These Chicken Spring Rolls are one of my favorite foods for a summer lunch. Heaps of refreshing vegetables, fresh mint, and chicken, all wrapped up in rice paper rolls and ready to dip in a delicious, savory sesame sauce.
For the sauce, grind 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds in your mortar and pestle. Transfer the ground sesame seeds into a small bowl. Then grate the ½” ginger and 1-2 garlic cloves (I used a Microplane grater).
In a small bowl, whisk together 3 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp la-yu and set aside.
Chop the scallions into 3 pieces. Slice 1” ginger into thin slices.
Butterfly the chicken breast. Butterflying is a really useful technique to create a uniform thickness throughout a piece of meat so that it will cook more quickly and evenly. First, remove the tender (small inner fillet) by cutting away any connective tissue. Turn the breast over and with the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the length of the side of the breast. Carefully slice the breast in half widthwise almost to the other edge. Keep the edge intact and open the breast along the fold.
In a large pot, add water, 1 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp sake that is enough to cover the chicken. Put sliced ginger and scallions and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, put the chicken (breast and tender) in the pot, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the lid. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, juliene carrot and cucumber. I use a juliene slicer but if you don’t have one, cut into thin sheets first and then cut into matchstick size strips.
Take out the chicken from the pot onto a plate and immediately cover with the plastic wrap to prevent from drying. Once the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken into small pices with your hands.
Rinse the butter lettuce, mint, and cilantro under water and dry completely. Set all the ingredients on the working surface.
Pour hot water in a large bowl. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, soak the wrapper in the hot water and rotate 2-3 times, about 10 seconds. The wrapper will still feel slightly stiff but don’t worry, it will become softer. Place it flat on a working surface.
Lay the butter lettuce, chicken, carrot, and cucumber at the bottom ⅓ of the wrapper closest to you, and place the mint and cilantro leaves at the top ⅓ of the wrapper.
Pressing firmly down to hold the filling in place, fold the bottom of the wrapper and start rolling tightly.
Around the middle of the wrapper, fold both sides of the wrapper in and roll up tightly to the top. Place on a plate and cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Cut in half or in thirds, and serve with the Sesame Dipping Sauce.
Keep the spring rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours.