Variations on an Asian slaw

Lately, my favourite recipe for my wife and myself has been this Asian slaw.

It starts with a basic Asian vinaigrette:

1 large clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) Soy Sauce
3/4 cup oil (200 ml) – I usually do 50% light vegetable oil & 50% extra virgin olive oil + a few drops sesame oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) granulated sugar (brown sugar is also good)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh or powdered ginger

In the original version we picked up from a friend, you would now turn to preparation of the crunchy bits – dry Ramen noodles (broken up with a knife) and almond slivers that are lightly toasted under the broiler. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and carefully and evenly toast, turning periodically.

Assembling the salad is easy. Take a bag of pre-shredded cabbage slaw mix, add some of the crunchy bits and dressing, then toss. That’s it!

Now, you can make any number of variations to suit your style and palate. For instance:

  • Omit the crunchy bits if you are fat and/or carb conscious. Just check the noodle package to see why. The almonds are still healthy and tasty, but high in fat.
  • Toast some walnuts and add them as healthier crunchy bits.
  • Make your own cabbage slaw – try using Napa cabbage, purple cabbage, bean sprouts, or finely sliced carrots.
  • Add some protein in the form of beans – mixed beans, Garbanzo beans, black beans, etc. Or try lentils.
  • Add some meat protein – dice up some leftover roast chicken and toss that in.
  • Leftover vegies are nice too – brocolli, cauliflower, green beans.
  • Edamame , or soy beans in the pod, are great too. (Make sure you take them out of the pods first, though.)

There are countless variations to an Asian slaw – all made wonderful by the tangy, salty dressing.

And it’s convenient as all heck for grabbing a quick, healthy lunch at home or at work.

Try it and tell me what you think.

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