Monday, August 17, 2009

Crunchy Asian Slaw

Like the hungry walrus said, the time has come to talk of many things. But I'm just going to talk about  cabbages. As in, what to do with them when you keep getting them from your CSA and the last thing you want to do is stand in a boiling hot kitchen assembling mammoth amounts of stuffed cabbage (which I've done, by the way. In July. Never again.).

Cole slaw is an obvious choice, but as much as I love it sweet, gloppy, and Southern-style, my hips do not need a vat of that sitting around. Who do I look like, Paula Deen? 
But an Asian-style slaw presents no such caloric calamity. If you happen to have red and green cabbage languishing in your fridge and some basics in your cupboard, it's easy to throw it together. It  makes a light, crunchy, refreshing side dish with sandwiches, crab cakes, and of course - tofu.

For this version, I made use of things I had sitting around - if you have fresh ginger, which I didn't, so much the better. And feel free to make adjustments or substitutions. I've even seen recipes that use peanut butter, but I thought that might make the dish seem a bit heavy.

Asian Style Slaw
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp red chili oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, whisk together  the peanut oil, chili oil, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, and soy sauce until emulsified.  Taste and make any necessary adjustments.
Toss this mixture with the cabbage, carrots, and sesame seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste.

And that's it! If you can make it a day ahead, do so - it tastes great after sitting in the fridge overnight. I served mine with tofu and brown rice, which I put in a red cabbage leaf.  I love how colorful the plate looked!

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