• Tim

Ginger Cabbage (Asian?) Coleslaw with Peanut-Sesame Vinaigrette: closest thing to a "viral cure"

Because after Googling daily to see if anyone "is going to be the richest person in the world [whoever discovers it first that is]," we all know very well by now there is no "cure" for a virus. We can, however, help prepare our bodies to prevent, defend, or deal with viruses and other illnesses with what we eat.




Before we begin: Why the "(Asian?)" in the title? Written doubly hesitantly? Because I don't know why everyone calls this "Asian." Coleslaw itself is Dutch. That's not Asia. It has soy sauce. Some use rice vinegar or Sriracha. Some use Chinese cabbage (it's delicious). I don't think any of this makes the salad Asian though. Besides, Asia is huge. There are 49 countries in Asia. Which one is this salad from? After thorough investigation (three Google searches) I've discovered the unknown origins of Asian Slaw comes from a great chef in Boston in the 90's in his grilling cookbook.


Also, I just can't use the word "slaw." I don't know why, but it makes me uncomfortable.


My appetite during The Quarantine has been at about a 10 if a 1 is a penny stuck in a car seat next to a stale—but not rotting—french fry rounding it's third year. Let's do the math:


x = (fl + no)/p

p = the hunger of the penny


My Hunger = 10 x p


Pennies don't eat.


I stand corrected.


I just don't feel like eating anything these days. I'm the opposite of a stress eater. I'm a stress "starver" if that's a thing. I know that's not what I should say because this entire site is based around food, but I'm a terrible liar and I would rather not say anything at all about it, which I should have done but it's too late because it's all typed out already so it stays.


So, I end up eating in one of two ways:


1.

not hungry

not hungry

not hungry

STARVINGALLOFASUDDEN



2. I find a way to trigger my appetite by manipulating my senses so that I can get at least the basic nutrients to keep my body alive and virus resistant. I'll go into detail about the "manipulating senses to trigger hunger" topic very soon, but we're here for the recipe right now, right?


A quick summary for those of you who didn't yet read this post about nutrition and viruses, but basically a healthy immune system is the best way to fend off illnesses, and this recipe has a few great ingredients to do just that: cabbage, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onions, honey, ginger...


A few things to note regarding the recipe.


1. Don't follow the recipe. Use it as a guideline. If you don't have something or don't like an ingredient, use something else. Don't not make the recipe because of it.


2. Don't stick to the measurements if you don't want to. I love peanut butter and the market in my neighborhood sells ground peanut paste for at 50 pesos for a quarter kilo. Will I always live next to such a glorious convenience? No. I'm not that lucky. So you'd better be dang sure that I'm gonna eat as much as I can while I can. I double the peanut butter in every recipe that I come up with to intentionally use peanut butter just so I have an excuse to go buy too much of this and eat it as a snack. So, if you like and ingredient more or less than others, put more or less of it. If we didn't experiment with our food, we'd all still be eating...cold rabbit or something? I don't know what we ate before, but we'd still be

eating that.


3. Don't worry what it looks like. The ingredients are the same not matter how good you are at chopping and mincing or if you don't have a kitchen tool that you use once per year to press garlic into snowflakes but you forgot about it this year (again! that's four years in a row since you bought it four years ago...) and it just takes up space the rest of the time. There are some cool things that happen with visual triggers that affect digestion, hunger, and nutrition, but in this case, the colors and smells are doing all the work regardless of their little shapes. For this very reason, I don't photoshop the life out of my photos. It should be inviting and real, not another casually overproduced Instagram pic. We live in the real world.


So to prove it to you, below is a picture that has not been photoshopped beyond recognition. I accidentally missed some cilantro leaves that went to wherever fresh things go when they die (the Wal-Mart produce section?) so rather than spend the time and truth it takes to shop it back to life, I covered the worst spots with corona virus cartoons from a gif I made. Why are they frowning? Because they know that this slaw is threat to their existence. Personally, I think there's something going on between the starry-eyed gal on the left and the combover in the middle. Best of luck, lovers!


Prep Time: 5-165 minutes*

Total Time: ...*

Yield: Ok, I yield*

Calories: Yes


*I don't know your life. I don't know how fast you chop or how hungry you are... sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to make and I eat it as a full meal by myself. Sometimes I start the dressing in the morning so it can marinate because it's more delicious that way. If I'm slow and do it all in one go, it takes me 30. I also don't generally don't count calories with slow food or anything predominantly made of fresh vegetables. All that does is scare people into limiting their healthy food intake. Go wild. Eat the cabbage. The only potentially offensive ingredient here would be the peanut butter if it's not quality, but the amount is negligible, so 'slaw it up.


Hmmm, I did use "slaw"after all....


Ingredients

1-1.5 heads of cabbage (red*, white, "asian"/Napa cabbage or a mix)

1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)

2 red bell peppers, sliced 3 green onions, chopped

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1/2 - 1 cup cilantro ( parsley is ok, too) chopped


*Red/Purple cabbage is the offers the highest amount of antioxidants per dollar!

Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon olive, sunflower, or peanut oil ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 1-2 tablespoons honey or equally inoffensive liquid sweetener

1-2 tablespoons peanut paste or butter 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce or amino acids 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (not from a jar, don't be lazy) 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped to you ability**

1/2 teaspoon natural salt if you must (the soy is usually enough and salt will wilt your vegetables)

Optional stuff: Toasted sesame seeds Roasted peanuts

(these can be toasted quickly in a frying pan. Get an un-oiled pan hot, add the nuts or seeds and keep them moving. Don't walk away—they burn quickly!)

Dried cranberries or other fruit

Chopped jalapeño for the salad mix

Chili powder or sriracha for the dressing (to taste)

Edamame


Optional other:


Air freshener (cabbage really cleans you out...)

Instructions

1. Make the dressing first or ahead of time to let it do it's thing. Mix the oil, soy, and peanut butter together until smooth. Add the rest and let sit.


2. Combine the cabbage and vegetables in a bowl, keeping the cilantro or substitute on the side and let everyone add it themselves.

3. Can you guess? Pour the dressing on the vegetable mixture 10-15 minutes before eating, or don't! It tastes better if you do, though.


I personally think the flavor is better the next day, although the texture isn't as crisp. Sometimes I'll reserve a bit of cabbage and carrots to add to the second-day stuff, if there's leftovers. That way i have the best of both.





**To peel the ginger, I scrape the tip of a spoon along the sides longways and it comes right off. Did you know that spoons have a proper anatomy?



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