If you enjoy spring rolls but shrimp or pork are not your types of preferred protein, you may delight in these chicken spring rolls that I recently created.
They are fresh, flavorful and quite colorful, and when it comes to eating I’m always promoting a plate full of abundant hues. That is, because, a monotone diet is sure to be providing only a small range of nutrients. To ensure a wide range of plant phytonutrients (compounds found in plants and vegetables that can help us fight off and prevent diseases), it is recommended to go for the colorful fresh vegetables and fruits.
Here in this recipe, the purple cabbage, orange carrots, white daikon radish, and green mint leaves and cilantro not only provide a healthy boost of vitamins and minerals but lend a bit of beauty to the spring rolls. And who doesn’t love a bit of vibrant color in their food?
Give them a try and let me know what you think!
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Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls Recipe
Turn on InstaPot pressure cooker and press "sauté" option (if you're new to using this device, I highly recommend acquainting yourself with the users manual first).
A few minutes after machine has heated up in sauté mode, add butter and sauté onions for a few minutes. Next, add the chopped ginger and sauté for another minute.
Add chicken thighs to pot and season with desired amount of salt and pepper if they haven't been pre-seasoned already. Lightly sear both sides of thighs (about 2 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn them). Last, add the garlic, lime juice, and chicken broth to pot.
Place lid on pressure cooker, ensuring it is locked in place. Press "poultry" option and adjust time to 20 minutes (I believe it was default to 18 which may be fine, but I think I gave it an additional 2 minutes).
Chop all veggies to have ready to wrap in rolls.
Once chicken is done cooking, remove from pressure cooker pot leaving the remaining liquid. Shred chicken in a separate bowl with a fork (see picture).
Fill a plate with a small amount of warm water (deep enough to cover a spring roll rice wrapper). Follow directions on packaging (for each spring roll, I covered entire spring roll rice wrapper in the water for about 30 seconds).
Once wet, transfer wrapper to a clean plate. This is the tricky part and will require some patience and trial and error. The wrapper at this point is going to be sticky to touch, so do your best as to not stick the wrapper to itself (and it will happen).
In the center of the wet wrapper, add a small amount of shredded chicken (1-2 forkfuls is sufficient), and a tiny amount of each vegetable, as well as aromatics (a few mint and cilantro leaves).
Tuck in the sides of the wrapper (folding in as you would wrap a burrito) and slowly roll the wrapper keeping all ingredients tucked in and tight. Your first few rolls will not look perfect! As you can see by my pictures, I still need some practice. Do your best and know that despite the look of them, they will still taste amazingly fresh and flavorful.
Tips: Don't overstuff them! It's easy to want to put tons of everything in one roll but I promise you that will make for quite a difficult roll job.
Notes: I did not make a dipping sauce for this recipe. I made this on a whim and didn't follow a recipe, so I honestly forgot about a sauce, however the chicken was so moist and the vegetables imparted a nice flavor that I didn't miss the sauce. There was all that leftover broth and liquid in the pot from cooking the chicken. You could dip your rolls in that -- and I did give that a try for a few and it was good. It wasn't a thick, peanut sauce that you might want, but more liquidy -- but full of a fresh flavor that worked.
I used the pressure cooker to cook the chicken thighs but this could also be done via stovetop if you do not own a pressure cooker. What I enjoy is the one pot that I can sauté in as well as pressure cook in AND the fact that once I place the lid on, I can let it be and do other things.
For spring roll wrappers: I used Star Anise Foods brand.
Servings: This easily made 10-12 rolls with leftover chicken and vegetables.