One of My Go-To Salads: East-West Slaw

Last night I made a salad I’ve prepared for years, a testament to its goodness. The name – East West Slaw – reflects its fusion ingredients – Asian (rice vinegar, gingerroot) with a touch of Southwest flavor (cilantro, jalapenos). It’s more of a salad than a slaw, but with its main ingredient being Napa cabbage, it can technically be called a slaw. The flavors are sweet, sour, salty, and very refreshing. I typically serve it as a side in an Asian meal like we had last night, hoisin-ginger-Sriracha marinated flank steak. Since the dressing has no mayo and a high acid content, it’s excellent picnic or BBQ fare. The slaw also offers a nice contrast in taste and texture atop shredded pork in sandwiches. Similar as it is to kimchi, leftovers are tasty in scrambled eggs, which was my lunch today. Eggs mellow the pronounced vinegar flavor that intensifies with leftovers. And if you’re a Sriracha addict like Connor, feel free to mix in a big, heaping spoonful of hot sauce.

East-West Asian Slaw
Serves 6

1/2 C rice vinegar
1/3 C granulated sugar
2 shallots, minced
1 T minced fresh gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 C minced cilantro leaves
1 small head Napa cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1 C grated carrot
1/2 t – 1 t salt to taste

In a small saucepan, heat and stir the vinegar and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Stir in the shallots, gingerroot, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Set aside. This can be made in advance and refrigerated.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the carrots. One hour before serving, add the dressing and toss to combine. It’s tasty if you are pressed for time, it’s fine eaten after just being combined.

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