Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crunchy Vietnamese Cabbage Salad

Though too-often ignored, cabbage is a very versatile vegetable. You can slowly braise it until it's meltingly tender, stir-fry it to crisp-tender, or serve it raw and crunchy. The first part of my gigantic head of cabbage was dedicated to warm and comforting caramelized deliciousness, but my second foray is of a cool and refreshing variety. Cabbage slaws and salads themselves have almost the range of cabbage cookery in general, from rich and creamy to fresh and crisp, and my recipe being of the latter variety.

The bulk of the salad is composed of a typical cast of characters - cabbage, carrots, scallions, and cilantro - but the dressing is what truly makes it wonderful. A perfect balance of salty, sweet, savory, and spicy, it makes all of the fresh ingredients pop, accented by bits of rich and crunchy bits of peanuts in every bite. To complete the meal I topped with chicken for dinner and edamame for lunch, but I can see this happily coexisting with pork, shrimp, or tofu as well. With diest moving towards heartier cold-weather fare, this is a nice change of pace that doesn't leave you starving for additional sustenance or flavor.

Crunchy Vietnamese Cabbage Salad
adapted from the New York Times
serves 4

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño, mince, seeds and ribs removed to desired level of heat
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
4 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts, plus more to serve
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more to serve

1. To make vinaigrette, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, jalapeño and garlic. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. 

2. In a large bowl, toss together tofu, cabbage, carrot, scallions, half of the peanuts, cilantro and vinaigrette. Garnish with the remaining peanuts and additional cilantro.

No comments:

Post a Comment