 5 minutes with a shake in between. Fry in batches if needed.
The rice paper skin will puff up and turn white once cooked. Increase the cooking time for a crispier texture.
Step 3: Make the 12345 sauce and serve
While waiting for the last batch to finish, mix the 12345 sauce in a bowl.
Pour the sauce in the same pan you used to cook your mushrooms with. Set it to medium heat and bring it to a boil. While stirring, cook the sauce down for about 3-5 minutes. Once you see large bubbles form, the sauce is thick enough to coat the nuggets.
Add the nuggets and quickly toss in this sauce until well combined. Garnish with chopped onions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.
Easy ways to handle rice paper
Have you experienced super soft rice paper that crumbles after you soak in water? It happens if you soak the rice paper too long in the water or use hot water. Below are a few tips to manage the rice paper.
- Cut it when it’s dry
- Soak in cold water and count to 20
- Remove and place it on a chopping board when it is still firm. The water will slowly soften the paper
Now, you may ask: Can I fix the crumbled rice paper? Actually, if it’s not too soft, you can still re-soak it in the water and unfold it in the water. Yes, I’ve tried it and it worked, but if it’s too sticky, then, you can’t use this trick. You’ll need to start over with a new rice paper and keep the crumbled one for your noodle soup.
This rice paper nuggets in 12345 sauce is
- a MUST-TRY dish
- Gluten-free options – use gluten-free sauces where applicable
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Rice paper nuggets in 12345 sauce
- 12 oz king oyster mushrooms
- 20 sheets 6-inch rice paper
- Salt to taste
- oil for cooking
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar/rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons water
- Cut the mushrooms into large bite-size pieces. Note: these pieces will shrink after cooking.
- Heat a non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes or until they release their aroma. Season with a pinch of salt and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so until a brown crust forms. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rice paper.
- Setup up the wrapping station. Fill a shallow plate with water, prepare a chopping board, and lightly grease a large plate. Cut the rice paper in half and soak it in the water. Count to 20. Remove and place them on the chopping board. If the paper seems hard, let it stay on the chopping board for another few seconds. The moist from the water will slowly soften the paper.
- Place a piece of mushroom on top and wrap it into a nugget, sealing the sides as you go. Use two pieces of mushrooms if you have smaller cuts. Transfer the nuggets to the greased plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390F for 3 minutes. Spray/brush the inner rack with a thin layer of cooking oil. Arrange the nuggets in one layer in the rack then spray/brush the top with oil. Air fry for 5-6 minutes, with a shake in between until the skin turns white and crispy. Air fry in batches if you have a small machine.
- While waiting for the last batch to finish, whisk together the sauce in a bowl.
- When ready, using the same non-stick skillet you cook the mushrooms with, pour in the sauce and set to medium heat. Cook the sauce until it thickens into a glaze, stirring regularly, about 2-3 minutes. When you see large bubbles forming, that means the sauce is starting to thicken.
- Add the nuggets and quickly toss them together until they are coated with sauce. Serve immediately.
- Please note the sauce is on the saltier side, so please adjust to your taste accordingly. Check the ‘What is exactly 12345 sauce’ section.