By Riki Shore
I love this slaw inspired by the Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges. It’s crunchy, fresh, minty, sweet and spicy all at the same time. And if you have some staples on hand, like rice vinegar, limes and fish sauce, it’s a snap to make.
In the cookbook, this slaw serves as a bed for marinated, grilled chicken breasts, or chicken paillard, as the French say. It’s terrific with the chicken, but I like it even better tossed with thin slices of leftover steak, which makes an inexpensive and nutritious lunch. Just be sure to toss the dressing no more than 20 minutes before serving, since Napa cabbage isn’t as sturdy as its green or red counterparts.
The slaw also stands alone as a vegetarian side. Of course, I like it this way with sausages (ha!), but it’d be a great dish to have on the table at a potluck or other party where you know some of the guests don’t eat meat. It’s filling and nutritious – and definitely not your average Fourth of July slaw.
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
Pinch of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 small red onion
1 mint sprig
1/2 Napa cabbage
1. Mince the garlic cloves and place them in a medium bowl. Add the fish sauce, red chili flakes, pepper, sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice and oil. Whisk to dissolve the sugar and combine the ingredients.
2. Thinly slice the red onion and mint leaves and add them to the bowl.
3. Thinly slice the cabbage and add it to the bowl.
4. Grate or cut the carrot into thin matchsticks and add them to the bowl.
5. Toss the slaw well to distribute the dressing. Allow to rest at room temperature 10 – 20 minutes before serving. This slaw is best eaten on the day it’s made. For leftovers, store the veggies and the dressing separately, and combine just before serving.