Vietnamese Spring Rolls


*Note: this recipe requires marinating the meat, so plan ahead! Also, check the labels on the bottled Asian ingredients to double check that they are gluten-free.

*Serves 4-6

For the Rolls:

2 pounds chicken breasts or boneless pork chops

about 30 10-inch diameter spring roll wrappers (rice, tapioca, etc.)

1 pound fresh bean sprouts

1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin

1 large English cucumber, cut into thin strips

large bunch of fresh herbs, washed (I used basil and cilantro)

large bunch of fresh lettuce leaves, washed

warm water in a large shallow bowl or pie plate (large enough to accommodate a spring roll wrapper)

Meat Marinade:

juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste to taste

Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce:

8 oz hoisin sauce (the Y&Y brand is gluten-free)

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed through a garlic press

1/2 teaspoon chile-garlic paste

Whisk together all the marinade ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a ziploc bag. Place the meat in the bag and marinate, refrigerated, for an hour or two. Grill or broil the meat until it is cooked through. Set aside to cool. When cool, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices.

For the sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients together until combined. If the sauce is too thick, add hot water and mix in until you achieve a desired consistency. Set aside.

Assemble the spring rolls by dipping one spring roll sheet into a shallow bowl of warm water for a second or two and setting it flat on your plate. Layer lettuce, herbs, vegetables, and meat in a small strip about 1/3 of the way from the edge nearest you. Roll from the edge nearest you and tuck in the sides as you go if you wish. Roll tightly, but not so tightly that you tear the wrapper. Serve the rolls with the dipping sauce on the side.