Everything else about this salad is up to negotiation. No radishes? Thinly slice fresh sweet peppers or up the carrot quantity, using some purple or yellow carrots for variety. Serranos too hot? Use seeded jalapenos. Have tomatoes? Add ‘em. Even the cabbage is negotiable. Napa cabbage mixed with watercress or a mix of greens would be great. I’d love to try this with some Little Gems, too. But leave it at cabbage and the leftovers hold up well enough to be layered into chicken or pork sandwiches, like slaw.
Some of the green onions called for in the salad are used in the dressing. You also can slice up some of the serrano chile for the salad and mince some of it for the dressing—if you don’t mind a little heat. The dressing gets better the longer it sits at room temperature. I recommend making it and letting it sit for an hour while you make the rest of a mea1, though if time is short, by all means skip this step.
Chile and Mint Cabbage Salad
- 3 green onions
- 5 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 serrano chile, minced
- 1-2 sprigs mint, leaves torn
- 1/4 cup other fresh herbs, such as cilantro or torn basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced serrano
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
- Pinch of salt
Slice the green onions thinly, using the green and white parts. Soak the onions for 5 minutes in cool water. Drain and set aside half of the green onions for the dressing.
Put the rest of the green onions and all the other salad ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the dressing, put the remaining green onions in a small bowl with the minced serrano. Pour the vinegar over the green onions and dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce and whisk in the oil. Season with salt. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (if time allows).
To serve, mix the dressing into the cabbage, ensuring all ingredients are thoroughly coated. Leftover salad keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days.