Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Rolls

Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Roll | the pig & quillIt’s sharing Wednesday. Or maybe oversharing Wednesday, because Share Number One is…

I’m no-pooing.

If you know what that means, bless your heart. If not, it’s basically going without shampoo. But it’s not as bad the name implies. I’m just not washing my hair. Wait, does that sound worse?

Let’s clarify: No-pooing is basically an all-natural way to cleanse and condition your hair and restore balance to your scalp for healthy, manageable hair sans chemicals, silicone, etc. There’s zero constipation involved — unless you’ve already got issues of your own, of course. Learn lots more about it here and here. And of course on Pinterest, where a quick “no-poo” search turns up a whole lotta…poo.

I’m on Day 2. So far my hair doesn’t feel waxy, cottony or straw-like as I was warned it would feel for the first couple of weeks. Instead it just feels like hair, and I’m thinking that’s a good thing, but I’ll keep you posted. If I enjoy my results, mayhaps I’ll post my method. And if it sucks, well, maybe I’ll take a page out of the ol’ Sinead O’Connor book.

That means going Bee-Eigh-Elle-Dee Bald for all you young’uns out there. Good grief.

On that note, we’ll move right along to Share Number Two, which is, like, loads more appetizing to talk about and roughly 93% more relevant to a supposed food blog than Things That end in Poo — the Non-Chipotle Edition.

Ready for it? Spring rolls! Duh-dada-Duh!

Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Roll | the pig & quill

I love Vietnamese spring rolls, or summer rolls, or fresh rolls, as I’ve heard them called from one restaurant to another. You know the kind: chewy, fresh and unfried? They’re little guiltless wonders, aren’t they? All light on the cals and just begging to be dunked in something sweet, spicy and just a little sticky. As an appetizer, a quick lunch or a light dinner, they’re kind of the bomb.

The recipe I’m sharing here today is a little bit different because I’ve omitted the standard rice noodles commonly found inside the roll and replaced them with more of everything else: chicken, tender veggies and crisp apple. Oh yeah, that crisp apple? He’s new to the party, too.

If I’d had the forethought, I probably would have doubled the five-spice chicken, reserving the extra to shred on salads, on pizza or in a quick wrap for lunch. And with the chicken coming together in next to no time at all (prep is nearly non-existent),  I’d recommend you do the same.

Finally, since it IS sharing Wednesday, after all, how about a subtle nudge to share The Pig & Quill love on Facebook? Follow me here if you’re not already. Oh, and here, too, for the Tweetkers out there. Thanks!

Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Roll | the pig & quill

Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Roll | the pig & quillFive-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Rolls
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 45 mins | Serves 2-3 as a meal or 4-6 as an app

Note: Most rice paper wrappers come with instructions on the package, but the easiest way I’ve found to work with them is as follows:

  • Immerse one sheet of rice paper in luke warm water for 3 seconds; reserve to a plate and cover with damp paper towel.
  • Repeat with second rice paper sheet to create an alternating stack of wrapper/paper towel until all 8 are prepped. Align your paper towels carefully; do not let wrappers come into contact with one another. 
  • Flip stack over and begin rolling starting with the bottom (first moistened) wrapper. 

To avoid this project being as wasteful as it sounds, use the discarded damp paper towels to wipe down the sink or mold a paper mache puppet or something. At the very least, compost that isht. And lastly, you can prep (roast/shred) the chicken a day or two ahead, if preferred. Just dress and assemble right before serving.

For the Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 T five-spice
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/3 tsp salt

For the Rolls:

  • 8 dry banh trang rice paper wrappers, 22cm, available at Asian grocery stores or the Asian food aisle of many grocery stores
  • 6 oz haricot vert (or fresh, tender green beans), blanched
  • 1 large crisp apple, julienned
  • spicy peanut dipping sauce (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle chicken with oil, then generously rub with five spice and salt & pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins or until cooked through. Allow to cool.

Shred chicken. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, agave and salt. Toss with chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and combine.

Following instructions on package or in note, prep rice paper wrappers.

To assemble rolls, arrange a narrow pile of chicken in the bottom half of one rice paper wrapper and top with blanched haricot vert (about 8-10 each roll) and 1/8th of julienned apple. Fold sides of wrapper over pile, then roll away from you stretching the rice paper slightly as you roll to ensure snugness. Repeat to make 8 rolls.

Cut rolls crosswise if desired, and serve with spicy peanut sauce for dipping.

Spicy Peanut Sauce (can double or triple as needed)

  • 2 heaping T all natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1-2 T water

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha and agave until smooth. Thin with water to desired consistency.

In the Pigpen No.4: Random Friday Ramblings (and our Contest Winner!)
The Ultimate Bacon & Egg Sandwich

3 Comments on “Five-Spice Chicken & Green Bean Spring Rolls”

    1. Thanks Carolyn! I love five-spice. It instantly makes me think of all the tasty BBQ’d meats I enjoyed as a child. Granted, this is a bit of a shortcut version, but it makes me happy all the same. Glad you agree!

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