Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Makes 12 Spring Rolls
Fresh spring rolls are not only a healthy way of adding vegetables to your diet but they are fun to make and beautiful to eat. Each one is a piece of edible art. Gather all the ingredients and sauces and invite your family to create their own.
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Ingredients

  • 18 medium shrimp (21/25 count), cooked, defrosted
  • 1 poached chicken breast, thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • 12 rice spring roll wrappers
  • ½ package (455g) rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 cup (100g) fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced, matchstick size
  • 1 small english cucumber, sliced, matchstick size
  • ½ cup (45g) red cabbage, shredded
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch baby broccolini, steamed and cut into small stems
  • 1 small head butter lettuce or baby romaine
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) black sesame seeds
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh basil
  • kosher salt

Method

Prepare the shrimp.  Defrost and sauté for 2 minutes in 1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil.  Season with salt and set aside.  Poach the chicken breast in 2 cups (475ml) of water and 1 tablespoon (15ml) of kosher salt.  Once the water boils, turn the chicken breast and boil for 3 minutes.  Then remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes until cooked. Let cool and then cut into thin strips lengthwise. Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F/74°C when inserted in the thickest part of the breast.

Prepare vermicelli noodles as per directions, drain, toss with a fork to separate and set in a serving bowl. Add the bean sprouts to the other side of the bowl and set aside.

Prepare the vegetables.  Cut the carrots and cucumber into matchsticks.  Grate the cabbage, slice the radishes, wash and dry the butter lettuce, separating the leaves.  Next, steam the broccolini for  3 minutes.  Separate the stems of the broccolini into bite-sized pieces.  Arrange all the prepared ingredients in individual bowls on the counter or large tray.  Add the seasonings, cilantro, basil, and sesame seeds and get ready to roll.

WRAPPING THE SPRING ROLLS

Fill one or two bowls with lukewarm water to wet the spring roll wrappers.  Set one wrapper in the water to moisten the surface and place on a slightly wet surface to prevent sticking.  

Next add the fillings 1.5” (3.8cm) from the bottom.  Place the lettuce leaf, vermicelli, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, basil leaves and cilantro in a small pile making sure to leave 1.5” (3.8cm) from each side.  Next add a few sprinkles of cabbage, sesame seeds approximately 1” (2.5cm) above the vegetable stack and add the shrimp (2-3), (or chicken (3-4 pieces)) and radishes (3-4 slices) on top.  Cut the shrimp, almost in half, and remove the tail.  Make sure to bend open and place the pink side down to allow for a colorful spring roll.  Tuck in cilantro and sprinkles of sesame seeds.

To roll, fold the bottom up and over the vegetable stack.  Fold the left and right side over to create an envelope.  Carefully roll the vegetable stack over the shrimp or chicken, or radishes and garnishes and roll slowly until finished.  

Repeat creating beautiful spring rolls.  

Make sure the work surface is damp after creating each roll.

Serve with dipping sauces.

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