Potluck Cabbage Salad
Looking back on my childhood in Southern California, it seems like my family went to potlucks almost every weekend. My Dad is third generation Japanese-American from Hawaii, and I grew up in a large community of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii who had moved to the mainland for better job opportunities.
As much as I loved seeing my aunties and uncles (some biological, most not), the little foodie in me loved the food most: Kalua pork slow roasted in ti leaves, fried wontons with cream cheese filling, Hawaiian macaroni salad, mounds of white rice, intricate rainbow-layered jello, and always, a ramen cabbage salad. I never minded eating vegetables if this was the salad! I haven't had it in years, but I recently remembered it and have been craving it ever since.
The original recipe calls for a bag of coleslaw mix, a package of top ramen (including the soup packet) and a lot of sugar in the dressing. Taking the same basic idea (minus the ramen but with no shortage of crunch), I've re-created this classic potluck dish for modern gatherings. It requires a bit more work, but you get a lot in return: An actual healthy and delicious salad that's still ridiculously easy and quick. The next time you find yourself going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest or Google scrambling to find a side dish to bring to your next community gathering, try this one. I kid you not, there's something about this salad that will have everyone asking you for the recipe!
Potluck Cabbage Salad
- 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
- 1/4 head of red cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch of kale, shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated (on the large side of a box grater)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (a good quality vegetable or canola oil will also work)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- Mix dressing ingredients with a whisk in a small mixing bowl.
- Place salad ingredients in salad bowl, reserving 1/2 the amount of nuts and sesame seeds.
- Mix in salad dressing, sprinkle on remainder of nuts and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
- If you are planning to travel with this salad, wait to mix in the dressing. Though kale and cabbage are quite hearty, the dressing will make them sweat quite a bit before you reach your destination!