If you’ve been wondering how easily a few simple ingredients come together to form an amazing superfood salad in the time it takes for you to decide what you want to watch on Netflix, this Asian Cabbage Salad recipe is for you!
I love Napa cabbage, aka Chinese cabbage as it originates in Mainland China. But, now this cruciferous crop has become so popular it’s even being grown here in Canada and all over the West. If you haven’t tried using it, you’re in for a treat. It’s part of the brassica family of vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower and cabbage (the other round, kind), but it’s got a much more mild flavor; kinda like celery. And, it’s much easier to slice up than other cabbages because its leaves are lighter and not as dense.
Even though napa cabbage is a light-coloured leafy green it’s still packed with all the good stuff we know and love from our other cruciferous veggies like sulfuric compounds to help detoxify the liver, folate, and soluble and insoluble fibre which is good for just about everything under the sun including lowering cholesterol, improved gut health and hormonal balance.
So, it’s settled, we LOVE napa cabbage. And once you see how easily the rest of this recipe comes together and how tasty it is, you’ll be doing cartwheels in the kitchen (but only if it’s safe 😉
Adding shredded carrots, red pepper, green onion and cilantro is like the healthy version of chocolate and peanut butter: they just go together. And on top of being an unbeatable Asian-inspired flavour combo, those colourful ingredients also give the salad a boost of complimentary immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin A, C and lots more folate and potassium. The salad is also super hydrating thanks to the cabbage and red peppers, which are bursting with water.
Adding seeds and nuts rounds things out with healthy fats, vitamin E and calcium so that you’re really getting all the bases covered with this simple superfood salad. But, I gotta say, it’s the Awesome Sauce that really brings this salad to a whole other level.
I make two version of my awesome sauce: one that’s a more fluid and one that becomes a bit stiffer like a whipped mayo. Either will work on this salad. If you make the emulsified (thicker sauce) you can easily add it to any of your favourite dishes, but it also makes a great dip for veggies and rice crackers. The only difference between the two is added water. And here’s how it’s done.
- 1 head Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced
- 6 large carrots shredded
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
- ½ c finely chopped green onions or chives
- ½ c fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ c chopped almonds
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Add cabbage, carrots and chives into a large bowl and mix until combined.
- Add ½ c of awesome sauce and mix well to combine.
- Top with cilantro, red pepper, sesame seed and almonds and an extra squeeze of lime.
- Tip: Try adding mandarin segments or sliced
mangofor a burst of added sweetness. And, for a heartier meal, combine this salad with brown rice, buckwheat noodles or edamame.
- ½ c olive oil/avocado oil
- ½ c toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp chili flakes
- ¼ c (approx.) filtered water if emulsification is desired.
- Add all ingredients into blender and blend until evenly combined.
- Note: for the emulsified/thicker sauce, add the water at the end while continuing to blend. You’ll see it instantly starts to form a thicker and lighter-coloured mayo-like consistency. Fun!
- This sauce will keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 5 days.
As always you can tweak this and make it your own. I’d love to see what you’ve got going on in your kitchen. If you make it, snap a pic and tag me @kimdeoncom so I can see your creations!