Cabbage Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing

Coleslaw somehow became a staple in our house. I’m really not sure how it started, but I think it had something to do with a pulled pork sandwich. Not wanting a mayo-y slaw, a la KFC, the search for a vinegar based dressing began. It needed to be something that could cool the spicy flavors of shredded pork, fish tacos or mole. Something bright and tangy. My first slaw rendition incorporated olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and variety of veggies and cabbage. Delicious, but tiresome. I craved a new way to dress up my cabbage. Something that would hold its bite (and not break down the next day and turn into a soggy mess), could be gulped down by the spoonful without the aid of juicy meat or starchy tortillas. Something simple… sweet, but also spicy and fresh. Was I asking too much?

Well, I found it. Easy to whip up, even easier to gulp down. This cabbage coleslaw has an asian twist that’s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and creamy. The peanut butter coats the cabbage and carrots with a sheen of tempting gloss. The red pepper flakes add just the right amount of heat and the sesame oil, oh the sesame oil, deepens the flavors, adding an intense and nutty finish. We devoured the entire bowl of this stuff in the space of 2 days. I imagine it would be delicious alongside grilled fish or chicken, but unfortunately I cannot tell you for certain since we ate it straight from the bowl.

Do not miss out on the sesame seeds as garnish. The crunch they add gives this dish the extra bite that keeps you coming back for more.

4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium green napa cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
3 green onions, thinly sliced
sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the dressing by whisking together the first 6 ingredients (peanut butter through to red pepper flakes). In a large bowl combine chopped cabbage, carrots and green onions. Toss vegetables with dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Tip: Make dressing ahead of time and toss right before serving in order to keep the cabbage nice and crunchy


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