Monday, April 14, 2014

Asian Coleslaw Salad: A Plant-based Winner!

Quote du Jour
     Fat has a dulling effect on taste.
          ~ Cook's Illustrated Magazine, March and April 2013 issue, page 30

Oh yum, I got home first!
Colorful Asian Coleslaw is loaded with flavor!
I beat my husband home from a morning meeting, which means I had first dibs on last night's leftover Asian Coleslaw Salad. It's so good!

An Evolving Recipe
Beginning as Chinese Chicken Salad, my coleslaw recipe has undergone many iterations over the years. In 2009, when we converted to plant-based eating, I eliminated chicken as an ingredient. Deleting the chicken actually improved the salad, somehow, the taste was "cleaner." I renamed the salad Chinese Coleslaw. 

Because any fat I eat these days I end up wearing...
I decided to try make this salad without the vegetable oil in the dressing. Afterall, the salad oil could always be added back.

...why use oil if it doesn't add flavor?
It tastes terrific! Without vegetable oil, the bright flavors of ginger, soy sauce, pineapple and orange sing! I keep going back to today's Quote du Jour. It's true, fat blurs flavor.

Some of the fresh ingredients for
Asian Coleslaw Salad
This is the best version yet of Chinese Chicken Salad, Chinese Coleslaw, Asian Coleslaw Salad!

But first
What an odd name, Coleslaw
From Wikipedia: Coleslaw is a salad consisting primarily of shredded raw cabbage....The term "coleslaw" arose in the 18th century as an Anglicisation of the Dutch term "koolsla", a shortening of "koolsalade", which means "cabbage salad."

Recipe notes: A terrific salad for a picnic or potluck, and a cool salad for hot summer days, the flavor and textures improve while sitting, so make ahead. And maybe double the recipe for leftovers!

I like a chunky salad, but the look
of this salad can differ when the
ingredients are finely chopped.
Asian Coleslaw Salad

Main dish servings: 6
Preheat oven to 325*

    1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    optional, 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Add all the above ingredients into a jar and cover with a tightly fitting lid. Give a good shake, then set aside.

    2 pkgs Top Ramen, any flavor (toss seasoning packets)
While still in the package, I hammer with a
meat tenderizer to break up the noodles.
     1/4 cup chopped almonds
    3 tablespoons sesame seeds

Break up ramen noodles while still in the package. Place dry noodles on a cookie sheet. Add chopped almonds and sesame seeds. Put sheet in the oven and toast to a light brown, 10-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven and cool.

Toast the ramen noodles, almonds
and sesame seeds to a golden brown.
   1/2 head green cabbage, chopped 
   1/2 head purple cabbage, chopped 
   1 bunch parsley, chopped
   4 green onions, chopped

     Your choice, fresh or canned:
         3 oranges, skinned and cut into chunks, 
            or 2 11-oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
         1 small pineapple, cut into chunks, 
            or 1 20-oz can pineapple chunks, drained

Add the cabbage, dressing, toss then serve!
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, parsley, onions and fruit. Add the cooled toasted crunchies, toss with the dressing and serve. 

The salad only gets better as it sits. Any leftover salad makes a great lunch for the next day...if it lasts that long!

No cartwheels till I'm done!


  1. I'm going to make this salad for Easter tomorrow! YUM!

  2. Were you able to make it? Any recommended changes? You are such a great cook, let me know of tweaks!