NEW RECIPE: Vietnamese Spring Roll In A Bowl

My favorite spring roll is the Vietnamese rice paper-wrapped Cha Gio, and I’ve been watching folks in my Eat Happy Facebook group post pictures of their delicious, low carb, NSNG versions of deconstructed egg rolls called Egg Roll In A Bowl. So I decided to marry the two and make a Vietnamese Spring Roll In A Bowl. This recipe is fresh and light, but also deeply umami and satisfying. This dichotomy is why I love Vietnamese food so much, but I often have to adapt recipes to make at home to eliminate the sugars and grains. Eat Happy Too has a killer Pho soup recipe that is perfect comfort food, in case you’re into that sort of thing (and who isn’t these days).

Recipe notes:

Feel free to sub ground beef or pork for the chicken. If you do, you can just brown the ground meat in the pan with the flavors you use in the Instant Pot portion of the recipe below.

You can use any kind of cabbage you have on hand, but Napa cabbage has just the right ratio of softness to crunchy–and it softens quickly when cooking, so be careful not to over cook.

You are welcome to add more ginger, lemongrass, or coconut aminos to taste.

If you are garnishing with Sriracha (aka Vietnamese ketchup), please know that it has added sugar, and do not overdo it. You are welcome to use Frank’s Hot Sauce (no sugar added), hot mustard, chili garlic sauce (with the rooster on it), or no hot sauce at all.

This recipe uses the Instant Pot to prep the perfect shredded chicken. You can also use a slow cooker on high for 3 hours.

It’s not a bad idea to prep several portions of the chicken in advance to have on hand for batch cooking.

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Vietnamese Spring Roll In A Bowl

5 from 2 votes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Keto, Low Carb, NSNG, Paleo
Servings 3 people


  • Instant Pot
  • Sauté Pan


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemongrass paste (available in refrigerated produce aisle)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 4 cups grated Napa cabbage or green cabbage (about 1 head of cabbage, shredded)
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Cilantro chopped for garnish
  • Sriracha for garnish optional


  • Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. Place chicken thighs in Instant Pot and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos and water. Close and lock lid, set Vent to Sealing. Run Instant Pot on Manual setting for 20 minutes, letting Instant Pot run entire cycle and depressurize naturally. When metal float valve descends, it is safe to open the lid and remove the chicken. Shred chicken finely using two forks, set aside.
  • In a large flat-bottomed nonstick sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion slices and let soften, about 2-3 minutes. Drop in lemongrass paste, minced garlic, and ginger, tossing with onions 1-2 minutes until fragrant and soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add grated cabbage and chopped mushrooms, tossing to coat with onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons coconut aminos and fish sauce over vegetables. Cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes, tossing every other minute or so. Toss in shredded chicken and mix. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper only if needed. Serve with additional coconut aminos and garnished with cilantro, and Sriracha.
Keyword celiac
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!




  • I hope I can make this. I am going to have to search for that lemongrass paste. Cross your fingers!
    Is there a substitution if I can’t?

    • you can certainy omit it and add other stuff that you love, or just add extra ginger and coconut aminos

    • Linda,
      Look for lemongrass, fresh or paste, at an Asian market. It’s worth it.

  • Jackie Jones / Reply

    Oh my goodness!!!!! I need to try this!!

  • I’ll be trying this very soon!! Looks incredible!

  • This recipe was amazing. My wife liked it more than the pork egg roll in a bowl or crack slaw like I usually make to cure our desire for Asian cuisine. What an excellent meal. Thank you! When’s book three coming out? 🙂

  • Kelly da Silva / Reply

    I didn’t want to go to the store for lemongrass (even though it is worth it), so I used the zest of 1 lemon. Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Rachel / Reply

      This recipe is brilliant!! Thanks Anna for coming up with a no grain sping roll. Instead of using lemon grass paste I used the lemongrass itself.
      It turned out great!! I unfortunately couldn’t find in the paste in the store they were out.
      But I can’t always get everything fresh with how North I live. If we’re lucky we get a sweet watermelon once in a great while.
      But it never tastes anything like the lower 48’s!

  • Louise / Reply

    Made this tonight and we all loved it, including 3 teenagers. Thanks so much for the suggestions on the podcast for these times of quarantine. Even though I’m used to cooking at home, I needed some inspiration.

    • Louise! I’m so glad to hear it! I’m kind of obsessed with this recipe right now too. And I’m glad to offer any and all inspiration!

  • Gerri Slaughter / Reply

    5 stars
    Yummy & easy, perfect for these crazy times. I think I’m going to try it with shrimp next.

    • That’s a great idea–shrimp would go so well with these flavors!

  • 5 stars
    Um, hello…this stuff is da bomb! So fresh & delicious. I’ve never cooked with Lemongrass before, loved it!

    • Alexandra / Reply

      This might be my new favorite of Anna’s recipes. We don’t have an instapot so I cooked the chicken thighs with the coconut aminos and a 1/4 cup of water in a covered baking dish for 25 minutes and they turned out perfect. This is going to be a regular dinner in our rotation and I’m excited to experiment depending on the vegetables and proteins I have on hand. Delicious and easy.

      Thanks, Anna!

      • Alexandra! Thank you so much for sharing an alternative method of making the chicken–love that you love this recipe as much as I do!!

  • I ask her that all the time! Get to it Anna!

  • I wrapped this up in a romaine “lettuce” cup – it’s to die for!! Terrific recipe & so easy. Anna is a GODDESS of greatness! Thanks for making NSNG WOE EASY! Xoxoxo

    • YAY!! Thanks so much, Lori-I love this idea of wrapping it in a lettuce cup. This is one of my fave recipes too!

  • joan e. dugan / Reply

    What are coconut aminos?I have all the rest of the ingredients.

  • Courtney Matteson / Reply

    Yet another recipe of Anna’s that has become a staple in my house. I make it regularly for lunches because it travels well, heats up quick and is oh so yummy!

    • I just bought some Napa cabbage b/c it’s time to make this one again. I agree–so yummy! Thanks, Courtney!

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