Spicy Asian Slaw - february 26, 2011

In the past couple of weeks we have eaten at least five cabbages. Winter, or spring in some places, is cabbage season. They are beautiful in the garden, gathering dew with dusty hues of plum, pale and bright green. And they are great in salads of all sorts, stir fried and steamed. But sometimes I'm just not sure what to do with them all.

"Make Cole Slaw!" my husband said, when I asked, dejectedly, what to do with the two cabbages we received last week. So I did. And it was shockingly good. Even my daughter ate it, which wasn't too surprising, since she tends to like raw vegetables, though not usually with sauce or dressing.  We ate it with an asian style noodle soup, also easy and delicious, so I'll add that recipe here as well.  


Spicy Asian Slaw: (adapted from an old Eatwell Newsletter, I think)

(Makes 4-6 servings)

For the dressing:

1/2 c mayonnaise

1 T toasted sesame oil

1 T mirin (or rice wine vinegar)

3-6 Tchili sauce (rooster sauce, or something like that)

1 T grated ginger

2 T fresh lime juice

1 t salt

1 T sesame seeds

Mix the ingredients together, then set them aside while you assemble the slaw.

For the slaw:

1 small green (preferably savoy or napa) cabbage - if you use a large one, double the sauce recipe

1 small turnip, grated

1 large carrot, grated

4 green onions or 1 small onion, thinly sliced or grated

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Core the cabbage, quarter and slice it very thinly. Transfer to a large bowl or salad spinner, fill with water and swish, then lift the cabbage out to drain, or spin it in the spinner. Add the cabbage, grated turnip, carrot, onion, mint and cilantro to a large bowl. Mix in the dressing, then let sit in the fridge, covered, for up to four days.

Quick Asian Noodle Soup: (adapted from Lucinda Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry)

(Makes 4-6 servings)

4-6 c chicken broth

1 T minced or grated ginger (peel it first)

1 star anise

1 large shallot (or 2 small ones) halved and thinly sliced

1 jalapeno or serrano chili, sliced longways, seeded and sliced into rounds (add as many or few as you want)

3 small leeks or some scallions, thinly sliced

1 bunch spinach leaves, washed

1 t salt


3/4 lb soba noodles

1 T sesame oil

1 c or so leftover cooked chicken

Heat the chicken broth, adding the shallots and leeks, ginger, star anise and jalapenos as you slice them, then the salt. Let that simmer gently while you wash the spinach (set it aside when finished), chop the leftover chicken and cook the noodles separately according to their package directions. When the noodles are done, drain them and toss with the sesame oil, then put some in the bottom of each bowl. Add the chicken and then the spinach to the soup, give it a stir and turn off the heat. Taste for salt, grind some pepper on top, and ladle the soup into the bowls, over noodles.


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