This super simple salad is bold, crunchy, spicy and always well received. It is perfect for any Asian themed meal, or during the hot summer months when your body is craving light greens.
The salad pops with flavor, sweet from the sugar is balanced by the sour from the lime juice and the finish is a slow burn from the spicy Thai chilies. It is a salad that you will crave more of. Make sure you make the dressing to be bold but well balanced with no single flavor dominating the others.
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2 fresh green or red Thai chilies, very finely minced
2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
3 tablespoons palm sugar or sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
A few drops fish sauce, Vietnamese preferred
4 tablespoons oil, olive oil or any neutral oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
.Salt, to taste
1 large Napa (Chinese) cabbage, very finely shredded into srtips
3 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup red onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Make the dressing by combining the first 9 ingredients in bowl and mixing well to dissolve the sugar. Stir every few minutes till the sugar is completely dissolved. Taste and make sure the dressing is very bold, the sweet, sour and chili are strong, balanced and equally represented. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature for the flavors to come together.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
To serve, drizzle some of the dressing on the salad and toss well. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side for those who would like more. As a note, do not dress the salad too early, the acid in the dressing tends to discolor the herbs and wilt the cabbage.