Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spicy Thai Slaw

I must admit, I was immensely pleased with how well we ate down our fridge and freezer before our cross-country trip.  Partly because I absolutely hate throwing food away and partly because I liked the challenge, I planned our meals weeks in advance so we had very minimal food to throw away and also didn't have to eat out while we were still at home.  That extra pound of steak was turned into beef jerky, the extra pound of ground beef made meatballs, the extra cube of pesto was thrown into sauteed tomatoes and garlic to make a pesto tomato sauce for the meatballs...the list goes on.

One surprising victory was the spicy Thai slaw that I made as a side dish one night.  I had half of a head of Napa cabbage in the fridge so that instantly made me think of slaw.  We don't like mayo so traditional coleslaw was out of the question but when I mentioned to my husband that I had found a spicy Asian coleslaw, he said, "Spicy Thai slaw? I love that stuff from Claim Jumper!"  I'm not sure what the difference between this spicy Asian slaw recipe and Claim Jumper's spicy Thai but all I know was that it was good ("even better than Claim Jumper!") and used up even more food than I thought.  My extra carrots were grated into the slaw and red bell pepper was thinly sliced as were the forgotten-about radishes.  The tons of cilantro I found myself with were thrown into the dish and all of a sudden, I had this wonderful, vibrant dish with everything that would have gone to waste.  The name spicy Thai slaw stuck and we served it with smokey pulled chicken and whole wheat biscuits (Southern meets Asian?)...somehow, it worked.  And it worked the next day for lunch, too.

Spicy Thai Slaw
Taken from: Cookin Canuck
Serves 4-6
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and membranes removed, finely chopped (I substituted jalapeno instead)
  • 1 small Napa cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 4 scallions, sliced (I did not have any on hand so this was omitted)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Optional: sesame seeds and (if you want extra heat) crushed red pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, canola oil, lime zest, lime juice, and chile. Set aside.
  2. Separate the cabbage leaves into a large bowl. Add carrots, scallions, extra vegetables, and cilantro, and toss well.
  3. Pour the dressing into the cabbage mixture and toss again. Let stand for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4.  Serve with sesame seeds and crushed red pepper, if desired.


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