I had a difficult time deciding what to call this dish. If it’s made from cabbage, is it automatically a “slaw”? I don’t think so, so I’m going with Asian Cabbage Salad. I don’t know about you, but once the weather (finally!) turns warmer, I really need healthier, lighter food– a break from the meat-heavy winter months. This salad is perfect for so many reasons. It’s filling, healthy, tasty, and comes together quickly. It’s near perfection, and I eat it all the time. I love that this salad isn’t fussy. Every ingredient is simple and reliable–they always stay crunchy. It’s also a beautiful salad with amazing colors.
The recipe below includes my basic dressing for this salad. To add variety (and depending on my mood), I sometimes change it up. Try adding one teaspoon of peanut butter to the basic dressing and then top the salad with chopped peanuts. So delicious! You can also experiment with the amount of vegetable or canola oil. More will give you a thicker, “dressing-like” consistency. When I make the salad for myself, I usually skip the oil. Without it, the tang of the vinegar really stands out.
Now for the health benefits. I think the almighty cabbage gets overlooked. It’s a cruciferous vegetable that is loaded with things that are good for you. Red cabbage, in particular, is a powerhouse. It contains a lot of fiber, more vitamin C than oranges, and of course it is very low in calories. Take a look here if you want to learn more. One final thing, if you’re looking for protein, pair this salad with grilled shrimp. It’s fantastic!
The Recipe: Asian Cabbage Salad
(Makes enough for 2 people)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons mild tasting oil, such as canola or vegetable
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly grated using largest hole on a box grater
handful of cilantro, torn
Black sesame seeds, to garnish
Begin by adding the first six ingredients for the dressing into a small bowl and mix with a small whisk. Slowly add the 2 teaspoons of vegetable or canola oil (or more to taste). Check the taste and make necessary adjustments. (Note: if buying Toasted Sesame Oil for the first time — be sure to store in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling).
Slice the cabbage using a chef’s knife. I like it to have some texture, so I avoid grating it. Grate the carrots, and tear the cilantro. Toss together and pour the dressing on it. Sprinkle with the black sesame seeds and enjoy!
Happy healthy eating to you all! Have a lovely weekend.
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