Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs, Summer Rolls, and the Secret Recipe Club

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, where each member is assigned another participant’s blog, selects a recipe, makes it, then blogs about it, with all entries going up on the same day, I was assigned Jo-Anna’s A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. She is a stay-at-home-mom from the suburbs in Canada who not only cooks and bakes but also is quite crafty. Her blog is filled with gorgeous photos and great ideas. I especially liked her pretty jars. I never knew chalkboard paper existed, and I can envision lots of uses for such with my own organizing fetish. The SRC is an easy and fun way to meet fellow food bloggers and find wonderful recipes. Consider joining if you food blog!

It was still quite hot here in St. Louis when I got the assignment and was looking for something light. The Vietnamese Chicken Bites sounded delightful, and we love Asian. Other than cutting the recipe in half, I followed the recipe exactly. As we head into soup weather, I can see dropping these in a spicy Asian broth with lots of veggies. YUM.
I followed Jo-Anna’s recommendation and also made her mother’s summer rolls, but with quite a few changes. I used my standard peanut sauce, which I’ve made for years, originally from Cooking Light, and Udon noodles because that’s what we had. Unfortunately I was multi-tasking and over-soaked the rice papers, so pay attention. That, in addition to over-stuffing them, made the rolls nearly impossible to neatly assemble (and messy to eat), but they are very fresh tasting and delicious. You can include other vegetables as I did, such as green onions,red bell peppers, and cucumbers would also be a nice addition. The mint and cilantro are quite pronounced, which was fine with us. Definitely both recipes are repeaters. Thanks Jo-Anna for such an interesting blog and delish recipes!
Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs
2 lb ground chicken or turkey
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T grated lemon zest
4 t cornstarch
2 t minced gingerroot
6 T soy sauce (I used low sodium soy sauce)

Combine chicken, cilantro, onions, garlic, zest, cornstarch, gingerroot, and soy sauce. Roll into 1 inch meatballs.

Place on to a baking sheet, lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  Turn once.  
Summer Rolls
1 ounce Udon noodles
1 T seasoned rice vinegar
4 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds, plus additional in case some tear
2 large leaves of Romaine lettuce, ribs cut out and discarded and leaves julienned
1/4 C fresh mint leaves
1/4 C fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai)
1/2 C thinly sliced Napa cabbage or “regular” cabbage
1/4 C fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 C coarsely shredded carrot
1/3 C red bell pepper, julienned
1/3 C green onions, finely sliced

Pat noodles dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste.

Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels.

Arrange lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Spread a bit of peanut sauce over the lettuce and top with mint, basil, vegetables, and noodles. Roll up rice paper tightly around the filling and then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.

Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.


  1. I love Asian food too, I've tried summer rolls with a prawn cocktail salad filling before, but this looks really great, I'm gonna have to try it out soon!

  2. Delicious recipes! The meatballs look so delicious.

  3. Sounds like a great meal! Asian foods are always a hit in my house.

  4. yay! I'm so glad you like the recipes! Those meatballs are soooo good!

  5. I think it looks fabulous! I love those flavors.

  6. Stopping by from group B. So fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Great Post! I love Asian food and the meatballs and summer rolls look delish!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to drop by my blog and check out my SRC recipe this month: Avocado Omelet

  7. These sound great! Love all the photos!

  8. Mmmmmmmm - those meatballs sound amazing! I'm joining the SRC for the first time today - hope you'll stop by and visit.


  9. Looks Delicious!!! GREAT SCR CHOICE!

  10. What a unique recipe, I love finding different ethnic recipes to try! Happy SRC reveal day, check out my post at =)

  11. Love meatballs, these look fantastic!

  12. This looks like a great recipe. It is fun cooking with you in the SRC. Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing!
    Miz Helen

  13. The meatballs sound delicious! I imagine they would be really great in a soup too, great job.

  14. Both of those recipes look delicious! We have a couple decent Vietnamese restaurants nearby - makes it difficult to attempt doing it yourself sometimes.

  15. Ohhhh this dish is right up my alley. Looks delicious and light and I want to eat a whole tray full of them right now.

    Just doing a little Secret Recipe Club surfing. So glad it brought me to your great little piece of cyber space!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  16. Added the meatballs to my must make list. Can't wait to give these a try sometime soon. The summer rolls look so delicious. I'd love some right now. Great SRC pick.

  17. Amazing Looking Recipes! My twin daughters will be going to college in St. Charles next year, we are pretty excited, but they will be a long way from home (California) but I will visit often. :-)

    Thanks for being in my Group for the SRC, if you haven't already take a look at my PW Chicken Pot Pie.

  18. Both the meatballs and the summer rolls sound delicious and I'd never think to add lemon to meat balls, very interesting.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group "A" SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  19. I love Vietnamese flavors - both the meatballs and summer rolls look wonderful. Terrific choices for SRC!

  20. Sound and look wonderful. Like your pictures. nice choice. andi

  21. what a great dish! I have some chalkboard paper which I found in January so thanks for sharing that as I now know what I should do with it :)

  22. The chicken meatballs sound like a great twist on a classic -- definitely going on my menu soon!

  23. Hey "neighbor" - I'm in St. Charles. Loving our weather today!
    Your recipe for this month looks so good, I love that it's different and looks easy to make. Your instructions are awesome.

  24. Stopping by from SRC. Your recipe choice looks delicious, though hard! Kuddos!

  25. I have always wanted to make spring rolls - these look yummy!

  26. Love this twist on meatballs! Awesome to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Please join our link up for *Project LunchBox* You have wonderful recipes that can inspire others to make healthy meals at home



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