It is that time of year when the vegetable choices at my CSA, Laughing Stock Farm, are more limited, and there is lots of red and green cabbage as well as carrots. In looking for ways to use these vegetables, I decided to make this Asian slaw.
Here on the coast of Maine, there are two fabulous restaurants owned by a young chef and her mom, Tao Yuan in Brunswick and Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland. The chef is Cara Stadler, who at age 29 is a three-time James Beard award nominee and 2014 Food & Wine's Best New Chefs. If you are up this way, I highly recommend both restaurants. One of the things I (and everyone else it seems) love to order at either restaurant is the fantastic Asian slaw. While I would love to have her recipe, and mine isn't an attempt at a copy, I was inspired to add a few things to mine based upon hers, particularly the snow peas and crispy shallots. This one is delicious too.
You can even turn this into a main course salad with the addition of some shelled edamame and more chopped peanuts for protein.
Asian Slaw With Peanuts
A healthy and delicious slaw with a peanut sauce - serves 6
For the Dressing
- 3 T. honey
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- 3 T. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 T. soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 3 T. peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 T minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
For the Vegetables
- 3-4 cups thinly sliced green & red cabbage (Food processor works great for this)
- 2 cups grated carrots (food processor makes these a little too fine, so I do by hand)
- 2 cups thinly sliced, de-stringed snow peas (sliced the long way)
- 2 medium scallions, finely sliced
Toppings (your choice)
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
- Crispy fried shallots—this makes the dish more complicated, but is what Cara Stadler puts on hers that makes her slaw the best I’ve ever eaten. You can make these by slowly frying thinly sliced shallots in some oil until crispy, and adding a pinch of salt.
- Hot chili oil or hot sauce of your choice if you like it spicier
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl or food processor. Stir until well-mixed. Taste it to see whether it needs salt, or add hot sauce if you want to make it spicier.
- Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. If you have the fried shallots, add them just before serving, and top with chopped peanuts and other toppings of choice. Serve cold or room temperature.
When there is time, I like to salt the cabbage and let it sit for about a half an hour to allow some of the water to drain from it. This results in a less watery dressing if you don’t eat it all on the day you make it.