Fresh Spring Rolls
Serves: Makes about 3 dozen
  • 1 heaping tablespoon each: minced fresh ginger and garlic
  • 1 tablespoon each: sugar and Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, separated into leaves, ribs mostly removed
  • 1 seedless cucumber, cut crosswise into thirds and then into thin strips
  • 3 peeled and shredded carrots
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 12 to 24 large sheets rice paper
  1. Mix ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, oil, and several grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until wisps of smoke start to rise from the pan. Add chicken; cook until cooked through and well browned, about 5 minutes. Cool and then cut into thin strips.
  2. Prepare, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, pepper, cilantro, and mint for assembly. Fill a medium bowl with hot tap water.
  3. Working 1 at a time, lay a couple of pieces of lettuce leaves on a work surface. Top with a few pieces of chicken, followed by a couple of strips each of cucumber and red pepper, and a bit of shredded carrot (there really are no exact proportions here). Top with a few cilantro sprigs and a few mint leaves. Dip a sheet of rice paper in the warm water for about 5 seconds. Lay on work surface, and then transfer topped lettuce to lower third of the softened rice paper. Lift bottom of rice paper over filling and roll as tightly as possible to form a taut tube. If spring roll is not rolled as tightly as you like, roll it in a second soaked rice paper.
  4. Repeat with remaining rice paper and ingredients. (Can be covered with vegetable spray-coated plastic wrap and refrigerated for several hours.)
  5. When ready to serve, trim off each spring roll end on the diagonal, and then third each on the diagonal.
Serve with one or both of the following sauces:

Hoisin-Peanut Sauce: Mix ½ cup hoisin sauce with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons peanut butter
Lime-Ginger Dipping Sauce: Mix 2 tablespoons each: Vietnamese fish sauce and lime juice, ½ teaspoon each: ground ginger and red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon each sugar and water.
Recipe by Three Many Cooks at