Chicken Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Chicken Summer Rolls

From August 17, 2008:  I love summer rolls.  They are generally light and refreshing.  This version is a bit heavier, but still delicious, especially when paired with a peanut dipping sauce.  There is room for variation in this recipe….if you don’t like mint, leave it out, use rice noodles instead of cooked brown or white rice, add bean sprouts or green onions.  Since some rice paper holds up better than other brands (some burst or tear easily), the amount of ingredients added to the roll can differ quite a bit.  Try not to overstuff.  I have been making summer rolls for many years now and I still have trouble rolling perfect looking ones.  Fortunately even the ugly ones taste good (although you may have to eat them with a fork)!

Chicken Summer Rolls

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (from a rotisserie or leftover chicken)
1 medium-large carrot, shredded
12 (8 1/2-inch) rice paper wrappers
1/3 English cucumber, julienned ~or~ 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
fresh mint leaves
fresh basil (preferrably Thai basil)
fresh cilantro
About 12 Boston or red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried, ribs removed
1/2 to 1 cup cooked brown or white rice

Peanut Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (sriracha or sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 to 6 tablespoons water

To prepare the Chicken Summer Rolls

Whisk 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add chicken and carrot, season with salt to taste, set aside.

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Working with 1 sheet of rice paper at a time, immerse paper in the warm water until slightly softened (about 15 seconds). Remove and spread out on a clean surface or cutting board. Lay about 1 piece of lettuce over the bottom third of the rice paper, leaving about 1/2-inch clear on edges. Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken and carrot mixture on the lettuce, top with 2 to 4 pieces cucumber, several mint leaves, several basil leaves, several cilantro leaves and about 1 to 2 heaping tablespoon of rice. Roll up the paper halfway into a cylinder. Fold both edges in to tuck while continuing to roll the paper to seal. Place the rolls on a plate covered with a damp towel so they stay moist as you prepare the remaining rolls. Serve with Peanut Dipping Sauce.  Store leftover summer rolls covered with a damp paper towl in an airtight container.

To prepare the Peanut Dipping Sauce

In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, chili sauce, hoisin sauce and water until smooth. Start with the smaller amount of water and gradually add more, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get the consistency you desire (not too thick, not too runny).  Store sauce in a sealed container.

Note: Edible rice papers, rice vinegar, chili sauce, and hoisin sauce are sold in some Asian food aisle in supermarkets or Asian markets.

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