April 14, 2023

Adrian Forte’s Curry Chicken Spring Rolls

Recipe: Adrian Forte

These spring rolls are from Yawd: Modern Afro-Caribbean Recipes by Adrian Forte. Appetite by Random House, 2022, $35.

“Jamaica has a huge population of Chinese Jamaicans who migrated to the island in the 1980s, and they’ve vastly contributed to the food culture. This recipe is nostalgic and pays homage to my native country.” — Adrian Forte


Pickled Scotch Bonnets (batch)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pickling salt or kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp dill seeds
  • 3 cups Scotch bonnet peppers

Scotch Bonnet Paste (batch)

  • 10 Pickled Scotch Bonnets (see above), chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

Curry Paste (batch)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1⁄3  cup garlic paste
  • 1⁄3  cup ginger, minced
  • 1⁄3  cup scallions
  • 3 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 3 tbsp turmeric, ground
  • 3 tbsp curry powder, ground 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 11⁄2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Scotch Bonnet Paste (see above)
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1⁄4 cup packed cilantro, chopped

Spring Rolls

  • 1⁄2 cup Curry Paste (see above)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 11⁄4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp Scotch Bonnet Paste (see above)
  • 1⁄2 cup onions, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast
  • 16 spring roll wrappers
  • 2  cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1  whole egg

Coconut Aioli

  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt


Yield: 16

Make Pickled Scotch Bonnets

  1. In saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of water with vinegar, salt, pepper flakes, garlic and dill seeds, and bring to a boil.
  2. Place Scotch bonnets in sterilized 16 oz. mason jar. Pour brine over, filling jar within 1⁄2″ of top. Seal with lid and store for up to 3 months. Once opened, use within 6 weeks.

Make Scotch Bonnet Paste

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Purée until paste is smooth and lump free. Transfer to sterilized jar, seal and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Make Curry Paste

  1. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic paste, ginger, scallions, lemongrass paste, spices and salt. Stir well and cook until onions are tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Transfer to food processor and add Scotch Bonnet Paste, lemon juice and cilantro. Pulse or purée until paste reaches smooth consistency. Transfer to airtight container and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Make Chicken

  1. In slow cooker, add Curry Paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, thyme, ginger, Scotch Bonnet Paste, onion and green onion, and mix well.
  2. Add chicken breast and mix well to make sure chicken is fully immersed in cooking liquid.
  3. Cover and cook for 31⁄2 hours. Remove chicken breast from slow cooker and, using 2 dinner forks, pull chicken apart until completely shredded.
  4. Return chicken to slow cooker and mix well, put in mixing bowl and reserve for spring rolls.

Make Coconut Aioli

  1. In separate mixing bowl, combine coconut cream, garlic paste, lime juice and salt, and whisk until emulsified. Set aside.

Assemble and Deep-Fry Spring Rolls

  1. Place spring roll wrappers on work surface. Fill each with 2 tbsp of chicken filling. Tuck end in, then roll up. Seal edges with beaten egg yolk.
  2. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in wok or heavy skillet to 350°F.
  3. When hot, add spring rolls in batches of 4 and deep-fry for 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Remove to paper towel to drain. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

Photography by John Molina (Adrian’s portrait, spring rolls)


Spring Roll recipe excerpted from Yawd: Modern Afro-Caribbean Recipes by Adrian Forte, published by Appetite by Random House.