Spring is finally here (I’m armed and ready with a gigantic supply of Telfast) and all I can think about the season ahead is sunshine, wildflowers and fruit. Bring on the picnics and salads, please.
Talking about salads, I love cabbage, especially in coleslaw. From a couple of less-than-perfect carrots and a forgotten head of cabbage is a refreshing, crunchy salad. There’s always a lot of shredding involved and though the food processor may beckon, I always think the randomness of hand cut coleslaw is more endearing. (Made with love, as clichéd as that may sound.)
My favourite coleslaw is a recipe adapted from the back of a Chang’s Fried Noodles packet. Actually, I have no idea why anyone would buy the fried noodles for any other reason. (Perhaps for the other recipe on the packet, chocolate spiders…) This is a great barbecue/pot luck dish – it’s bright, fresh, sweet and savoury – with the noodles adding their oily crunch. Weirdly enough, people in general don’t like eating purple cabbage (maybe it’s the colour’s connotation?), so I usually mix it up with plain green cabbage.
Apparently this salad was a major hit in the 80’s and like the prawn cocktail, it’s time for a comeback!
(If you are wondering where that lewd, extra long sausage is from in the top photo – it’s from Elmar’s.)
Avoid using savoy cabbage as it becomes soggy mess in the dressing. Any crunchy vegetable will do – thinly sliced radishes would go great in this.
Combine in a saucepan over medium heat:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
Heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Leave to cool.
When the dressing is cool, add:
2 tbsp sesame oil
Stir the dressing. Taste and add more soy sauce if required. Add to the dressing:
1/2 cup light vegetable or canola oil
Finely shred the following:
1/2 green cabbage
1/2 purple cabbage
5 spring onions
Just before serving, toss the dressing through the vegetables. Garnish liberally with:
Chang’s Fried Noodles
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