I’ve been making sweet potato and “chicken” spring rolls lately. They’re really good. They aren’t fried. They are the fresh, soft, and flavorful Vietnamese kind. You know, the ones that are filled with veggies and tofu and sometimes shrimp. I don’t really eat shrimp. I mean, occasionally when I’m drunk at a wedding I might eat a piece of shrimp. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.
I couldn’t possibly pretend to have a process. Some folks have a culinary process or so they say. I don’t really know how I ate a Vietnamese spring roll and then ended up making my own with such non-traditional and even quite possibly southern fillings. It just happened. I had a flash of thought and flavor and pictured sweet ripe sweet potato, cool salty vegetarian chicken, and spicy scallions. Creating this recipe taught me one very important fact, a truth of life perhaps…
Carbs are the secret to happiness.
You’ll believe me when you eat these.
What you need
- Spring roll wrappers aka rice paper
- Baked or boiled sweet potato
- Vegetarian “Chicken”
- Chives or scallions
- Bean sprouts, rice noodles, lettuce or other veggies (optional)
The non-optional ingredients are relatively easy to come by. I recommend using a very sweet sweet potato for the best results. I recommend a Korean sweet potato or a boniato. I used a shredded vegetarian chicken that I picked up at an Asian market. For best results use a vegetarian chicken that is a little salty. You could substitute a savory/ salty firm tofu for the vegetarian “chicken”.
How to assemble it
Cut one inch slices of sweet potato. One or two slices for each spring roll that you want to make!!! You want the veggie chicken to be about the same size and shape so that it can sit on top of the sweet potato. You want enough space to lay some scallion or chive and other veggies if desired on across these vegetables. It looks something like the pictures below.
Place the ingredients in the middle of the wrapper on a plate. Sweet potato on the bottom and everything else on top. Don’t add the scallions or chives yet.
Fold in the sides as seen above. Then place the scallions or chives.
Fold one side over the chives. Prepare to roll. It needs to be rolled a little tightly. You’ve got to be gentle though. It’s hard! Okay, not really, but it can be a bit challenging.
Here is an example of a finished product.