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.
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (if seasoned rice vinegar is not available, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to regular rice vinegar)
For the salad:
- 8 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa, green, purple, or a combination)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup toasted, salted, shelled, peeled peanuts
For garnish (optional):
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 thinly sliced green onions or chives
1 Prepare the 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 Toss the salad together: In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage, grated carrots, and peanuts together, and any other optional garnishes, such as a little chopped cilantro or green onions.
Right before serving, mix in the dressing.