Our conversation about this week’s lunches went something like this…
J: What do you want for lunches this week?
E: I don’t know… definitely something light. [This after our epic wedding weekend of food.]
J: I was thinking wraps might be nice.
E: Ooooh, maybe Asian style wraps?
J: Ooooh, what if we made them spring rolls?
E: YES. DONE.
That’s what we like to call teamwork, folks.
And so, we set out to make our own version of substantial yet healthy spring rolls. It was ideal: I got to scour Yummly for inspiration [which I found here], and Jason got to play with one of his favorite toys: spring roll wrappers, or Bánh tráng.
These things might look daunting as they stare you down in the Asian food aisle, but they are actually incredibly resourceful. They are also made from tapioca starch and rice starch, which means they are surprisingly durable and pretty fun to put to use.
Unless you accidentally stick them together… that’s bad news bears.
So here’s how you put them to use effectively and to great delight…
ASIAN CHICKEN SPRING ROLLS
- 3 green onions, roots trimmed and green tops cut off
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbs. Hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped up to manageable size
- Black pepper to taste [we used 1/2 tsp.]
- Red pepper flakes to taste [we used 1/2 tsp.]
- 6 ounces cooked chicken
- Maifun Rice Noodles/Sticks
- Fresh spinach
- Stir fry veggies, sautéed in soy sauce [optional]
- 12 rice paper / spring roll wrappers
- Dipping sauce of preference [peanut, hoisin, or soy]
- First, assemble your Asian slaw. In a food processor, pulse together the white parts of the green onions with the green pepper, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cabbage, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover and pulse until finely chopped.
We added our chicken to the wraps separately, because we decided to roast it. But after assembling, we definitely recommend adding the chicken to the food processor and chopping it up alongside the rest of the mixture.
2. Meanwhile, soak and cook your rice noodles. As they soak, bring a pot of water to a boil and add rinsed noodles for about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.
You now have all of the elements to assemble the spring rolls!
3. Fill a skillet with water and warm over the stove. Once warm, submerge a rice paper wrap into the water and soak for 10 seconds. As you take it out, be careful not to let the edges stick together.
4. Place on a large clean plate and begin layering the center with all of your ingredients: spinach, rice noodles, and Asian slaw and chicken. We also threw in some stir fry veggies sautéed in soy sauce that we had on hand, but those are definitely optional.
5. Now channel your inner Chipotle server and begin rolling. Take one end and fold over the ingredients longways. Then take the sides and secure [it will stick together very easily]. Now roll it away from you and set aside.
Repeat with the remaining wraps and filling. As you set aside, make sure they don’t touch. Otherwise, they’ll start ripping.
Serve with peanut sauce or hoisin sauce [our go-to’s] or a tasty homemade dipping sauce combining the leftover sliced green onion tops, 2 Tbs. rice vinegar, 2 Tbs. water, and 2 Tbs. soy sauce.
And voila! Lunches for the week!