I was talking to my mom who reminded me how good summer rolls taste. I really like them, but for me the problem is most contain seafood, in reality that means shrimp. I am not against shrimp, I just do not care for them myself. Instead I chose to create summer rolls with chicken. I love how fresh these came out tasting. I also appreciate that even though I made them for lunch the extras were fine in the fridge until dinner. The other thing I noticed when searching the interwebs is that many people serve theirs with a peanut sauce, I too made a peanut sauce. I also created a spiced soy sauce that my husband and I devoured with the summer rolls, just a tip from us.
Also another note, these get easier to fold the more you do it, as you can see from my initial ones at the top and my later ones at the bottom, it gets easier the more you do it.
Another note, the rice paper I used I bought on Amazon here (affiliate link). It probably could be found at your local Asian market, I just was busy when I last went grocery shopping and had limited time.
You can probably guess by now what I am going to say is the first step. Prepare your ingredients. I found for me having all the ingredients prepared and ready made the rolling part fun. One thing I would also note is that although your first summer rolls may not look the best, they stick together quite well. I think this could be something that is done with children and they would have fun rolling up the rolls or deciding what goes in theirs. Kids love having ownership over their food. Even if their summer rolls are not perfect, they will taste great and the kids will be proud they could do it by themselves, provided ingredients are prepared ahead of time.
I started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees. Then I took a chicken breast and seasoning it with salt and pepper. I then heated a pan with a spray of olive oil over medium high heat. I cooked it 3-5 minutes until seared on both sides and then placed the entire pan in the oven until the chicken registered 165 with a meat thermometer. Then allow to cool and slice. I wanted it to be more simple and that is why I seasoned it such. I found this whole dish to be quite fresh and clean tasting, which is what I wanted.
Next chop into thin strips, 1/2 of a cup of napa cabbage, 1/2 of a cup of purple cabbage, 4 baby carrots, 1/4 of a cucumber, and thinly slice an avocado. You will also need 1/2 of a cup each of alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts.
Next you will make your dipping sauces. In a small bowl combine 1/8 of a cup of reduced sodium soy sauce, 1/8 of a cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 of a teaspoon of powdered garlic and 1/2 of a teaspoon of powdered ginger. Stir to combine. Next add 4 tablespoons of peanut butter with at least 4 tablespoons of water and 1/2 of a teaspoon of powdered ginger. Stir to mix together, if still too thick add water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Your set up should look a bit like below.
Next you will take your rice paper and in a shallow bowl with warm tap water, you will wet the paper. The design will disappear when you wet the rice paper. Then you can place it on a flat surface, I used a cutting board. Next you will layer your ingredients in your roll. I found that I liked the look of avocado or colorful vegetables on the outside most so I put that down first and then added a small pinch of all the other ingredients. I found that it was better for me to lay them out lengthwise and not to attempt to overstuff the rolls. Then you tuck the bottom of the roll up, the one side and the other and then roll it like a burrito until the final side is tucked as well. Your roll should be done, repeat until your ingredients are all used up. You can then dip and enjoy.
-1 boneless skinless chicken breast
-freshly ground pepper
-1/2 cup of napa cabbage
-1/2 cup of purple cabbage
-4 baby carrots (or 2 regular carrots)
-1/4 of a cucumber
-1/2 cup of alfalfa sprouts
-1/2 cup of bean sprouts
-1/8 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce
-1/8 cup of rice vinegar
-2 tablespoons of honey
-1/2 teaspoon of powdered garlic
-1 teaspoon of powdered ginger, divided
-4 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
-8-10 sheets of rice paper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat an oven safe pan over medium heat. Season chicken breast with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides. Add chicken to the hot pan and sear it on both sides 3-7 minutes Once both sides are seared place pan in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and thinly slice.
- Julienne the napa and purple cabbage, carrots, and cucumber. Thinly slice the avocado.
- To a small bowl add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger. Stir to combine.
- To another small bowl add peanut butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger. Add 4 tablespoons of water and stir to combine. Add additional water and stir until desired consistency is reached.
- In a shallow bowl filled with warm water, wet the rice paper and lay on a flat surface. Add a few slices each of avocado and chicken. Add a pinch of both types of sprouts, cabbage, cucumber and carrots. Fold the bottom edge of the rice paper up towards the top, fold in one side and then the other. Finally roll the entire roll towards the top edge like a burrito. Repeat the process until no ingredients remain.
If using regular soy sauce add one tablespoon at a time and taste before adding more.