There was this head of purple cabbage in my fridge that had been forlornly staring back at me for about a week. I bought it telling myself I’d make a shredded cabbage salad, but each day I’d plan a menu that just didn’t call for any kind of cabbage salad.
So finally, as the heat got to me and the desire to actually cook just melted away, I reached for the poor cabbage before it wilted to death and decided to show it some love- with a bright dressing, fresh mint and sharp red onions. The outer leaves had to be chucked, though- too much neglect.
I made this salad with a little inspiration from the Korean Slaw recipe in It’s All Good. This salad is quite refreshing and light on it’s own, and makes a great side to stir-fry or noodles. I mixed some of the salad with cold soba noodles and toasted sesame oil to make it a one-bowl meal. If you top that with a protein, like chicken, fish, beef or tofu, then you have yourself a pretty substantial meal.
I love the colours of the salad- once the dressing is mixed in, the purple cabbage bleeds a little bit of it’s colour into the onion, so everything is jewel-toned and glossy. And the mint is just gorgeous, both in terms of colour and flavour- be sure to use the freshest mint you can get your hands on.
ASIAN PURPLE CABBAGE SLAW
- 2 cups purple cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1 large red onion, cut into half-moons
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds (you can use less, much less, in fact, about a teaspoon. I just love sesame seeds!)
- A fistful of fresh mint, torn
For The Dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Toss the cabbage and onions together in a salad bowl.
- Pour the dressing over, mix well. Scatter the sesame seeds and mint over the top and mix again. Top with a sprig of mint.
- Allow the salad to sit covered in the fridge for 15 mins to half an hour to let the flavours absorb.