I always looked forward to spring rolls night as a kid. The effort that it took to stuff lettuce, vermicelli, and tender beef slices in each and every one of my hand-dipped rice papers, made the little creation so delightfully satisfying. Once dipped in my mother’s savory hoisin/peanut butter sauce, it was like perfection in my mouth!
As I got older, I began to eliminate a few ingredients from my rolls in hopes of eating more while actually eating less (less calories that is). Not that it was ever UN-healthy, but I wanted to see how lean I could make the dish without sacrificing taste.
The result? SUCCESS! You can exchange the beef for chicken, take out the vermicelli from the rolls, and the peanut butter from the sauce and you’ve got 1 spring roll for 65 calories! 65!? Yes, and let’s say you eat 5 rolls in a meal – that’s only 325 calories. 350-400 calories with dipping sauce. And you feel FULL.
Here’s the breakdown:
1 rice paper = 30 calories
Lettuce = 5 calories
Boiled chicken breast (.5 oz) = 30 calories
Some dipping sauce = 5-10 calories (Well, 10 if you really drench your roll)
Spring roll w/ sauce = only 70-75 calories
For the roll:
- fresh lettuce
- tomatoes (optional)
- skinless, boneless chicken
- rice paper* (banh trang)
For the sauce:
- hoisin sauce*
- sriracha chili sauce* (if you like it spicy)
- a lemon or lime
- some water
*Can be found at Asian food markets
1. Grab your lettuce and tomatoes and chop them into thin medium-thin slices.
2. Take your chicken and drop it in a boiling pot of water until fully cooked through. When ready, drain and let cool before chopping.
3. For the sauce, squeeze about 5 tablespoons of hoisin into a small bowl. Add half a lemon z(or a whole lime). Add 1 tablespoon of water. Mix and squeeze some sriracha in for desired spiciness. The sauce should taste sweet, spicy, and tangy.
4. Now for the fun part. Prepare a large shallow dish filled with water. Grab your rice paper and wet it on both sides, all the way around. Then place it on your plate – the paper will still be firm, but no worries, within 15-20 seconds it will be flexible, like magic!
5. Think burrito. Stuff your rice paper with chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes and wrap away! The paper is thin so be careful to not tug too hard or else the skin will break. You’ll get used to it.
6. Dip it! Eat it! Yum!
Keep in mind that this is totally not the “traditional” Vietnamese Spring roll, just my take on it! Enjoy! And eat guiltlessly.