Friday, June 25, 2010

Spicy Green Slaw

Spicy Green Slaw

Yesterday I promised to show you the slaw I made with my kohlrabi. Shortly after I posted that, Luisa beat me to the punch! I just wanted to alert you, so you could make a well informed decision about how to use your kohlrabi. And I promise I won't feel bad if you make hers (with carrots! and fennel seed!) instead.

Mine is quite spicy, though I think that's because I had a freakishly hot jalapeno. Freakishly hot, I say, because usually I can handle jalapenos without batting an eye. Freakishly hot, I say, because the next morning when I woke up, my left hand was STILL burning. People, be ye not so silly: I held the pepper with my naked left hand while I chopped with my knife-holding right hand. Next time, I'm going to use a fork or some plastic wrap to guard my sensitive cuticles. If you have a freakishly hot jalapeno, you might want to only use half of it.

173/365: Kohlrabi

So anyway, after you've taken many precautions while mincing your jalapeno, take your freaky alien fruit from space, you peel it, then you cut it into matchsticks [Make thin slices. Stack the slices. Slice the stack. Ta-da!] Mix it up with many other crunchy, green, early summer vegetables and tossed with a spicy asian influenced dressing. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Spicy Green Slaw
We were still in meat-recovery mode, so we just had bowls of this for dinner (and, ok, a bite or two of ice cream for dessert), but I think it would be a practically perfect sidecar to grilled shrimp or maybe chicken with a glaze of hoisin sauce.

For the slaw:
1/4 green cabbage, sliced thin
1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into long thin matchsticks (julienne)
handful of sugar snap or snow peas, sliced on the diagonal
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (small handful)
kosher salt
sesame seeds for garnish

For the dressing:
2 teaspoons rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned, if you use unseasoned you may want to add a bit of sugar or honey for balance)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 - 1 tsp sesame oil
2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

First, make the dressing. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar or honey if using, soy sauce, sesame oil and grapeseed oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and add more soy sauce if too bland or more grapeseed oil if too pungent.

Put the thinly sliced cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle kosher or sea salt over the cabbage (half a teaspoon or so) and use your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage to wilt it a bit.* 

Add the kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, minced jalapeno (reserve half to add back later if your pepper is freakishly hot) and cilantro, then add the dressing and toss to combine the whole thing. I use my hands for this, but you can use tongs if you like. Taste and add more jalapeno if it's not spicy enough for you. Dish out into bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

*As I mentioned above, I had some thinly sliced, salted cabbage left over from making sauerkraut, which is quite easy if you have a digital scale. Here is how I learned it: Discard any funky or dirty outer leaves of a green or red cabbage. Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Thinly slice the cabbage quarters. Put a big bowl on the scale. Zero out the scale. Put the sliced cabbage in the bowl - use grams instead of ounces. Calculate 2 percent of the weight of the cabbage (692 grams of cabbage x .02 = 13.84). In a separate small vessel, weigh out the salt - in this case, 14 grams. Oh, and make sure the ingredients list on your kosher salt is just "salt" with no anti-caking agents. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and start massaging it, squishing and squeezing with your hands to encourage the liquid out of the cabbage. Start packing the cabbage into a clean glass jar, really squishing it in there hard - we use a cocktail muddler. As you press the cabbage, the liquid will rise up around it. When the jar is full, you want all the cabbage to be submerged under the liquid it releases. Put a lid loosely on the jar and leave it on your counter for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. Release the lid ("burp" the kraut) every day. As long as the cabbage is submerged beneath the liquid, the kraut will keep fermenting. Taste it every couple of days - once you like it, stick it in the fridge. I learned in person from this guy at last year's Can-O-Rama, but you can watch him here.


  1. I love this recipe! While there's nothing better than a refreshing salad, I miss the heat (the spice, that is) that seems to be lacking in most summer foods. This looks just wonderful. Great post!

  2. A saw Louisa's slaw and it looks great....but so does this one. I feel you about the hot jalapeno - I had one of those once. This looks delicious!

  3. Found you through Louisa's blog after searching for a kohlrabi recipe (it also came in my CSA basket). Hers sounded yummy, but yours is more my style. Can't wait to try it!

    By the way, great blog! =)

  4. looks good, i'll have to pick one up next time i see it ;)