Asian Coleslaw

We eat a lot of cabbage around here. Could be my father’s Minnesota German roots, but for whatever reason, coleslaw is on the menu several times a week. I recently had a lovely Asian coleslaw at a local grill, that was served with an ahi tuna burger. This is my attempt to recreate that coleslaw, and I think I’ve come pretty close (may try my hand at the burger sometime too). It’s super easy to put together; the defining ingredients are cabbage, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. This version also has some peanut butter in the dressing and some twice toasted peanuts. So good! We had to stop eating it after our “test kitchen” tasting, just to save enough for dinner.

The dressing on this salad is peanut-based. If you have a food allergy to peanuts, you can substitute tahini for the peanut butter (or leave it out all together), and toasted sesame seeds for the peanuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
  • 4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (if seasoned rice vinegar is not available, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to regular rice vinegar)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa, green, purple, or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup toasted, salted, shelled, peeled peanuts

Optional

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced green onions or chives

Method

1 Prepare dressing. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl. Add the vegetable oil and the toasted sesame oil and whisk until nicely smooth. Whisk in the seasoned rice vinegar and do a taste test. Depending on how you like your dressing, how salty your peanut butter is, how seasoned your rice vinegar is, you may want to add a little more vinegar, a little more sugar, or a little salt. (Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing.)

2 Toast the peanuts. Although the roasted peanuts from the store may already be cooked, you'll get even better flavor with just a little toasting. Heat a small skillet on medium high heat and add the nuts to the pan. Do not ignore or the nuts can easily burn. Stir a little with a wooden spoon until the peanuts begin to get browned in spots and you can smell the toasting aromas. Remove peanuts from pan to a dish.

3 In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage, grated carrots, and peanuts together, and any other optional ingredients you care to add (like a little chopped cilantro or green onions). Right before serving, mix in the dressing.

Great with fish or burgers.

Main Ingredients

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