Spring is right around the corner so now's as good a time as ever for some spring rolls. This recipe is so versatile, you will find yourself coming up with ideas of your own for these easy rolls. This recipe has chicken but you can sub in shrimp, beef or make these completely vegetarian or vegan! I have made these plenty of times without meat and added in mango - the options are endless.
- Dry rice paper wrappers
- 1 chicken breast cut lengthwise into thin strips
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of avocado or olive oil
- 4 tbsp of soy sauce, or to taste
- 1 cup brown rice vermicelli, prepped and cooled to room temperature
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into short thin strips/sticks
- 1 cucumber, cut into short thin strips/sticks
- 1 avocado, pitted and cut into thin strips
- Fresh mint leaves, basil leaves or butter lettuce, rinsed
- sesame seeds
FOR THE SAUCES:
Spicy Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili sauce, more or less depending on your spice preference
- 1 tsp honey
- Chopped green onions for garnish, optional
Savory Peanut Sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Chopped peanuts for garnish, optional
- Prep everything before hand: clean your produce, slice the chicken, mince the garlic, grab all the ingredients needed for the sauces and soak your vermicelli.*
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add in the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- While your garlic is sauteing, bring a pot of water to boil for the vermicelli. When it starts to boil, put in the soaked and rinsed vermicelli and boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Add the sliced chicken to the skillet and cook through completely.
- Add in the soy sauce and cook for additional minute. Set chicken aside to cool.
- While your chicken and vermicelli are cooling, prep the veggies. I suggest lining all the ingredients along a tray for easy assembly of the rolls.
- Make sure all ingredients are easily accessible. (veggies, sesame seeds, chicken, vermicelli, rice paper wrappers).
- In a shallow pan**, fill with about 2 cups warm water. Soak one rice paper wrapper for about 10 seconds. Careful not to over soak or the wrapper will turn to mush! It is OK if the wrapper is still a little solid after soaking - it will loosen up quickly.
- Using a plate or cutting board, place the soaked wrapper down flat.
- Sprinkle whole wrapper with sesame seeds.
- Place one piece of butter lettuce, a few mint leaves or basil leaves in the middle of the wrapper.
- Proceed by placing 1-2 strips of chicken (one is usually enough), some sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced avocado and a little vermicelli in the middle of the wrapper.
- When done with the fillings, start wrapping the roll. Start by rolling one side over the fillings and tucking in towards you. Continue rolling and about halfway through, turn each side over onto the middle. Finish rolling and you have a spring roll! The soaked wrappers will adhere together.
- Continue steps 2-7, changing the warm water as needed, until you have used up all the ingredients. This usually makes about 8-10 rolls for me.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauces!***
MAKE THE SAUCES:
- To make each of the sauces, combine all ingredients in separate bowls and whisk together.
- For the peanut sauce, add water a little at a time. Add more depending on how thick you want the sauce.
*For the vermicelli, most brands ask that you soak in cold water for 15 minutes, rinse and then boil for 1-2 minutes. Pay attention to the instructions - vermicelli cooks extremely fast.
**I use a 9-inch round cake pan - I find it works the easiest for soaking the rice paper wrappers. Depending on the size of the shallow pan you decide to use, you may need more or less warm water. You want the wrapper to be submerged but not drowning.
***These do not make good leftovers. Refrigerating the rolls will make the wrappers hard. Serve these immediately or throughout the day. Do not refrigerate or heat up.