Potluck Cabbage Salad

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

Serves: 4-6

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Cooking time:

Ingredients – 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

Ingredients – Dressing:
  • 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

Instructions:
  1. Mix dressing ingredients with a whisk in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place salad ingredients in salad bowl, reserving 1/2 the amount of nuts and sesame seeds.
  3. Mix in salad dressing, sprinkle on remainder of nuts and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
  4. 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!