These gluten-free Thai chicken summer rolls are always a crowd pleaser. You can get as creative as you want and personalize them however you like with your filling and protein options. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!
- CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
- 1 stalk lemongrass, ends trimmed and any brown outer leaves peeled and discarded
- 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- ½ pound thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ROLLS INGREDIENTS
- 8 rice paper spring roll wrappers
- 1 small head of romaine or bibb lettuce, leaves finely sliced
- ¾ cup carrot matchsticks
- 1 ripened mango, peeled and cut into long, thin strips
- 1 small orange bell pepper, de-seeded and julienned
- 2 handfuls fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- SPICY SATAY SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter of your choice
- 3 teaspoons light brown sugar
- Drizzle of honey, roughly 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Unsalted, roasted peanuts, roughly chopped, for garnish (optional)
Chicken Summer Rolls
First, bruise the stalk of lemongrass to release the oil. Do this by whacking it a few times with a heavy knife or wooden spoon. You don’t need to kill it, you just want to give it a few good whacks to release the aroma. Then slice the stalk lengthwise.
Add the curry paste and coconut milk to a medium-sized saucepan and whisk gently to incorporate the paste and milk to one smooth consistency.
Add in the lemongrass stalks and chicken to the pan, and bring to a gentle boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Depending on size and thickness of the chicken, this will take about 30 to 35 minutes.
Once cooked through, transfer the chicken breasts to a bowl or plate to cool. Discard the poaching liquid.
Once the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, shred the chicken well with clean hands into small, shredded pieces. Set aside.
For the assembly of the rolls, be sure to have all your filling ingredients ready to go as well as the shredded chicken. You’ll need to have a deep, shallow pan or bowl large enough for the spring roll wrappers filled with warm water (from the tap is fine, no need to boil). You’ll also need a large cutting board to roll and a large plate with damp paper towels to cover the rolls.
To assemble: Place one wrapper sheet in the pan of warm water and, with your hands, gently move the sheet back and forth until it becomes soft and tacky, about 30 seconds. It will go from a solid sheet to a translucent, sticky sheet.
Immediately take it out of the water, allowing some of the water to drain slightly, and gently lay it flat onto a cutting board. Let it dry a few seconds before adding your choice of fillings. Start with the shredded chicken, then add a bit of lettuce, carrot matchsticks, mango and bell pepper strips. Sprinkle some of the fresh mint and basil on top. Try to work in the middle of the wrapper and keep it all contained so you will be able to roll it.
Once filled to your liking, gently fold the bottom of the wrapper over so it covers the filling completely. Then fold in the sides tightly over the filling, as if you’re wrapping a burrito. You want the spring rolls to be as compact and even in size as possible.
Roll the wrapper upward as neatly as possible to form the completed roll.
Once rolled, place on a large plate and cover with the dampened paper towels to keep them from drying out.
Repeat these steps until all of the rolls have been made and all the fillings have been used.
Serve straight away with some of the quick and easy Spicy Satay Sauce or some Thai sweet chili sauce to dunk the rolls into. Enjoy.
Spicy Satay Sauce
Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Transfer the sauce into a small bowl and top with a bit of the chopped peanuts to serve. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed. Can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
Jilly Lagasse began cooking as a child when her father, Chef Emeril Lagasse, gave her a set of chef’s whites and let her help in the pastry and dessert department in one of his restaurants. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004 and has written two gluten-free cookbooks with her sister, Jessie Lagasse Swanson, as the duo The Lagasse Girls, www.lagassegirls.com. She splits her time between New Orleans and New York doing special cooking events and gluten-free pop-ups.