A quick pickling turns collard stems from trash to a treasure, adding a pleasant tang to these leaf-wrapped spring rolls. Serve as a healthy main dish or cut into quarters and serve as a colorful appetizer.

Breana Killeen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2018


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Lay a collard green flat, with the thicker part of the stem that runs down the middle of the leaf facing up and the shiny, bright green side down. Using a sharp knife, shave off the thick stem so it's almost flush with the leaf. Trim any of the remaining stem from the base of the leaf, reserving all shaved and trimmed pieces. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Cut all the stem pieces into 2- to 3-inch lengths.

  • Cook the leaves in the boiling water in 3 batches until soft but still pliable, 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to the ice water until cool. Drain and pat dry.

  • Bring vinegar, 1/2 cup water and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the collard stems and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the stems from the pickling liquid and set aside.

  • Transfer 1/4 cup of the pickling liquid to a small bowl (discard the remaining liquid). Whisk in peanut butter, tamari and garlic. Set aside.

  • Combine the remaining 3 cups water, scallions, lemongrass and ginger in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer; cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Shred and season with salt.

  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the solids from the chicken-poaching liquid and discard. Return the liquid to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

  • To assemble spring rolls: Lay a collard leaf on a clean cutting board. Place 2 tablespoons chicken in the center and top with about 1 tablespoon each of the noodles, beet, carrot, basil, mint and pickled stems. Fold both sides of the leaf over the filling and, starting with the open end closest to you, roll into a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. Brush the rolls with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with the reserved peanut sauce.


To make ahead: Refrigerate spring rolls and peanut sauce separately for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts

324.9 calories; protein 25.2g 50% DV; carbohydrates 22.4g 7% DV; exchange other carbs 1.5; dietary fiber 4.4g 18% DV; sugars 5.3g; fat 15.4g 24% DV; saturated fat 2.9g 14% DV; cholesterol 50.1mg 17% DV; vitamin a iu 5884.6IU 118% DV; vitamin c 14.9mg 25% DV; folate 101.4mcg 25% DV; calcium 152.7mg 15% DV; iron 4mg 22% DV; magnesium 75.8mg 27% DV; potassium 532.6mg 15% DV; sodium 768.3mg 31% DV; added sugar 1g.

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Rating: 5 stars
This recipe was so fun and resulted in a tasty dish! The peanut sauce is PERFECT and the spring rolls look as good as they taste. They'd make for a great party appetizer too. I'm excited to make these again; I'm going to try them with shrimp next time! This recipe is definitely a bit of a project though so make sure you have some time to dedicate to making all of the components delicious. You could even make some of the components ahead of time like the pickled stems or the chicken to save yourself some plate-spinning later. Read More