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
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.
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.
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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