I call this salad “theoretically local” because in theory, nappa cabbage, mung bean sprouts, carrots, and scallions could all be grown and bought in SE Michigan. As late as November, I could have bought them at the market – and all of these things keep pretty well into this part of the winter, so if I’d had my act together, I could have made it from local ingredients last night. However, being far from a perfect locavore, I’m guessing all of these ingredients actually came from California. I’m not such a fanatic that I refuse to let trucked-in produce pass my lips.
In fact, I think there is great value in theoretically local foods. Eating things that could grow in your area and could be gotten out of storage this time of year helps you change your tastes. It helps you explore the idea of local/seasonal food without the overhead and commitment of tracking down food sources or growing your own. In short, it teaches me that this salad is the kind of salad to be eating in late January, instead of a romaine-tomato-cucumber type of salad.
As an added bonus, it keeps for a week in the fridge, and if you shred extra ingredients, you’ve practically made kimchee. 🙂
Recipe for Asian-style cabbage salad after the break…
Asian-style cabbage salad
Use nappa or celery cabbage, or another type of crinkly cabbage that appears to be masquerading as lettuce. Since sizes vary, I give proportions in the recipe below.
- 3 parts shredded nappa cabbage
- 1-2 parts shredded carrots
- 1 part mung bean sprouts
- 3-6 scallions, chopped into rings
- (In other seasons, I’d also add pea pods cut into strips, strips of bell pepper, and shredded cucumber or zucchini)
Toss these together in a bowl. This mix is also a nice kimchee blend.
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4-1/2c. water
- 2 Tbl. soy sauce or Bragg’s
- scant 1/4 c. mild vegetable oil
- 1-2 Tbl. toasted sesame oil
- Salt to taste
Whisk dressing together and pour over salad; toss. Let sit at least 1/2 hour before eating. Keeps in the fridge – dressing and all – for at least a week. As the dressing soaks into the cabbage, it resembles slaw more than salad.