Asian fusion is trendy now, and this makes me happy. Asian food didn’t used to be as trendy – but probably everyone had at least one “China Palace” type restaurant nearby. After softball games in high school my mom and I would go to China Palace (mine actually was called China Palace) and get egg rolls, wonton soup, pork lo lein and General Tso’s chicken. These 1000 calorie dinners were much needed after the incredible energy expenditure involved with running to first base once or twice. Oh metabolism, how I miss you.
It seems as if there is an Asian fusion restaurant now in every shopping center – and as the trend increased the health factor seemed to as well. It’s waaayyy easier to eat “light” at one of these places than it is at anywhere Italian. Start with the miso soup, followed by the seaweed salad. Onto a veggie or california roll (with brown rice), and you’ve got yourself a sub 400 calorie, highly nutritious dinner! Though egg rolls may as well be synanomous with love handles, spring rolls are usually a different story. Made with rice paper – they are traditionally not fried. Stuffed with cabbage and other bright, summery veggies, you’ve got “clean eating” at its finest. Plus, at under 100 calories a pop, you can feel free to indulge!
You might ask, upon seeing this recipe, where in the heck do you find rice wrappers?!? Well, I purposely bought all of my ingredients at Giant – just to show you how attainable they are. The rice paper wrappers were found in the “ethnic” or “international” area. They cost less than three bucks and last a long long time (since they’re dehydrated).
My husband coaches football and he just finished up his two weeks of preseason. This, along with my sudden craving for pumpkin bread clued me in to the fact that FALL IS IN THE AIR. Let’s not rush things, though, as fall is followed by gross winter. Hold on to summer a LITTLE bit longer by making these spring rolls. Also, you will most definitely feel like an accomplished, fancy cook as you nosh on these, and anyone you serve them to will find you simply remarkable.
Chicken and Mango Spring Rolls
Makes 6 spring rolls
2 c. shredded or chopped cabbage (red, green, or napa will work)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 c. cooked chicken, cubed*
1/2 c. chopped fresh mango
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. honey
6 Rice spring roll wrappers
*For a recipe like this, the chicken can be cooked in whatever way you find easiest. You can grill it, poach it (cook it submerged in simmering water or chicken broth), saute it (bring nonstick skillet to medium heat, spray with nonstick spray, salt and pepper chicken and cook until both sides are golden brown), or even microwave it. Microwaving is quickest and I use it a lot – from raw to cooked in just a few minutes!
1. Mix cabbage, jalapeno and scallion in a large bowl to combine. Add mango, avocado, chicken and cilantro and mix lightly to incorporate.
2. Combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and then pour over the mixture in the large bowl; stir to combine.
3. Take a rimmed baking sheet or large pot and fill with warm water (so it’s about 1 inch deep with water). Take rice wrappers, one at a time, and soak in water for about 10 seconds or until soft enough to bend easily.
4. Remove from water and lay flat on a clean, dry towel. Spoon filling down the center in a line (like you were making a taco) and fold the two short sides in. Next, fold in 1 long edge, then roll up completely. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers.
5. Slice spring rolls in half and serve immediately.
At first Tessa was wary of the rice wrappers, just like you. But then she saw how easy they were to work with, and she looked like this!