Spring rolls are wraps that you can see through. Similar to egg rolls, they are made with translucent rice paper instead of egg roll "skins." Different from egg rolls, they are usually not fried after wrapping.
Spring rolls are pretty versatile. They can be served for lunch or dinner, as an appetizer or entree.
Not only are these wraps easy, if you start with leftover chicken this is super fast -- maybe 15 minutes to make, 20 if you count assembling all the ingredients beforehand. And you do want to work fast -- the rice paper rounds tear easily and are a little difficult to handle if you let them soak too long.
In this recipe I prefer to use
Chicken Spring Rolls
Adapted from The Perfect Pantry
Yield: 8-10 rolls, depending upon how much filling is used per each
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 1 1/2 - 2 cups thinly sliced or shredded leftover chicken)
1 Tbs. soy sauce (low-sodium ok, but regular preferred)
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
8-10 rice paper wrappers
2 cups cole slaw mix (from a bag o'slaw)
8-10 basil leaves, halved lengthwise if large
If you don't have leftover chicken, heat up a grill pan, lightly oil it and grill the chicken, turning once, until the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through (no pink), about 4 minutes per side.
Then thinly slice the pieces. The package of breasts had a small third piece as a bonus. Set aside for a moment.
Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl to make a dressing.
Drop the cole slaw mix in a large bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the dressing, then set aside for a moment.
Pour a little hot tap water onto a large shallow plate. Take one round of rice paper and submerge it in the hot water for 15 seconds Lift up the rice paper, allowing the excess water to drip back into the plate for about 5 seconds. The rice paper will still feel a little plastic-like, but will continue to absorb the drops of water clinging to it and become very flimsy and translucent. Place the round onto a second large plate. Working quickly, eyeball 2 tablespoons of slaw and place it on the bottom third of the round (notice how it is almost invisible in the photos).
Top the slaw with a 4-6 slices of chicken or the equivalent in shreds ...
Fold the bottom up over the filling. Fold the sides in, and tighly roll to the top. The wrap will now be slightly sticky, becoming self-sealing.
Place seam side down on a serving plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and continue with the remaining rice papers. I got better at rolling as I went along, so the later rolls are a little more uniform in size.
The rolls can be stored in the fridge, covered with a damp cloth, for up to an hour before serving.
Drizzle with the remaining dressing just before serving. If you are serving the spring rolls as an entree, serve with your favorite veggie.