Asian cabbage slaw

We love fresh cabbage, and by far our favorite recipe is based on the Asian Cabbage Slaw from Moosewood New Classics. This is a vinegar-based recipe, which we much prefer to mayo-based slaws. Everyone we serve this to goes nuts over it, and we can eat it by the gallon. Slaw contents can be quite variable based on the season. Here’s our spring version of this dish, incorporating the wide variety of slaw-compatible produce available right now and a few personal touches.NOTE ON INGREDIENTS
Slaw is not something that needs strict adherence to recipes. Make a nice dressing, shred lots of fresh produce, and don’t sweat the details. We like the color and texture things like beets and fennel add, but feel free to play around. The slaw in the photo uses roughly a 2:1 ratio of cabbage to everything else. We often make the dressing with a Filipino flair, using frozen calamansi juice from Meechu’s Filipino Market in north Columbia, also where we get good rice vinegar (which has a nice soft flavor that really benefits the slaw). Don’t let a lack of rice vinegar keep you from making the slaw, though; cider vinegar is a good substitute. With fall cabbage, items like sweet peppers add a different twist.

DRESSING (We often double this and keep any extra in the refrigerator in a pint jar. When doubling, a quarter cup measurer will provide sufficient precision for all ingredients and keep dishes to a minimum; just remember that 4 Tbl = ¼ cup.):
– 2 Tbl olive oil
– 1/2 to 2 Tbl sesame oil, or to taste
– 3 Tbl rice vinegar or cider vinegar
– 2 Tbl citrus juice (like calamansi, orange, or lime)
– 1 Tbl soy sauce
– 3 Tbl sugar or honey, or to taste
– 1 clove garlic or a garlic scape, minced
-1 small dried hot pepper, minced (optional)
– pinch of salt

Mix all dressing ingredients together; doing it ahead of time allows flavors to blend.

SLAW
– 4ish cups finely sliced cabbage (about 1/2 standard head; we grow standard round cabbage in the spring and Napa cabbage in the fall; both are excellent in this slaw)
– 2-4 Tbl chopped cilantro, if available & if you like it
– up to a couple cups of any of the following that happen to be available at the time, all sliced thinly or shredded:
— green onions/scallions
— carrots
— beets
— kohlrabi
— fennel (bulb &/or greens)
— sweet peppers (for fall slaw)
— hot peppers (such as Anaheims; for fall slaw)

Cut everything up or send it through a food processor. Toss produce with dressing in large bowl. Devour. We often double this to use a whole cabbage head.

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