Crisp Orange-Chicken Spring Rolls

Crisp orange-chicken spring rolls are served with sweet-and-sour chile sauce.
Body+Soul, April/May 2005
  • Yield Makes 12 rolls
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  • For the Spring Rolls

    • 1 small fresh red chili pepper, minced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
    • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
    • 3 tablespoons orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1/2 pound skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and cut into thin strips
    • 4 green onions, green part only, cut into short, thin slivers
    • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
    • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • 12 8-inch-round, dried rice-paper wrappers
    • 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated and washed
  • For the Sweet-and-Sour Chile Sauce

    • 1 stalk lemongrass
    • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and minced
    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice


  1. Combine chile pepper, garlic, ginger, wine, orange juice, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid.

  2. In a small pan, heat canola oil and saute chicken until light brown outside and no longer pink inside, about 2 minutes. Combine apple, green onions, bell pepper, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Mix in cooked chicken.

  3. Fill a medium bowl with warm water. Dip one of the wrappers in the water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Carefully transfer it to a dry work surface.

  4. Arrange 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in an even horizontal mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight cylinder, folding in the sides about halfway. Assemble the remaining spring rolls the same way.

  5. Coat the large baking sheet with cooking oil. Arrange spring rolls in a single layer, leaving a little space between them. Brush rolls with oil. Broil the rolls until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; check frequently to avoid burning. Use a spatula to turn the rolls over and continue to broil another 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. To make the sauce, remove tough outer layers and green parts of lemongrass. Mince tender base stalk. Combine sauce ingredients in bowl. Cover and chill. Keeps up to three days.

  7. Serve each roll wrapped in lettuce leaf, with chile sauce.

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