Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

These chicken spring rolls are stuffed with juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and light tender rice noodles. This dish is perfect for a light summer dinner, a beautiful appetizer for a party, or a healthy snack after a workout. {Gluten Free Adaptable}

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce | Rice Paper Rolls | Summer Rolls | Gluten Free | Asian | Chinese | Dip | Sauce | Vegetables | Healthy | Recipe | Easy |

A couple months ago I discovered Wanderlust Yoga Studio in downtown Austin and since then it has become one of my favorite spots in town. I practiced yoga for three years back in college, but never really found time for it after I started working. Tried to pick it up a few times but failed. I thought that yoga practice was too slow paced. And I often had a difficult time calming down and concentrating, because my mind was always somewhere else.

The fast pace of life didn’t stop after I moved to the US. In fact, time seems to be flying by even faster. Being my own boss has brought me the fear that my business will stop growing the moment I stop working. So I work constantly, from the time I wake up until night, and on the weekends, as well. Until I hit a wall of burnout. Then I’ll be lying in bed for days without any motivation. And depress myself into a dark mindset where I lose all confidence and see no hope.

Burnout became a problem when its frequency changed from once every three months to once every three weeks. At one point I realized that I needed to slow down. I needed to give my mind some air and space so it could breathe.

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce | Rice Paper Rolls | Summer Rolls | Gluten Free | Asian | Chinese | Dip | Sauce | Vegetables | Healthy | Recipe | Easy |

So I’m back in the yoga practice after a 15-year hiatus. Three or four times a week, no matter how much work has piled up on my to-do list, I go to the candle-lit room, sit down in a hot room with funky music in the background, and force my mind to leave my work behind and focus on keeping my arms straight. Then the magic happens after I walk out the studio with a soaked T-shirt and extremely sore shoulders. I found that my steps become lighter and my nerves calmer. My mind is able to concentrate again.

This summer I set a goal for myself – slow down the pace of life to build a healthy body and mind. Some of my actions include:

  • Stop working and try to find what matters most when I start feeling overwhelmed with work.
  • Practice yoga 3 to 4 days a week, and go for a short walk whenever I can.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and cook healthier dishes.

Today’s recipe is the result of the third item on the list above, one that I cannot wait to share with you. Stuffed with juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and light tender rice noodles, these spring rolls are perfect for a light summer dinner or an appetizer for your backyard grilling party. They are great snacks to eat after a workout as well, because they contain the right amounts of protein, carbs, and fats.

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce | Rice Paper Rolls | Summer Rolls | Gluten Free | Asian | Chinese | Dip | Sauce | Vegetables | Healthy | Recipe | Easy |

Cooking notes

Here are a few cooking tips that will help you make better chicken spring rolls:

1. Ingredients you need

The key ingredient in this recipe is the rice paper wrapper. You can get it at an Asian grocery store. Or you can order it on Amazon. The rice paper usually comes in three sizes – 22-cm, 25-cm, and 28-cm. I used the 25-cm wrapper in this recipe, but you can use the smaller or bigger ones, as well.

I always love adding some rice vermicelli into my spring rolls, because it adds a tender texture. You can switch it to any type of vermicelli, such the ones made with potato starch or mung beans. You can also replace it with the magic zero-calories noodles.

The nutty dipping sauce requires a few Chinese ingredients, which you can get at The Mala Market.

Chicken Spring Rolls Cooking Process

2. How to wrap the rice paper rolls properly

Soak the rice paper in warm water very briefly, about 5 seconds or less. I usually use a large skillet to soak the rice paper, which fits the rice paper wrappers. If you do not have a pan that is large enough, simply rotate the rice paper in a big bowl of water until it’s fully covered with water. The rice paper should still hold its shape and still be a bit stiff. Start assembling the rolls now. The wrapper will keep softening as you roll it up. If you soak the rice paper for too long, it will become too soft and will be difficult to work with.

I prefer to use a cutting board as my working surface. Wipe the surface with a thin layer of water at the beginning and it will make the rolling easier.

Chicken Spring Rolls Cooking Process

3. How to create your own recipe

There are unlimited combinations of ingredients you can use in chicken spring rolls and they are all very delicious. You will need chicken, some crunchy vegetables (preferably with different textures), one ingredient with a tender texture, and some herbs.

Chicken meat – you can replace it with leftover rotisserie chicken or boneless thighs. I roasted my chicken in the oven, because it allowed me to work on the prep of the other ingredients while it was cooking. But feel free to blanch or pan-roast your chicken, as well.

Vegetables – bell peppers, lettuce leaves, zucchini, and sliced radishes work well in this recipe. Feel free to add or replace the ingredients.

Herbs – adding one refreshing herb that is slightly spicy will help bring out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients. I chose green onion and cilantro. You can replace them with mint or basil, as well.

Chicken Spring Rolls Cooking Process

4. Dipping sauce

I love serving these rolls with the nutty sauce listed below. But you have a few other options, too:

5. What to do with the leftovers?

These spring rolls taste best when they’re freshly made, but they will hold up well for a couple of hours. If you’re serving them for dinner or for a party, you can make them the same day you plan to serve them. Store the rolls on a big tray covered with plastic wrap. And only slice the rolls in half when you’re ready to serve them.

The leftovers will stay good in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. The rice paper will toughen up the longer you store it, but I’ve left mine in the fridge for a day and they were still tasty.

More dim sum recipes

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce | Rice Paper Rolls | Summer Rolls | Gluten Free | Asian | Chinese | Dip | Sauce | Vegetables | Healthy | Recipe | Easy |

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce | Rice Paper Rolls | Summer Rolls | Gluten Free | Asian | Chinese | Dip | Sauce | Vegetables | Healthy | Recipe | Easy |

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 big spring rolls
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

These chicken spring rolls are stuffed with juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and light tender rice noodles. This dish is perfect for a light summer dinner, a beautiful appetizer for a party, or a healthy snack after a workout. {Gluten Free Adaptable}


Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound / 450 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Nutty sauce

  • 4 heaping tablespoons unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (*Footnote 2)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 slices ginger (about half a thumb)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • (Optional) 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade chili oil

Spring rolls

  • Round rice paper wrappers
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into strips
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions, cut to strips
  • 2 cups cooked rice vermicelli
  • 1 small batch cilantro

Instructions

Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry chicken breasts with paper towel and rub with a thin layer of oil. Season both sides with salt and black pepper.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes for smaller pieces and 15 minutes for larger pieces, until the chicken is cooked through. (*Footnote 3)
  4. Set the chicken aside to cool. Slice or shred the chicken right before making the rolls.

Sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce with 2 tablespoons of water in a tall cup and mix into a smooth sauce using an immersion blender. (*Footnote 4) Let sit for 10 minutes so the flavors will blend.

Spring rolls

  1. Cut and prepare all the ingredients. Add warm water to a skillet or large plate that fits the rice paper wrappers.
  2. Work on spring roll wrappers one at a time. Dip one wrapper into the water for about 5 to 10 seconds until it turns soft enough to bend, but not entirely soft. The rice paper will soften up while you work on the roll.
  3. Spread the wrapper on a cutting board or a big plate. On the lower third of the wrapper, add chicken, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, green onion, rice vermicelli, and cilantro.
  4. Fold the bottom side of the wrapper up to cover all the ingredients. Tuck both sides of the wrapper to seal the ingredients inside.
  5. Roll the ingredients towards the upper end, until they form a roll. Place the roll on a plate.
  6. Slice rolls in half. Serve with the nutty sauce as an appetizer.

Notes

  1. The sauce will taste best if you use Chinkiang vinegar. However you can replace it with rice vinegar to make a gluten-free sauce.
  2. I like to use syrup in the dipping sauce because it creates a smoother texture. If you do not have syrup, you can use 2 tablespoons of sugar instead.
  3. The USDA minimum temperature for chicken is 165 F (74 C). However I usually cook chicken breast to 140 or 145 F, when the center just turns white. The chicken will be much tenderer and juicier this way, but also note that it increases the chance of foodborne illness.
  4. If you don’t have an immersion blender, mince the ginger and garlic and whisk everything together in a medium-sized bowl.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 of 12 spring rolls
  • Calories: 153cal
  • Sugar: 3.7g
  • Sodium: 312mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 14.1g
  • Cholesterol: 32mg
Chicken Spring Rolls Cooking Process

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I’m Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking – including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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4 thoughts on “Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

  1. Richard Wilson

    Hi Maggie.
    These rice paper rolls are called Goi Cuon in Vietnam and can be made with chicken as well as duck, pork, prawns or a pork mince called nem nuong. Being Australian with a Vietnamese wife, we have made them with kangaroo as well Delicious! You may like to try a dipping sauce called nuoc cham that is made with fish sauce.
    It is good fun to let your guests assemble the rolls themselves while at the table.
    I could eat a plate load of your’s right now. Very nice.
    Richard.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Richard, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge on Vietnamese spring rolls! I’d love to try out the other fillings with different meat and dipping sauce. And what a great idea to let your guests assembling the rolls at the table! The rolls will definitely taste fresher that way 🙂

      Reply