Inside-Out Chinese Egg Roll Salad

January 31, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This salad is a crispy Chinese egg roll turned inside-out: the cabbage, carrot, and pork filling is the salad, and the wrappers (baked until crispy and broken into pieces) are the croutons. It’s zippy and fresh and all kinds of fun, with the contrasting flavors and textures of a good crispy egg roll. The hot bacon vinaigrette (punched up with star anise, garlic, ginger, chile sauce soy sauce, and rice vinegar) is one that'll you want to use on everything. Best of all, the whole salad takes less time to prepare than waiting for Chinese take-out or delivery.

The salad is best when served right away (for the crispiest bacon) but it's good leftover too, gently reheated or at room temperature.
EmilyC

Serves: 4 to 6 as a main dish (many more as a side dish)

Ingredients

For salad

  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 4 small green onions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 egg roll wrappers (look for them in the refrigerated section with tofu), or substitute 8 wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For hot bacon dressing

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more to taste
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. With a sharp knife or mandoline, thinly slice the cabbage. You’ll have around 10 cups.
  3. Place the cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
  4. Place egg roll wrappers on a sheet pan and brush each side with vegetable oil. Bake until brown and crispy (about 10 to 12 minutes), flipping once or twice. Let cool a few minutes. Break into croutons, if you like.
  5. To make the hot bacon vinaigrette: In large nonstick skillet, warm oil over medium heat; add bacon and star anise. Cook until the bacon renders its fat and crisps, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels (leaving star anise in skillet). Pour off all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Add garlic and ginger to the skillet, and cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently (turn down heat if they start to color). Add chile sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and bring to a simmer, stirring well to incorporate. Remove skillet from heat and discard star anise.
  6. Immediately pour 3/4 of the hot dressing over the cabbage, tossing well to combine. Add more dressing as desired (I always use the full amount). Toss in the bacon, cilantro, and sesame oil. Taste for seasoning and balance—adding kosher salt and rice vinegar as needed. Top with egg roll wrapper croutons (or pass them at table). Serve.

More Great Recipes:
Roll|Salad|Chinese|Carrot|Cilantro|Egg|Green Onion/Scallion|Sesame Oil|Vegetable|Vinegar|Soy Sauce|Anise

Reviews (8) Questions (0)

8 Reviews

Marti June 13, 2018
This salad is delicious and I plan to make it again tonight. We use all the dressing, sometimes extra vinegar, but haven't needed to add kosher salt. We add some diced serrano pepper for a bit of heat. To make it a quicker weeknight meal, I buy pre-shredded cabbage, and we discovered tortilla chips make an acceptable, easy stand-in for the baked wrappers. Both fresh and crunchy, or slightly warmed and wilted the next day, it is delicious! Thanks Emily!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC June 18, 2018
So glad you’re liking this, Marti, and great tip about the tortilla chips! Thanks for your note!
 
Kim May 9, 2018
What a great idea, and a beautiful dish! Thanks for sharing :)
 
Author Comment
EmilyC May 18, 2018
Thanks Kim!
 
Rhonda35 February 19, 2018
I can't wait to give this a try, EmilyC - I love hot bacon dressing and the Asian twist you've given it sounds SO good. Thanks for the recipe!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC February 20, 2018
Thanks Rhonda! I love hot bacon dressing too--probably my very salad dressing if I had to pick just one. Hope you enjoy the salad!
 
Rhonda35 March 4, 2018
EmilyC - This salad came together more quickly than expected and was delicious - thanks for sharing!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC March 4, 2018
Yay! So glad you liked it, thanks Rhonda. I haven't gone this route (yet), but a bag of cole slaw mix would make this even speedier!