Fresh Chicken Spring Rolls
by Gregory Gourdet, Chef, Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, Oregon
- For the Marinade:
- 1 cup tamari*
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 16 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup hoisin
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- ¼ cup shaoxing, Chinese cooking wine or substitute dry sherry
- ¼ cup water
- *Tamari is a type of Japanese soy sauce. Look for it at specialty grocers or in the ethnic foods aisle.
Combine all ingredients and reserve.
- For the chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless Smart Chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
Place chicken strips in a sealable container, or zip-top bag. Pour just enough marinade over the chicken to cover, reserving the remaining marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Once marinated, remove from fridge and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes to take off chill. Drain chicken from marinade (discarding the marinade). Sauté chicken in a hot pan drizzled with vegetable oil until just cooked through and tender. Let chicken cool to just warn. Heat reserved marinade in a small pot and simmer a few minutes to meld flavors and soften garlic.
- For the spring rolls:
- 16 rice paper wrappers
- 1 small bunch watercress
- About 5 ounces spinach leaves
- ¼ small red onion, sliced thin
- ½ bunch cilantro, leaves and thin stems only
- ½ bunch mint, leaves picked
Have all vegetables prepped and a flat tray of water ready. One by one, dip each rice paper wrapper in water until translucent. Lay rice paper on a flat surface and layer with a few leaves of spinach, then watercress, chicken, red onion, cilantro, and mint. Keep all fillings to one side of the rice paper. Using both hands, start to roll the spring roll into a cylinder. Tuck the two ends in and finish rolling. Make sure to roll tightly, but not too tight that the rice paper tears. Once rolled, secure roll by wrapping in another sheet of rice paper. Continue process to finish making rolls. To serve, cut spring rolls in half and serve with sauce.