Chinese New Year family recipe: Crispy Baked Chicken Spring Rolls
Celebrate Chinese New Year with these Crispy Baked Chicken Spring Rolls from food expert Dawn Quest of Meals Our Kids Love. Packed full of chicken, noodles and veggies and with a crunchy pastry wrapper, they’re a big hit with Dawn's two children. And because they’re baked not fried, they’re healthier than traditional spring rolls. Serve with prawn crackers, rice and sweet chilli sauce. Kung Hei Fat Choi!
It’s not often I get cheers from the kids when I tell them what I’m making for dinner, but these Crispy Baked Chicken Spring Rolls are one of the exceptions. The kids are always asking me to make these and when I do they don’t last long. They’re even a big hit with my husband.
I know these may look super-complicated to make, but trust me, they’re not. I’d never rolled a spring roll in my life when I first tried making these, now I think I could probably do it in my sleep. Take a look at the How to Wrap a Spring Roll video below.
A WORD ABOUT INGREDIENTS…
I use ready-rolled Filo pastry for this recipe, only because I’ve found it hard to get hold of real spring roll wrappers. Filo pastry works really well, giving a lovely crispy, crunchy bite, which most kids love. It depends on the brand you buy, but one typical packet makes about 20 spring rolls.
Once you’ve cut the pastry into 7 inch squares you’ll find there’s quite a bit of pastry leftover which you can pop back in the fridge for later, or you could easily make these spring rolls smaller, but keep a close eye on them in the oven.
If you do manage to find spring roll wrappers, be sure they’re not the Vietnamese rice wrapper kind which don’t work for this recipe.
For my fussy vegetable-hating daughter, I whiz all the veg in the food processor to chop it into very fine pieces, rather than grate or shred it, which helps it blend into the overall chicken and noodle mixture.
Spring rolls are also the perfect way to use up the leftover roast from Sunday lunch. This recipe uses chicken but would work equally well with leftover pork or duck.
For a vegetarian option, just use the noodles and vegetables, or add in some stir-fried tofu for protein.
While these may never quite match the taste of the deep-fried spring rolls you can get at your local Chinese restaurant, they are of course healthier by virtue of the fact that they’re baked with only a light coating of oil.
Give yourself an hour to make these the first time, just to get the hang of it and so you're not under any time pressure; you'll speed up in no time. These are also really fun to make with the kids. Mine love choosing the fillings and rolling their own spring rolls.
If you’re short on time, buy ready-roasted chicken breasts, pre-chopped and bagged stir-fry mix and a bottle of Chinese stir-fry sauce to cut down on the prep.
Makes approx. 20 spring rolls:
Time: 30 minutes prep; 15 minutes to cook
For the filling
• 150g raw or cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast (substitute fried tofu for a vegetarian option, or omit the chicken altogether)
• 100g rice noodles
• 50g shredded Chinese or Savoy cabbage (about 1/4 of a small cabbage)
• 50g grated carrot (1 medium-sized carrot)
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the marinade
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp sesame oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely
• 2cm ginger, minced or finely grated
• Pinch of Chinese Five Spice
• Pinch of salt
For the wrappers
• 2 packets of ready-rolled Filo Pastry or 20 Spring Roll wrappers
• Olive oil or beaten egg for basting.
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
2. If using raw chicken, heat a frying pan on high heat and add the olive oil.
3. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Set aside and allow to cool.
5. Once cooled, chop into thin matchstick sized pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl along with the grated carrot, shredded cabbage and rice noodles. Mix well - you may want to do this with your hands to break up the noodles thoroughly.
To make the marinade
6. Mix the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and Chinese Five Spice together in a small bowl. Add the salt.
7. Add the marinade to the chicken, carrot, cabbage and noodle mix, stir well and pop in the fridge while you prepare the spring roll wrappers.
To wrap the spring rolls
8. Unroll the Filo pastry and cut into 7inch (18cm) squares.
9. Place a sheet of Filo pastry, floury-side up and diagonally, in a diamond shape with one of the points facing you, on a clean, flat surface (have a look at our How to Wrap Spring Rolls video)
10. Take one tablespoon of chicken mixture and lay it on the pastry, about one inch from the bottom-most point.
11. Dip your finger in a clean bowl of water and wet the bottom-most point, fold it upwards and over the chicken mixture and press down on the other side of the pastry.
12. Now repeat with water, along the left and right edges of the pastry. Fold each side in towards the centre to create an envelope.
13. Wet the top-most point of the pastry diamond, and holding the spring roll at the bottom, roll all the way up to the top to create a sealed roll. Wrap tightly to avoid trapping air bubbles.
14. Place the spring rolls, seal-side down on a baking tray.
15. Brush the surface with the olive oil or beaten egg.
16. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.
17. Serve with hoisin or sweet chilli sauce.
Find out more
You can find more family favourite recipes like this from Dawn at Meals Our Kids Love