Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Spring Rolls (minus the Roll)

I love the taste of fresh spring rolls! I recently found a spring roll recipe with a twist and thought I'd give it a try. It's basically the spring roll, minus the rice paper roll. I wonder... would that be better named "Spring"??

I also found this on The Nest; they obtained the details from Quick and Easy Vietnamese by Nancie McDermott. It was a fun, fresh recipe and very easy. My changes are again listed in blue. Oh - and I made some rice noodles for my husband's serving. I don't think I cooked the noodles properly, but he still ate them.

Spring (aka Chicken and Cabbage Salad w/ Fresh Mint)

1 lb boneless chicken breast, or 2 c. cooked shredded chicken
3 T. freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice of one lime, I didn't measure)
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. white vinegar, cider vinegar, or freshly squeezed lime juice (I used rice vinegar)
1 T. sugar (I used 1 teaspoon sugar)
1/2 t. black pepper
3/4 c. very thinly sliced onion (I used green onions, probably 3 or so)
2 c. finely shredded green, savoy, or napa cabbage (I used 1/2 a head of romaine)
3/4 c. shredded carrots (I omitted this)
1/2 c. fresh mint leaves, cilantro, or basil leaves
1/2 c. rau ram leaves (optional) (I substituted cilantro for this)
3 T. coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts(optional) (I omitted this, too)


Put the chicken in a medium saucepan and add 2 to 3 cups of water, enough to cover the chicken by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, and cook until done, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a medium bowl, and stir to dissolve the sugar and mix everything well. Add the sliced onion and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until you are ready to complete the dish.

Transfer the meat to a plate to cool. When the chicken is cool, tear it into long thin shreds. Coarsely chop the mint and the cilantro. Add the shredded chicken, lettuce, mint, and cilantro to the bowl of onions and seasonings, and toss to coat everything well. Mound the salad on top of rice noodles or by itself on a serving plate. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Yum!!

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