Jade Chicken Spring Rolls with Alliums, Lemongrass, Ginger and Coconut

By • April 25, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: A popular national chain store sells a version of these and I set out to make a superior version. Hope you agree that they are! The chicken is cooked with a piquant aromatic lemongrass paste and coconut milk, which makes for a very moist filling, complemented by the freshness of the slivered allium greens and the sweet crunch of the coconut and taro.There's so much flavor, you won't even be thinking about a dipping sauce! LE BEC FIN

Makes 7-8 spring rolls

Allium Lemongrass Paste 3/4 cup*

  • Puree lemongrass through salt:
  • 1 large stalk lemongrass, edible part, sliced thinly
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger 2x1" piece, peeled and minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 spring onion bulbs or shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Red Chili flakes(no seeds)or 1 seeded dry red chile, chopped
  • 3 medium Jalapeno Peppers, seeded chopped
  • 3 Cilantro Stems(leaves and stems), 8“long, washed, dried and chopped
  • ½ -1 tablespoons kosher Salt
  • 1/8 cup Canola Oil

Spring Roll Filling Preparation and Assembly

  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, carefully dry pan-roasted to medium brown
  • 2-3 spring onion or scallion green tops, sliced lengthwise into quarters, 4" long
  • 1-2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 7 ounces chicken breast, boneless, skinless, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Allium lemongrass paste from above
  • 1/8 cup thick coconut milk (Chaukoh is excellent - see photo)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon or duck fat
  • 7 ounces optional- purple taro, peeled and cut into 1/16" x 3" long julienne
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 4 scallion tops, green stems halved and cut into 6" lengths, steamed a few minutes til limp
  • 7-8 spring roll wrappers, 8" square
  • canola oil for deep frying
  1. In hot canola oil, stir fry chicken one minute, add lemongrass paste and continue stirring a few minutes just until firm. Transfer to bowl, add coconut milk and stir well. Cool and pulse briefly 2-3 times in processor. You do not want a pureed paste. You want pieces a little bigger than ground chicken. Place in bowl on counter, next to bowl of coconut and sliced scallion tops.
  2. Optional- Wipe out pan, heat fat til hot, add taro and stir fry a minute, add water and top with lid, turning down heat, til taro is tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl and place next to bowl of coconut.
  3. Just before assembly, combine coconut with chicken.Keeping package of spring roll wrappers covered with a damp towel, lay two spring rolls, point down, like diamonds, on the counter. Form 1 ounce of chicken mixture into a 4" long cigar shape and place horizontally, just south of the middle of the diamond.Place a scallion slice on either long side of the chicken. Place the optional taro on top of the chicken.
  4. Fold up the botton point and tuck it tightly over and under the chicken. Fold in the left and right points and continue rolling the diamond til you have a tight roll. Set aside under a well dampened cloth.
  5. In canola oil, deep fry the rolls at 375 degrees F until light brown. Do not crowd the pan. Drain on doubled paper towels over newspaper. For special presentation, tie a steamed scallion piece into a double knot around the middle of each roll before serving.
  6. Note: I designed these so that the filling flavor is robust enough to not need a dipping sauce.
  7. Note: I keep wrapped lemongrass, ginger root and jalapenos in the freezer. Surprisingly, they last forever without losing their potency.
  8. Note: Purple taro, found in Asian and SouthEast Asian stores (and often Latin) tastes like a sweet nutty potato. I like the flavor and texture the taro julienne adds to these rolls, but it is optional. Though completely different, you could instead add chopped roasted cashews to the filling.
  9. *Note: This paste freezes very well. Because of the oil, it freezes soft and a small amount can be removed frozen as needed. Thus, it makes for a handy instant poultry or meat marinade and coating for roasting or grilling.

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