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Vietnamese cabbage salad with red chilli-garlic dressing

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

Vietnamese cuisine is filled with salad and an almost neverending variety of greens. Walking through the marketplaces you will come across greens in all shapes, forms and flavours. New to most foreigners, these greens are adored by the locals and used abundantly at every meal. Ans yes salads are a large part of this diversity on the table.

This salad plays to traditional Vietnamese flavours, is full of herbs, is healthy and packed with chilli. I used red cabbage to add bitterness to the salad, and it paired well with the cucumbers and carrots. The dressing makes the salad pop, spicy and gingery, it will set your palate on fire. It is an addictive heat and one that I enjoyed.

This is one of the first cookbooks I purchased over 27 years ago. I got it to learn how to cook and because it has such a wide variety of global cuisines that pop with spice. All the vegetarian recipes are easy to make and have always turned out delicious, though, on a few occasions, I have had to turn down the heat a notch or two. Jennifer is a well-published cookbook author, with 11 books, and Jump Up and Kiss Me a brand of natural spicy foods is amazing. This is a cookbook I need to pull out more often.

For more recipes from this very spicy book, click here.


For the red chilli-garlic dressing:

3 tablespoons chilli-garlic sauce like sambal oelek

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon ginger paste

2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil

For the Salad:

1 small cabbage (See note below). finely shredded

2 carrots, julienned

A handful of cilantro, minced

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 cup bean sprouts

6 scallions, finely sliced

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

NOTE: You can use any cabbage of your choice. Asian (Napa) cabbage is traditional and very crisp, a green cabbage works but is boring, and a red cabbage looks lovely and adds some bitterness to the salad. The choice is yours.

Toss all the ingredients, except the peanuts, well and set the salad in the fridge to chill.

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

To serve, lightly sprinkle some large grain salt on the tossed salad, and pour over the dressing. Toss well. Scatter the peanuts on top and serve.

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