English spring rolls

by Kathy Slack

Fun to make, flexible and delicious

A shameless pun—all the ingredients of an English spring, in a spring roll.


2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp sunflower oil
50g mange tout, green beans or carrots
100g caster sugar
100ml cider vinegar
A bunch of radishes
½ cucumber
8-12 rice paper spring roll wrappers
50g watercress or rocket


Set a griddle pan over a high heat to get smoking hot. Meanwhile, bash the chicken breasts with a rolling pin, coat in a little sunflower oil and season heavily with salt and pepper. When the griddle is hot, pop the chicken on and cook until golden and a bit charred. Set aside to cool, then slice into thin strips. Slice the mange tout into matchsticks and set aside.

Measure the sugar and vinegar into a saucepan and set over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1-2 mins. Meanwhile, finely chop the radishes and cucumber, then add them to the pickling liquor and set aside until needed.

When you’re ready to assemble everything, pour a little boiling water into a shallow dish. Soak the rice paper wrappers one at a time for 10-15 secs in the water, then transfer to a tea towel and pat dry. Lift the wrapper onto a chopping board—try to avoid folding over the wrapping paper, as it will stick.

Make a neat line in the middle of the wrapper using 2 strips of chicken, some mange tout, a few watercress leaves and 1 tsp pickled veg. Roll the whole thing up and slice in half, ready to serve. Repeat until all the filling is used up.

Recipe: Kathy Slack