Monday, April 25, 2011

Napa Cabbage and Snow Pea Slaw

Surely there are other people out there like me who absolutely despise the taste of mayonnaise. I find it repulsive. The thought of mayonnaise makes me queasy. Literally. You'll never, ever, ever find it in my refrigerator! If I have to use mayonnaise, I prefer to make it myself.

What does this revulsion of mayonnaise mean? It could limit my ability to enjoy dishes such as potato and chicken salads and cole slaw.

But I refuse to be excluded!

I've spent ages looking for alternative ways to prepare slaws that don't involve the use of mayonnaise. Thank God for South East Asian cuisine!!!

One of my favorite magazines is Cooking Light. One issue a few years back featured a recipe for an Asian slaw that I make on a fairly regular basis. The sauce uses sesame oil, lime juice and fish sauce. No mayonnaise in sight! Hallelujah!

The slaw is crisp, crunchy and full of texture and sharp and tangy flavor. Over the years, I've modified the recipe by adding various julienned vegetables such as carrots.

If I want to serve it as a main course, sometimes I add grilled beef or chicken. But it tastes great by itself!

I've frequently taken this dish to potluck meals and it is always a hit.


YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
Dash of ground red pepper
4 cups (1/4-inch) slices napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut lengthwise into (1/8-inch) thin strips
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut peeled jicama
1/4 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.
To prepare slaw, combine cabbage and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing, and toss well to coat. Chill 30 minutes.

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