Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Asian Coleslaw

Cole Slaw is one of my favorite salads. It's crunchy, refreshing, can be made in any number of ways and it keeps for a long time in the fridge.

Recently I had a salad at a Japanese restaurant and was struck by how pure the ginger flavor was, almost as though it was just a puree of ginger tossed with lettuce.

This is my attempt to recreate that, only with cabbage, the seasonal first of which is now at the market. So now is the time to start indulging in coleslaw while the cabbage is at it's peak. Also given that this upcoming weekend is the Fourth of July this is a perfect accompaniment to any BBQ fare you might be making. It travels well, too, so if you need to take something for a picnic or to a friend's roof in Brooklyn put this on your list.

To be fair, this recipe is very approximate as when I made it I wasn't thinking about publishing the recipe here, but I had several people after the Pride Dinner ask for the recipe, so here is my approximation - please adjust all seasoning to your own tastes, using this as a suggestion.

Asian Coleslaw

Preheat your oven to 375F

Chop or grate 8 cups of cabbage (4 red, 4 green), 2 large, peeled and washed carrots, 4 finely chopped scallions and 1 cup plus minus 2T roughly chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley into a large mixing bowl.

Toss in 1/2 - 3/4 cups of goji berries* to the cabbage mixture

Separately, toast until lightly brown 1/2 cup plus 1 T sesame seeds (6-8 minutes).

Then toast 2/3 cup plus 1 T cashews.

Toss 2/3 cups of cashews and 1/2 cups sesames into the Cabbage mixture reserving 1 T of each of garnish.

To make the vinaigrette in a bowl add:

1/2 cup plus canola or safflower oil, 2 T Toasted Sesame Oil, 1/4 cup plus 1 T rice vinegar, 1 T cane sugar, 2 T Mirin and 1 T Tamari, 4 T of fresh, peeled ginger , salt and freshly grated pepper, whisk and taste, adjust seasoning.

Toss the vinaigrette into the cabbage mixture, taste several time adjusting the seasoning, feeling free to grate more ginger in or adding more sugar. I tend to like things with a vinegar punch so feel free to add at will.

Once happy with the seasoning let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to over night.

Spoon into your serving dish and garnish with the reserved parsley, sesame and cashew nuts**.

Makes enough for 12 or more people and if you added grilled chicken and a side of sticky rice with peanut sauce you'd have a meal!

* much cheaper if you buy them in a Chinese grocery store and widely available in Chinatown
** I took these pictures with left over coleslaw and was out of cashews which is why you can't seem them in the garnish.

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