Chicken & basil rice paper rolls with homemade peanut sauce

We are all strapped for time hence meals that work well as leftovers can be an absolute blessing. These rice paper rolls will satisfy your taste buds and pack up easily for lunch the next day. The Chinese 5-Spice blend brings together a perfect balance of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Chinese coriander, while the basil keeps it fresh. Paired with a homemade peanut sauce, you might be tempted to eat all 12 at once.

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Recipe

Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4. Makes 12 spring rolls, with 3 per serving.

Ingredients

Rolls
1 package extra lean ground chicken (approximately 600 grams)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp of Chinese 5-Spice
1 large carrot
8 radishes
1 english cucumber
1 bunch of basil leaves
1 bunch crisp romaine lettuce or leafy greens

Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or whatever you have on hand)
1 lime, juiced
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp fish sauce (optional)

Directions:

Rolls

  1. Add 1 tbsp canola oil to large pan over medium heat. Add package of ground chicken, breaking meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once cooked through, drain excess fat and return to heat.
  2. Mix together chicken stock and Chinese 5-Spice. Add to ground chicken and reduce heat to a simmer. Let mixture simmer uncovered for approximately 10 minutes, or until broth has slightly thickened. Set aside.
  3. Peel and slice carrots into small matchsticks, also known as a julienne cut.
  4. Slice radishes into small matchsticks.
  5. Cut cucumber in half and remove seeded middle. Cut remaining cucumber into small matchsticks. *Side note: You can also add the carrots, cucumber and radishes to a food processes on medium grate. The result still works, but will be slightly more watery vegetable mix.
  6. Wash and tear lettuce into 12 pieces about the size of your hand. You want pieces large enough that the vegetables can be rolled into it.
  7. Add chopped carrots, radishes, cucumber and 1-2 basil leaves to middle of lettuce leaf, rolling to make a lettuce wrap. Complete all 12 and set aside.
  8. Take rice paper and wet under cold water. Place onto flat surface and rub rice paper with fingers until it begins to soften. Once soft, place 1 rolled lettuce leaf with 2 heaping spoonfuls of chicken towards the back of the rice paper.
  9. Bring the back of the rice paper over mixture, and then fold in sides. Continue to roll the mixture forward so that the rice paper wraps around mixture. Repeat until you have 12 rolls.
  10. Serve 3 rolls with a side of peanut sauce as a main. Pair with a salad for a complete meal.

Peanut Sauce

  1. Make while chicken is simmering to save time.
  2. Whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, water, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and fish sauce in a medium bowl until fully blended.
  3. Cover and place in fridge until serving.

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