Wraps are a much healthier alternative to fast food and one of the easiest things to make at home. Versatile for picnics, road trips, and office lunches, wraps are portable, quick, and hearty. They are also packed with nutrition and can be adapted to your taste. If you’re tired of lockdown cooking and bored of plain old sandwiches, here’s some inspiration for your next wrapped meal.
It’s not a completely exhaustive compilation (just because gyros aren’t on the list doesn’t mean we don’t love them too), but it’s sure to make you hungry.
Check out how countries around the world have incorporated local flavors and ingredients into their handheld street foods—and see how to make all the best wraps at home.
Cooked fresh to order on a circular cast-iron grill, jianbing (or jian bing) is one of China’s most popular grab-and-go breakfast foods. This crispy fried Chinese crepe is made with a batter of wheat, beans, corn or millet, eggs, cilantro, scallions, pickles, and chili sauce. At home, you can cook the batter on a griddle, folding several times in the process for added layers of crisp. Jianbing has regional variations across China which can be seen in the batter and filings. Try this Jian Bing recipe for starters.
While most people think hummus and falafel are the go-to snack foods in this region, the sabich is a popular vegetarian lunch option in Israel. Fresh baked pita bread is stuffed with creamy hummus, fried eggplant slices, hard boiled eggs, Israeli salad, pickles, amba (pickled-mango sauce), and tahini.
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When it’s time to travel again, book a food tour in Tel Aviv with Delicious Israel where locals guide you to the best sabich in the historic Carmel Market or Shuk HaCarmel. In the meanwhile, try this Vegan Sabich recipe at home.
Indian Kathi Roll
A popular Indian street food, kathi (aka, kati rolls or frankie) can be found everywhere from restaurants to hawker stands. Kati translates to “skewers” which refers to meat grilled on long iron skewers in clay ovens, and the concept originated in the eastern state of Calcutta (Kolkata). This hearty wrap consists of a paratha (whole wheat fried bread) with a cracked egg. It is then stuffed with coriander chutney, onions, chilies, and grilled spicy lamb or chicken.
New York City based The Kati Roll Company offers vegetarian versions as well, stuffed with paneer (Indian cottage cheese), chana masala (spicy chickpeas), or aloo masala (potato patties). You can make your own with any fillings you like wrapped up in this Paratha recipe.
Onigirazu is a square or rectangle shaped Japanese rice sandwich made with steamed rice balls and nori sheets (dried seaweed wraps). You can easily make it at home without any bamboo rolling mats, utilizing whatever leftovers you may have.
Stuff your roll with sushi inspired ingredients such as tuna, smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, or fried chicken, or invent your own combination of protein and vegetables. The key difference between onigirazu and sushi is the use of plain white rice as opposed to vinegar seasoned rice.
Bakeries and restaurants in Turkey are famous for baking leavened flatbreads such as lavash and yufka. These are often used to make wraps known as dürüm or durme, served at take-out and casual restaurants for lunch and dinner, alongside ayran (cold yogurt drink).
The wrap is stuffed with doner kebabs (lamb or chicken grilled on vertical skewers), a salad of lettuce, parsley, tomato, and onion, and topped with a yogurt based sauce. You can try this typical Istanbul fare on a future walking food tour with Turkish Flavours, find a Turkish restaurant near you, or make your own with our Turkish Kofte recipe folded into this easy flatbread.
Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker's Atlas, $24.99 from Amazon
Find other flatbread recipes from around the world in this book.
Related Reading: The Flat-Out Best Things to Eat with Flatbread
Korean Lettuce Wraps
In Korean cuisine, anything wrapped is called ssam or ssäm. Usually raw or blanched leafy vegetables such as cabbage, pumpkin leaves, or lettuce are wrapped around pork belly or steak and kimchi, resembling what you may know of as lettuce wraps. Ground chicken is an easy, quick filling option too. Serve these healthy and lean appetizers with sweet and spicy condiments such as gochujang paste, soy sauce, or sriracha, and top with sesame seeds.
Trini Curry Roti
Found on many Caribbean islands, this West Indies staple is a spicy and hearty wrap which is often had for lunch. To make it at home, you will first need to cook curried vegetables, shrimp, or chicken stew. The curry is cooked with potatoes, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, cumin, turmeric, chili, and curry powder. Then, scoop some of the cooked curry in the middle of a thin skillet-made roti and fold it over to make a bundle. Curry roti is a satisfying meal in itself, so no need to worry about sides. Try this Trinidad Chicken Roti recipe.
A burrito is probably one of the most beloved wraps any and everywhere. The rolled Mexican flour tortillas filled with savory meat, beans, cheese, and sauce are perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With the popularity of Tex-Mex cuisine, you can find burritos everywhere from fast food to dine in restaurants across the world.
Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between a Burrito and an Enchilada?
There is a lot of room for creativity when making burritos at home and you can use any savory leftovers as a filling. Try your next burrito deep fried, served wet in a red chili sauce, or in a bowl without the tortilla (wrap the filling in lettuce to make it count).
Or switch up your morning routine with a Southwestern breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, bacon, onions, black beans, guacamole, tomato salsa, and chipotle crema.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Fresh gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese spring rolls are often served as an appetizer or snack.
These are wrapped with rice paper, making them low-carb, gluten-free, and no-cook. Make sure to soak the rice paper in warm water for a minute to soften and roll immediately after or it can get sticky.
Stuff your spring rolls with lots of raw shredded vegetables, fresh herbs, and lean meats, shrimp, or tofu, and serve with duck sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, or low sodium soy sauce. The rolls can be served raw or deep fried.
Header image by Chowhound