I love fresh Asian style salads such as Thai Beef or beautiful Vietnamese slaws, however a lot of the recipes contain either a bucket load of ingredients. sugar or fish sauce. Don’t get me wrong I bloody love fish sauce however, if you are cooking for vegetarians or vegans I am pretty sure they won’t appreciate some fish juice in their salad! The flavours in this aren’t as complex and is my own anglo take on Asian slaws so I don’t claim that is at all 100% authentic but is simple, easy and really hits the spot if you want some sort of fresh salad. Asian foods are definitely my weak spot in my culinary style but I have a few basic skills that I can throw together to get something tasty on the plate.
The mix of vegetables is pretty flexible. You just need to think about what combination of textures and flavours is going to go best. Things like wombok or cabbage are great from crunch, capsicums and carrots are great for colour and daikon adds a nice pepper flavour. Just mix it up.
Vegan Asian Slaw
Serves 6-8 as a side
½ Wombok Cabbage
2 Carrots, peeled
¼ Red Cabbage
2 Zucchini, small
½ small Daikon
2 Red Chillies
3/4 cup Cashews
3 tablespoons Sesame seeds – I used a combo of black and white because it looks pretty
½ cup Coriander Leaves, finely shredded
½ cup Mint Leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup tablespoons Tamari
Zest and juice of a Lime
3 tablespoons Mild Olive Oil or Macadamia Oil
1. Prepare all your vegetables, if you have a mandolin use that to slice all your vegetables to a similar size. Otherwise, you can slice and dice by hand. Keep everything fairly uniform and fine, you can also use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons of zucchini or daikon.
2. Finely slice the red chillies, removing the seeds if you are scared of the heat.
3. Toast the cashews in a fry pan over a moderate heat tossing occasionally. Do not leave unattended! Toast until golden and fragarent. Allow to cool and chop into chunks.
4. Now toast the sesame seeds like the cashews, again do not take your eyes off it and no need to dice
For the dressing: place all ingredient in a jar and shake thoroughly to combine.
To serve: Place the vegetables and chillies in a large salad bowl, pour over dressing and half of the toasted seeds, nuts and herbs. Toss to combine then sprinkle over the remaining nuts/seeds and herbs to garnish.