These ground chicken summer rolls with basil and mint are served with a hoisin dipping sauce. They’re fresh and light with a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.
Ground Chicken Summer Rolls
I love these fresh, Vietnamese-inspired Chicken Rice Paper Rolls made with ground chicken, fresh basil and mint leaves, fresh lime, and raw crunchy cabbage and carrots. It’s all wrapped in a soft rice paper wrapper and served with a simple hoisin dipping sauce. Perfect as a light meal, appetizer, or as part of a larger spread for gatherings or parties. These refreshing summer rolls are slightly spicy, sweet, and sour. If you want a shrimp version, try these Shrimp Summer Rolls or Low-Carb Summer Roll Bowls with Peanut Sauce.
Are summer rolls healthy?
These summer rolls are loaded with lean protein and fresh veggies. Usually, they have noodles in them, but I skipped them to make the rolls even healthier and lower carb. Two chicken summer rolls with hoisin sauce have under 300 calories, 30 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein.
What’s the difference between a spring roll and a summer roll?
Spring and summer rolls (also known as salad rolls) are both popular in Asian cuisine, but they differ in several ways, including their ingredients, preparation methods, and textures. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences:
- Wrapper: The wrapper used in spring rolls is typically made of wheat flour and is thin and crispy when fried. In contrast, summer rolls use rice paper wrappers, which are translucent, soft, and chewy and not cooked.
- Cooking Method: Spring rolls are deep-fried resulting in a crispy texture. Summer rolls are not cooked; they are assembled with fresh ingredients and served cold or at room temperature.
- Ingredients: Spring rolls combine cooked ingredients, such as vegetables, meat, and sometimes noodles or rice. Summer rolls consist of fresh, raw vegetables, like lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and herbs and cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu. Rice noodles are also commonly added to summer rolls.
- Texture and Taste: Spring rolls are crunchy and served hot. Summer rolls are refreshing and light served cold or room temperature.
Summer Roll Ingredients
(see full recipe below)
- Chicken: Buy 93% lean ground chicken (or use ground turkey or tofu).
- Shallots: Chop one small shallot.
- Soy Sauce: If you’re gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Lime Juice: Squeeze three tablespoons of lime juice from one or two limes.
- Sambal Oelek is a spicy Indonesian chili sauce.
- Mint: Mince fresh mint leaves for the chicken mixture.
- Slaw: You can buy premade cabbage-and-carrot slaw or make your own from scratch.
- Rice Paper: You’ll need eight-inch round rice paper sheets.
- Basil: Put two fresh basil leaves in each summer roll.
- Summer Roll Sauce: Hoisin sauce and water
How to Make Summer Rolls
- Cook the Chicken: Cook the ground chicken with the sambal oelek, soy sauce, and lime juice, remove from the heat and stir in the mint.
- Soften the Rice Paper Sheets: Pour hot water into a large, shallow dish. Place one rice paper sheet in the bowl for 30 seconds until soft.
- How to Roll Summer Rolls: Place a soft rice paper sheet on a plastic board (wood will absorb the liquid too much). Put two basil leaves on the top third of the sheet and a third cup of the chicken on the bottom third, and top with a quarter cup of slaw. Fold the sides of the sheet over the filling, then roll it up jelly-roll style, starting with the filled side. Rice paper is very forgiving, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
- Finish the Remaining Rolls: Place the roll, seam-side down, on a serving platter and cover it to keep it from drying. Repeat the procedure with the remaining sheets.
- Make the Hoisin Dipping Sauce: Mix water and hoisin in a small bowl.
Summer Roll Variations:
Feel free to customize the filling according to your preferences.
- Add a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs. More choices include lettuce, cucumber slices, bean sprouts, and cilantro.
- Protein: Swap ground chicken for ground turkey or pork. For vegetarian summer rolls, use tofu.
- Spiciness: If you don’t like spicy summer rolls, omit the sambal. For more heat, add extra or mix some into the dipping sauce. If you don’t have sambal oelek, swap it with sriracha.
- Rice noodles: Place a small bundle of cooked rice noodles, which provide a chewy and filling component, on top of the vegetables.
- Dipping sauce: I made this chicken summer roll recipe with a simple hoisin sauce. A flavorful peanut sauce with ingredients like peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and a touch of sweetness, is another good choice. See my shrimp summer rolls for the peanut sauce recipe. You can also serve them with a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham, made with fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and chili. Or use a simple, light sesame ginger dressing from the supermarket.
What to Serve with Summer Rolls
- Stir Fries: Soba Noodle Veggie Stir Fry, Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Fried Rice: Salmon Fried Rice, Cauliflower Fried Rice, Asian Edamame Fried Rice
- Soup: Wonton Soup, Shrimp Pho
- Salads: Shaking Beef, Salad with Asian Carrot Ginger Dressing, Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame Soy Vinaigrette, Tuna Poke Salad
How to Store Summer Rolls
Summer rolls are best eaten the day you make them, but they will last up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
More Asian Recipes You’ll Love
- Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Shrimp Egg Rolls
- Shrimp Summer Rolls
- Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
- Ahi Tuna Poke Stacks
Chicken Summer Rolls
- olive oil spray
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, omit if you don't like spice
- 1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups cabbage and carrot slaw mix, use purple and white cabbage for more color
- 8 8-inch round rice paper sheets
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce , mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. When hot, spray with oil then add the ground chicken, and cook, breaking it up with a spatula 5 to 6 minutes until no longer pink.
- Add the shallots and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, to soften.
- Add the soy sauce sauce, lime juice and sambal oelek and cook 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the mint.
- Add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch.
- Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 30 seconds or just until soft. Place sheet on a flat surface.
- Arrange 2 basil leaves on top third of sheet. Arrange 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom third of sheet topped with 1/4 cup slaw.
- Folding sides of sheet over filling and starting with filled side, roll up jelly-roll style. Gently press seam to seal. Place roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to keep from drying).
- Repeat procedure with remaining sheets, basil, cabbage and chicken mixture.
- Mix water and hoisin together in a small bowl. Serve rolls with hoisin dipping sauce.