17 July 2011
Spice Rack Challenge – Asian Slaw
Update: I found out this week that what I thought was savoy cabbage was actually yukina savoy, a tasty green in the mustard family (sort of like tatsoi). Jennifer left us a note to “use it like spinach.” I guess that’s one reason it worked so well in a raw dish! I’m updating the term below because it was hard to find info about it online.
I’ve been negligent the past few months and have missed posting for the Spice Rack Challenge. May was coriander. I was getting fresh cilantro from Capella’s spring CSA, plus I have a couple of go-to recipes that include ground coriander: Spanish-style greens with chickpeas (we eat this regularly, with a variety of seasonal greens), or green beans with cumin and coriander (my favorite way to spice up green beans). But I didn’t post anything. June was mint, and I could have posted the Three-Herb Chimichurri (parsley, cilantro, and mint) from Raichlen’s How To Grill. I originally made it to serve with grilled steaks but found it was really good on all sorts of things (such as rice, bland veggies, as a salad dressing, or whatever). But once again, I never got around to it.
The challenge for June is basil. I did intend to grow some of my own this year. I had a holy basil seedling that I potted up before leaving on 10 days of vacation. I forgot to line up anybody to water it, and left it on my porch – and it died. The other seedlings right next to it did fine, which was weird, but there you go: no home grown basil for me. But I did get some this past week from Capella Farms, so all was not lost. I’ve been planning to serve roll-your-own Vietnamese spring rolls for dinner, which ideally include Thai basil. Instead, while shopping at a Korean grocery for spring roll wrappers, I got seduced by their thinly sliced bulgogi meat. Tonight I assembled a mostly Korean feast, and included a cabbage dish from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. The inspiring recipe is called “Napa Cabbage Salad with Southeast Asian Flavors.” I had
savoy cabbage yukina savoy and no fish sauce, so modified it somewhat. I’m not big on cole slaw – or cabbage for that matter! – but this combo was really fabulous – the mix of fresh herbs is a great taste sensation. If I were given to hyperbole, I might say something like “a party in your mouth,” but instead I will bow to Bishop’s words when he writes that “the flavors are bright and crisp.” A bright, crisp, flavorful party in your mouth…
Bonus! This recipe actually includes basil AND mint AND coriander (in the form of fresh cilantro), so it kind of makes up for missing the past two months!
cabbage, chopped into thin strips
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
12 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips
12 large fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips
2 Tab minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tab lime juice
a few drops of worcestershire sauce (original recipe calls for 1.5 Tab fish sauce)
1 or 2 Tab diced green chiles from the freezer (recipe calls for 1 small Thai red chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced)
1 tsp sugar
1 Tab toasted sesame oil (original calls for 2 Tab roasted peanut oil )
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. Place the yukina savoy
cabbage, carrots, and herbs in a large bowl.
2. Whisk the lime juice, worcestershire, chile, and sugar together in a small bowl. Stir occasionally to help the sugar to dissolve, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add the peanuts, toss, and serve immediately.