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Asian style Coleslaw

SE Asian Style Coleslaw

SE Asian Style Coleslaw

It’s 12 months since we relocated to Brisbane. I had grand plans for my balcony garden then, declaring that I’d only grow edibles. Reality hit home when the tomatoes failed to flower, radishes only grew leaves and numerous pots of herbs robust by nature failed to thrive. Food crops need a lot more sunshine than they’ll ever get on my balcony.

Essentially it’s a room without a wall at the northern end, so in winter it’s flooded with sunshine, in summer all it gets is a narrow sliver hard against the half glazed edge. I’ve decided to embrace the tropical rainforest understory look and fill the shady space with palms, ferns and impatiens. Miraculously the basil, mint and parsley I planted last summer have continued to flourish behind the glass throughout our mild winter so that sunny strip at the northern boundary hopefully will continue to be the perfect aspect for essential herbs.

It was time to cut them hard, spring growth comes early in Brisbane so an Asian style coleslaw seemed like the perfect place for the colander laden with beautiful young mint, Vietnamese mint and basil leaves.

I find a razor sharp mandolin an indispensable tool when cutting vegetables for salad.

SE Asian Coleslaw

1/2 small wombok ( Napa cabbage), finely shredded

1 large carrot, but into fine julienne

6 radishes, very felt sliced

Large handful young tender mint leaves

Large handful young tender Vietnamese mint leaves

Large handful basil leaves

Large handful coriander leaves

Small bunch garlic chives, finely snipped

1 long red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced

dressing:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 tablespoons lime juice

Toss the vegetables and herbs together in a bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together to dissolve the sugar.

Just before serving toss the dressing through the salad.

Serves 2 generously

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

26 comments on “Asian style Coleslaw

  1. ChgoJohn
    October 5, 2016

    This sounds so very good, Sandra, especially the use of fish sauce in the dressing. It sounds so much more appetizing than mayo-based dressing. Mint is not easily sourced here and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Vietnamese mint anywhere. Perhaps at one of the Asian markets with a larger produce section? Looks like i need to go shopping. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2016

      Vietnamese mint AKA ram rau has a unique flavour, hope you can source some. I’d be bereft without fresh mint..

      Like

  2. Michelle
    October 1, 2016

    Perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glenda
    September 26, 2016

    Hi Sandra, I can hardly believe I am saying this but I am looking forward to a bit of warmth and some salads. It is still very very cold here. It has been a long cold wet winter in the SW of WA. We are yet to have a nice spring day. I am not complaining, to the contrary, I love it, but it is time for a bit of sunshine. I know it won’t be long before I am complaining of the heat.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 26, 2016

      I understand those end of seasons blues Glenda, a longing for the change, I’m just missing the four distinctions.

      Like

  4. StefanGourmet
    September 25, 2016

    I’m not very fond of the usual coleslaw, but made from napa cabbage it’s great!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2016

      Agree totally Stefan, and with loads of herbs and nuoc cham as dressing it’s a totally different salad to the mayo soaked version.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. EllaDee
    September 24, 2016

    How our vege garden will pan out remains to be seen, our first efforts last summer were hit and miss. Which is why coleslaw is so handy, the carrots & cabbage of the moment keeps well in the crisper, important when 30 kms from town. Finally convincing the G.O. it has merit took similar treatment used in your Asian coleslaw, now it’s a regular so I look forward to making this version 😊

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 24, 2016

      If you can get the herbs growing Dale it’s a beauty. Loving your Insta journey…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eha
    September 23, 2016

    Love the salad and shall copy it faithfully your way! Pity so many people do not appreciate the value of whole handfuls of herbs!! Unusual dressing without an ‘oil’ component but sounds like s’thing I would really like! Am lucky: live in a cottage with a sunny W-facing wall and no windows on that side – what a delightful place to ‘hide’ my herb collection tho’ it does have to be watered twice daily in mid-summer heat! Yes, lemongrass and coriander can go wild even here 🙂 !

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 23, 2016

      Yes herbs by the handful, they are wonderful salad greens Eha. Gardening varies by aspect and climate, just need to work out what’s best for what you have. It’s been a bit of a process for me..

      Like

  7. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    September 23, 2016

    We live on this sort of salad through the warmer months Sandra, and always an extra special feeling when part of it is homegrown!

    Like

  8. notetotraveler
    September 22, 2016

    The salad looks delicious. We had a similar issue with a balcony garden – just a sliver of afternoon sun. After giving it our best effort, the few, tough-skinned tomatoes that did grow were chewed up by a squirrel. We relented and stuck to buying veggies at the Farmer’s Market.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 23, 2016

      Farmer’s markets are well worth supporting and I find the quality of the produce outstanding, but still that romantic notion of homegrown lingers. Thanks for commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  9. polianthus
    September 22, 2016

    you made me smile, I have had the same experience, where passion encountered reality in gardening and I had to embrace what I had which is north west facing balcony, lots of afternoon sun and east facing balcony with some morning sun but mostly shade…in the shade I grow fuchsias, begonias, hydrangeas and drooping heart (lamprocampnos) which is a very pretty plant and does super well in the shade. I am was not a big fan of any of these plants, but as they are so supremely healthy on the balcony, they have won me over…Happy Thursday Poli

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 22, 2016

      We keep learning, don’t we Poli. It’s not the first time that reality has modified my idealism. I now have some fuschias in hanging baskets, palm trees and ferns. They seem to like my balcony

      Like

  10. chefceaser
    September 22, 2016

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

    Like

  11. Francesca
    September 22, 2016

    a lovely combination and one for me to remember some summer. Your dressing beats mayo for sure. One could live on this.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 22, 2016

      You’re so right, you could live on this. I think I might have been inspired by your travels.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. katechiconi
    September 22, 2016

    I have the opposite problem: sunburned crops in my vegie beds – at least, the ones that survive the plague of grasshoppers, the sooty mould, the aphids… My Asian herbs, however, LOVE it, my lemongrass is 3 metres tall!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 22, 2016

      It’s a changing life long gardening habits that’s a challenge for me but I’m learning. your lemongrass sounds amazing

      Like

  13. ardysez
    September 22, 2016

    I love Vietnamese salad. Beautiful photo Sandra. There are many things I can’t grow where we live too, so I sympathize. Best of luck with the herbs.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 22, 2016

      Thanks Ardys. Remains to be seen if the herbs continue over summer, but I’ve adopted the rainforest understory look of palms and ferns for the mainly shaded area

      Like

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