What a treat to have an irresistible, healthful dish that is low in calories. I find this cilantro-infused cole slaw so delicious that I keep going into the fridge to steal spoonfuls of it. What brings it to life is the mayonnaise alternative: seasoned Chinese rice vinegar (rice vinegar with sugar and salt – available in most supermarkets) and just a touch of sesame oil. Although you can tinker with the ingredients with success, using that sweetened light vinegar is what lends a delicate acidity to the slaw. Another indispensable ingredient is Napa cabbage. The tenderness of that cruciferous vegetable is unequalled among cabbages, although Savoy cabbage is an acceptable second choice if Napa cabbage is unavailable.
Serve the slaw alongside a sandwich, veggie burger, or stir fry, or pack it for an easy lunch along with some crusty French bread and a hunk of cheese.
Incidentally, you will notice that some liquid will accumulate in the bottom of the bowl after the cole slaw sits a while. You can pour the excess off and the slaw will still be moist yet crisp. When salt is added to raw vegetables, it draws out the moisture – that’s the explanation for the moisture accumulation.
6 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
3/4 cup minced cilantro
3 tablespoons Chinese seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the vegetables and cilantro in a large bowl. Sprinkle on the remaining ingredients and toss well. Let sit at least 20 minutes before serving so the flavors can meld. Cover and chill any leftovers. Pour off any accumulated liquid before serving again.