Awhile ago, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. She is Korean and made us the most fantastic Korean meal – I still have to learn how to make her amazing marinated, barbecued short ribs. One of the dishes she made was a noodle dish (can’t remember the Korean name), using sweet potato vermicelli, soya sauce, sesame oil, and veggies. So simple and so delicious. Ever since that evening, my kids have requested “Matt’s mum’s noodles”. I decided to morph it into spring rolls because, really, who doesn’t love to eat with their hands?
Start with a package of sweet potato vermicelli, which can be found at most Asian stores. They’re absolutely dirt cheap! In fact, I buy most of my Asian condiments, like sesame oil and rice vinegar, at the Asian store because they’re about half the price there compared to the regular grocery store. If you prefer, you can use the clear/white rice noodles, which you can find at either store.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the noodles.
Cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Or, as the back of the package says, “IMMENSE in cold running water”.
Cut 2 skinless chicken breasts into small pieces.
You needed that gratuitous raw chicken shot, didn’t you? Kind of gets the gag reflex going.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Or use about 1 tbsp of canola or vegetable oil. I use cooking spray so that I can feel good about the two extra scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream I plan to eat after dinner.
I don’t season the chicken with salt because there will be plenty of salt from the soya sauce. I like salt, but I also like my blood pressure just where it is, thank you very much. Season with pepper if you’d like.
Cut up whatever veggies you like into small pieces. I like to use bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. If you use enough veggies, you can also justify the extra chocolate sauce that you pour over your extra 2 scoops of ice cream.
Add the chicken and veggies to the noodles and toss.
Now comes the fun part! My kids love to help with this. While you’re at the Asian market (or grocery store), pick up a package of spring roll wrappers.
Fill a container or bowl with hot water. Dip one wrapper into the water until it is soft, about 15-20 seconds.
Lay the softened wrapper on a cutting board and fill with about 1/3 cup (eyeball it) of the noodle mixture.
Fold in the sides. Fold up the bottom flap and roll.
Voila! You have a beautiful spring roll. Your family will think you’re fab! Cover the completed rolls with a damp dish towel so that they don’t try out while you work.
We like to dip ours into gyoza (potsticker) dipping sauce, or some other similar Asian sauce. Just make as many spring rolls as you need for you meal and eat the leftovers the next day. The noodles keep well, though may need a touch of soya sauce to moisten them.
1 package sweet potato vermicelli or rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil