Summer rolls are packed with crunchy, satisfying vegetables like radishes and carrots. I use them here as well, and, to lighten the workload, I ask my kiddos to help with the prep. If you’re teaching your responsible rugrats knife skills for the first time, let “cut side down” be your mantra. Placing the cut side of a vegetable flat on the cutting board minimizes the amount your vegetables slip, making chopping safer for all concerned. I think the salad looks best if the vegetables are cut into thin, tiny pieces. But if your children are of an age or temperament that it’s ill-advised to weaponize them, do only as much chopping as you can stand and move on.
Cellophane noodles, also called bean thread or glass noodles, elevate the salad from basic greens to something special. Made from bean starch, cellophane noodles are gluten-free and, as the name suggests, transparent. You’ll find them on the shelf in the Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores. To prepare, simply soak the dried noodles in hot water for a few minutes. The noodles are my kids’ favorite part of the salad because they really are see-through, so only skip this step if you truly don’t have the energy to boil water. You can substitute fresh bean sprouts, but they aren’t nearly as fun to slurp.