I loooove crunchy Chinese chicken salad and I love Vietnamese summer rolls, so I combined them into a beautiful Frankenstein of a dish. Refreshing and light, these rice paper-wrapped rolls are a healthier alternative to a sandwich or wrap, but they don't skimp on the flavor. Just like the salad from my first book, they're loaded with crunchy vegetables, thinly sliced chicken, and crispy wonton strips, but the summer roll version is served with a tangy, peanutty dipping sauce. Pack a bunch of them on a picnic, serve as a snack or app, or even eat them for a full meal because they're super filling.
1 cup shredded crunchy lettuce, such as romaine or iceberg
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup picked cilantro leaves
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
For the Summer Rolls:
8 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
½ cup crunchy restaurant-style wonton strips or noodles
Make the Dressing: Put the oil, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, honey, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic, and salt in a jar, seal tightly, and shake to thoroughly combine; you should have just under 1 cup dressing. Alternatively, you can whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
Make the Filling: Combine the chicken, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, onion, and sesame seeds in a large bowl and toss with about one third of the dressing. NOTE: If you plan on traveling with the summer rolls, dress lightly so they don’t get soggy.
Make the Summer Rolls: Clear a large work area and fill a clean 8- or 10-inch skillet or pie plate with warm (but not boiling) water; replenish with more warm water to maintain temperature as necessary. Arrange a damp clean towel on your work surface. Submerge one rice paper wrapper in the warm water and moisten until it begins to soften but is not completely translucent, 15 seconds (it will continue to soften when removed from the water). Remove from water and place on the damp towel. Work with one rice paper wrapper at a time or they will stick together.
Arrange ½ cup of the filling in a row 2 inches wide and 4 inches long, about 2 inches from the bottom end of the wrapper. Nestle a few wonton strips inside the filling. Gently pull the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the sides as though making a burrito. Roll up and place on a plate lined with a damp paper towel to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling, covering with a new layer of damp paper towel if you stack them. Serve with the remaining dressing for dipping. To store, wrap each summer roll in a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out or sticking together and place in the refrigerator for 1–2 days.
TIP: If you are making the rolls and then serving within a few hours, you don't need to wrap them in towels. Line the bottom of a reusable container with a few pieces of lettuce, arrange the rolls on top with some space in between, fill the spaces with a little shredded lettuce, and then top with another piece of lettuce. Cover and carry to a sunny-day picnic! The filling can also be eaten as a salad without being wrapped.