A month or so ago while in search of a good side dish for dinner, I was lucky enough to land on this little gem of a recipe from Food Network Chef Guy Fieri for Asian Slaw. I became instantly addicted to this stuff, and in fact just brought it to Easter lunch at my Aunt and Uncle’s last weekend. It’s especially great to bring to a gathering because it’s easy to prep ahead of time and doesn’t wilt since the veggies used aren’t leafy. Plus, the colorful ingredients make it very pretty. Pretty food receives extra points in my kitchen.
In essence, Asian Slaw is a bunch of chopped and julienned veggies tossed in a dressing you make yourself. I prefer to serve salad with homemade dressing. Mostly in hope of the cross-your fingers-for-moment one of your dinner guests loudly exclaims, “Wow, this dressing is fantastic, where is it from?” In which case the obviously-practiced-but-breezily-stated reply is, “Oh, that old dressing? Just something I threw together myself.” Applause may or may not follow - in the event it does, it’s only polite to do some sort of bow or curtsey.
However, I will admit the prep for this recipe can be a bit daunting. It’s listed as being “easy” on the Food Network site, which I found somewhat insulting since after making it the first time I was so exhausted from chopping that napping sounded more enticing than eating dinner. Ok, perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic. I promise once you eat it it’ll be worth every agonizing slice. Plus, you can look at it as an opportunity to perfect your knife work.
In subsequent Asian Slaw adventures, I found some ways around all the chopping. An extra set of hands or a mandoline go a long way, as does buying some of the veggies pre-shredded. Also, wine always helps.
Ta-da! See, I told you it was pretty.
Guy Fieri’s Asian Slaw
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons mirin, or white wine (Marissa tip: If you buy regular white wine instead of mirin or cooking wine you only need 4 tablespoons and then you basically have a whole bottle of wine left to enjoy while cooking!)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
- 1 cup julienned carrots (Marissa tip: You can find pre-shredded bags of cabbage with carrots at the grocery store by the fresh veggies. It’s nice to use as a base and saves a lot of time.)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced bok choy (Marissa tip: I use baby bok choy. Because it’s easier to handle and let’s face it, miniature versions of things are cuter.)
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup julienned snap peas
- 1/2 cup julienned green onions
- 15 wonton skins, fried (Marissa tip: Unless you’re feeling particularly chef-y and want to do this yourself, you can buy wonton strips in the crouton section of the grocery store.)
- Peanuts, for garnish (Marissa tip: I’ve forgotten to add peanuts every time I’ve made it so far, oops! If you do add them, please just make sure none of your guests are allergic to peanuts.)
In a small saucepan add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ginger and garlic, lightly saute until lightly brown. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Saute for 5 minutes and remove from heat. When cool whisk in olive oil, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
Mix all vegetables in a bowl and toss with dressing. Garnish with crushed wontons and peanuts. (Marissa tip: I sprinkle toasted sesame seeds all over this when it’s done. Gives it a little extra texture and a lot of extra flavor.)
Happy chopping! And don’t forget to practice your curtsey, just in case.
You can find the original recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/asian-slaw-recipe/index.html