So far for Vegplottings Salad Days posts I have written a variety of recipes which incorporate salad leaves. This is the first though to use a leaf as a primary ingredient, in my previous posts they have been there for flavour and texture. Here they are the bulk of the dish. I absolutely adore Vietnamese Coleslaw. I only make it occasionally though as the kids are less enamoured by it. Today was one of those occasions. I planted out a couple of Chinese Cabbages about 2 months ago and today I harvested the first of them.
Whilst I like growing Chinese Cabbages, they heart up much more quickly than their European cousins which, for the impatient gardener, is something of a blessing. I do find they tend to attract all manner of creatures though. Inside the one I harvested today I found a number of slugs, a couple of worms and 3 immature snails. When I last picked one at mum and dad’s it was harbouring a couple of frogs. Cute by slightly disconcerting. On the outside they look fine but pull back a leaf or two and you’re looking at a lot of slug poo.
Whilst I used this cabbage (after significant amounts of leaf disposal and cleaning) for today’s salad the only photos I have are of a Vietnamese chicken coleslaw I made last year with one of my red cabbages. This recipe works well with all cabbage varieties – the flavour will vary a bit but the result should be equally delicious. If you wish to make a vegetarian version simply omit the chicken and the fish sauce. You will almost certainly need to add a little extra salt to compensate.
Vietnamese Chicken Coleslaw
- 2 breasts of cooked chicken – shredded.
- 250g cabbage – finely sliced
- 1 very large (or 2 medium) carrots – shredded or grated
- a handful of peanuts – chopped
- a handful of crispy fried shallots
- a handful of herbs including mint* – sliced.
- 2 tblspn lime juice
- 1 tblspn rice wine vinegar
- 1.5 tbspn fish sauce
- 2 tblspn palm (or brown) sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 clove of garlic – crushed
- 1 hot chilli – finely chopped.
Mix together the dressing ingredients, ensuring the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix together the chicken, cabbage, carrot and herbs. Dress. Place onto serving plates top with peanuts and shallots.
* Mint should always be used, I occasionally add others like Thai Basil, Coriander, and Vietnamese Mint