Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad

Every year around the Fourth of July, my friends Rich and Chigiy throw a huge barbecue party for their friends, and for number two son Dashiell, a July 4th baby. Every year, the talented Chigiy (pronounced “chi-gee”) makes this terrific salad with Chinese napa cabbage, radishes, snow peas, toasted slivered almonds, and a sweet soy mayo dressing. And every year, the salad all gets eaten before most get a chance to taste it, and before I am able take a photo. This year, however, Chigiy tripled the recipe (which already serves 15) and had enough left for me to capture on a pretty plate. This is a truly great salad for large summer gatherings. Much of it can be made ahead, and then assembled when you are ready to serve. Enjoy.

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad Recipe

Yum

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 8 cups (1 lb) coarsely shredded napa cabbage
  • 12 ounces snow peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/3 cups thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 1/3 cups thinly sliced green onions (including greens)
  • 1 1/3 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Dressing ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove peeled and minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Method

1 Spread almond slivers out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until nicely browned. OR toast in stick-free or cast-iron skillet on medium high, stirring frequently until browned. Set aside.

2 Combine cabbage, snow peas, radishes, green onions, cilantro in a large bowl. Can make this step a day or two ahead.

3 In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cayenne until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise.

4 When ready to serve, gently combine the dressing and almonds with the cabbage mixture.

Serves 14-16.

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Recipe adapted from one in Sunset Magazine, July 2004

Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Jennifer

    This looks really good. I would love to try it, but does anyone have a different idea for the dressing (for someone who is mayo-phobic)?

  • jonathan

    Jennifer, you may want to try subbing the mayo with plain yogurt or sour cream (lowfat if you wish) to get you close to the same texture. I think I’d throw some chow mein noodles on top for a little extra crunch…

  • finnadat

    This kinda reminds me of my default slaw that I’ve been using for years from Emeril (I know, I know, but he wasn’t so bad 10 years ago) – http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_12773,00.html. The sesame really brings up the dressing and the addition of some garlic chili adds another great layer.

  • Elly

    I don’t think I can get Napa Cabbage in lower Alabama. Would regular cabbage work okay?

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