I just don’t like coleslaw. Cabbage, yes; cabbage dowsed in mayo, no. However, a lovely project for my master’s at an urban farm involved some recipe testing. A simple cabbage salad was one of those recipes, and I’ve taken the technique of wilting the cabbage to heart. Try this refreshing version for a simple side, filling for spring rolls, or even as a burger topper.
Nutritionally, cabbage is a great buy. For a mere fifty cents per pound, you get a good shot of vitamin C, vitamin K, some B vitamins, and a few minerals. All cabbages offer some protective benefits against cancer but red cabbage also contains anthocyanins. I’ve only made this recipe with green cabbage, but red might work too.
Minty Asian Slaw
2/3 of a medium cabbage (or a whole small cabbage)
1 T salt
3 small cucumbers (pickling cukes, preferably)
1 large sprig fresh mint
3 T rice vinegar
2-3 drops sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil
Slice the cabbage very thinly. Toss with the salt and knead lightly for 2 minutes. Allow to sit, draining, in a colander while you prepare the carrots and cucumbers. Shred the carrots coarsely and add to the cabbage. Cut the cucumbers into matchsticks (keep the peel) and stir into the carrots and cabbage. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly– about 6 times. Taste it to see if it’s still quite salty. If so, rinse more. Next, mince the mint leaves and mix together the rice vinegar, mint, sesame oil, and vegetable oil. Toss the salad with the dressing, and serve promptly.
Tip: If you’re worried about salt consumption, use 1 t salt and 2 t sugar instead of 1 T salt.