asian napa cabbage slaw recipe
These days I am smitten with just about any recipe that makes vegetables taste good. And this Napa Cabbage Slaw is one of them. Shredded cabbage, red pepper, apple, cilantro and green onion spiked with a sweet and sour Asian-inspired vinaigrette makes a perfect healthy lunch, bbq side dish, or burger-topper. A giant bowl of veggies never tasted so good.
Thank you to Sarah Huggins of (Cooking for) Kiwi and Bean for another healthy, family-friendly recipe to please your tiny little bosses and your inner gourmand. Sarah is a Belly Bootcamper, mommy of two, and lawyer by day, who whips up amazing but do-able meals for her family of four.
Open any kid-oriented cookbook, and you’ll find similar advice for encouraging your kids to eat more vegetables: make them taste good! And hey, the same holds true for us moms and dads too. Give a man a spear of steamed broccoli and he might reluctantly nibble on it, but give a man a pan of broccoli roasted in a bit of olive oil and sea salt and watch him devour the whole thing. Ditto for spinach sauteed in butter and garlic, cauliflower dusted with lemon and parmesan cheese, carrot coins steamed with a bit of honey and butter, and salad greens dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette.
And yes, I realize that adding flavour often involves adding fat. But no need to be afraid of a little healthy fat mixed into your veg: the fat actually enhances the “bio-availability” of the vegetables’ nutrients (say the sciency people). Which is a fancy way of saying that you get more of the good stuff!
You will have a hard time resisting *raw cabbage* (yes, cabbage) when it’s tossed with red pepper, apple, cilantro, green onion and an Asian vinaigrette. We have been coveting this Napa Cabbage Slaw for lunch mixed with shredded leftover chicken and topped with salty roasted peanuts. But it’s also great as a side dish for grilled meat--just in time for barbecue season--or tucked into a burger or pulled pork sammie. You can change up the vegetables to use whatever happens to be over-staying its welcome in your refrigerator. I recently added sliced radishes and shaved broccoli stems, with yummy results!
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tangy asian napa cabbage slaw
yields 5-6 cups
for the salad:
- 3 heaping cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1 medium-sized cabbage)
- 1 apple, julienned
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 red or orange pepper, thinly sliced
- large handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- large handful roasted salted peanuts
- optional additions: shaved broccoli florets, thinly sliced radishes
for the dressing:
- juice of 1 small lime
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tbsp neutral-tasting oil (canola, grapeseed, etc.)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp mayonnaise (optional, but it adds a bit of creaminess)
- ½ teaspoon sugar (optional, but it cuts nicely through the acidity of the lime and rice vinegar)
1. Slice and combine all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. 2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar (dressing may be prepared in advance). 3. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss well.