Monday 20 August 2012


When the weather is warm or at least dry, we barbecue. The word barbecue may mean a full blown grilling extravaganza to some but for us who originate from the tropics, it is just a way of cooking. We char grill or barbecue instead of frying or baking or boiling. 

In the Chinese concept of yin and yang, barbecues have yang properties. They induce heat in the body. Salads on the other hand have yin or cooling properties. Made into summer rolls, barbecued meat achieves a perfect balance. 

Summer rolls are Vietnamese rice paper wrapped assortment of fresh vegetables and herbs. Meat or seafood may also be added. Pretty much anything can be used as filling but the what gives it the characteristic punch is the herbs included in the bundle.

Leftover barbecued meats are ideal for making into these rolls. I used leftover grilled chicken for this but have included a simple grilled chicken breast recipe if you have to make it from scratch. Apart from carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers, I have also added peach slices for a sweet twist. Its freshness makes it  ideal for lunch. Although usually dipped in a spiced fish sauce and lime dip, I made a sweet soy and sesame dipping sauce. These bundles are so simple to make but the combination of vibrant flavours will excite your taste buds.

Yield: 8 rolls.


2 large chicken breasts
1 1/2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. crushed garlic 
2 tbsps. of cooking oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded finely
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. fine salt
8 button red radishes
8 long slices of cucumber
8 romaine lettuce leaves
16 fresh or tinned peach slices
coriander leaves
mint leaves
8 rice paper sheets


Mix the light soy sauce, lemon juice, black pepper and crushed garlic and use as a marinade for the chicken breast. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. Drizzle with the oil before grilling. Grill for 15 minutes, turning at half time, until cooked through and browned.

Put the shredded carrots in a bowl, add the salt and sugar and mix. Leave for 5 minutes to soften, then squeeze out the excess water. 

The bigger, thinner rice paper sheets are ideal for wraps like this. Dip one rice paper sheet (do this one at a time so they don't stick together) in a dish of warm water briefly. Take out of the water and lay on a board. Don't wet this too much because it softens as you work with it. It is difficult to roll rice sheet that's too soft. It is also prone to breaking. You will need two inch margins on each side of the sheet so make sure the cucumber and lettuce are just that long.

Lay some coriander leaves, 2 mint leaves, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 cucumber slice, radish slices, carrot shreds, chicken and 2 peach slices near the end of the sheet.

Roll very tightly. Repeat with the rest of the sheets. 

Cut in half before serving with the dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce:

2 tbsps. soy sauce
1/3 c. honey
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. sesame oil

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  1. Oh, I loves this! I really got to look for the rice sheets here. This is so good for just a light lunch, with meat and vegetables; all in one! I just want to say, I loves all your post recipes. I have made the Thousand Corner Scrimp Ball and it is so delicious though it is not as beautifully done like yours.

  2. I really love making meals with rice paper especially in summer time. Even though I don't have much appetite, as soon as I have a bite or two of these delicious spring rolls, my appetite will come back! Your dishes are so colorful and appetizing. To make the food as delicious as it is with colorful ingredients is something I need to learn from you. Delicious recipe, Adora!

  3. These look absolutely stunning! I love the gorgeous color of the rolls, and savory and fruity filling! Can't wait to try this out =)

  4. You just solved the problem I have with spring rolls - I soak for a few seconds rather than just dip the rice paper, therefore, it always tears! Whew - now I know. Thanks! These summer rolls are beautiful and I love your ingredients! The radish peach combination sounds perfect with everything else!

  5. What a wonderful summer meal. I really need to make these and pull that rice paper out of the pantry!

  6. Get in my belly!!! YUM!


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