You won’t have trouble getting anyone to eat their vegetables when this salad is on the table. This sweet and sour slaw is a healthy substitute for traditional cabbage coleslaw, and goes well with grilled burgers, barbecued chicken, or ribs. Or add some cooked chicken right to the salad, and you’ve got a light summer meal in one bowl. I believe I got this recipe from a friend who had called it “Oriental Salad,” and it was a simple mix of mandarin oranges, cabbage, almonds, scallions, and chicken. But my males prefer veggies to fruit in a cabbage or lettuce salad, and my son Justin in particular has imposed the “no fruity-chicken” rule when he’s eating at our house. (That means he abhors the mixing of chicken and fruit in any recipe—no apple chicken crepes, etc.) So I started using the dressing recipe from the Asian salad on a mix of vegetables and a couple kinds of cabbage, and often avoiding the chicken. It’s become a summer staple. Oh, and this also boasts a creative use of ramen noodles, defying the myth that only starving college students eat ramen.
1/3 head of green cabbage OR 1/2 head of Napa cabbage, julienned
1/3 head of purple cabbage, julienned
2-3 carrots, peeled and grated
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced and diced
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed in cold water and drained
2-3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted*
2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted*
Optional: 1-2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken**
1 (3-ounce) bag uncooked ramen noodles, broken up into small pieces (discard flavor packet)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
In large bowl, combine green or Napa cabbage, purple cabbage (missing from the photo above), carrots, sweet red pepper, cucumbers, peas, and scallions. In jar or salad dressing cruet, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, curry, salt, and pepper. Put lid on jar and shake to mix. Pour dressing over vegetable mixture. At this point, salad can be refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, add toasted almonds and sesame seeds, and stir to combine. Stir in broken up ramen noodles. Serve.
*To toast almonds, spread on baking sheet and place is 325° Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden. To toast sesame seeds, spread on baking sheet and bake in oven for 5 minutes or just until golden.
**NOTE: A roasted rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a real time-saver, if you want to add meat to this recipe.