Asian Cabbage Salad with Edamame and Creamy Sesame Dressing

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Living in Southeast Asia, I eat a lot of Asian food… like this cabbage salad with creamy sesame dressing.  But when I go home for the summer, I almost never eat Asian food.  Funny that!  I have no idea why, since I can get all most of the ingredients I need at my local grocery stores in Denver… I guess it just doesn’t sound as appealing in North America.

But here, it sounds good all the time!

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

I demo’d this salad at the Asia CEO Health Summit  2 years ago, and have been making it ever since… with a few modifications, of course!  You know me.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Many Asian salads are based on cabbage or some other sturdy green vegetable besides lettuce, likely because it’s too hot to grow lettuce here (except in the highlands)!  But that’s just as well, because cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse.  It’s packed with Vitamin C, and since it’s eaten raw, this heat-sensitive vitamin is left intact.  Cabbage is also rich in fiber, minerals and cancer-preventing phytochemicals.  Not that I have anything against a good ol’ dark-green lettuce… I’m just giving the humble cabbage 2-thumbs up for those who have never tried it as a salad base.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

This salad is filling, what with the fiber from all the veggies and protein from the edamame & sesame seeds, yet it’s light enough for lunch or even as a side dish.  But if you want to bump it up a notch, add some baked tofu or leftover chicken, and some cooked brown rice or quinoa… everyone will call you clever for thinking of it.  And then you will have a dish hearty enough for dinner.  Go you!

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Of course, it’s the dressing that makes the salad… we all know that.  This particular one is modified from the traditional Japanese soy sesame dressing that’s based on mayonnaise.  I ditched the mayo and used blended cashews instead, along with soy sauce, sesame oil, & lime juice (in Philippines we use calamansi juice.)  But if you have a nut allergy, just sub back mayo instead, and if you’re gluten-free, use GF tamari in place of the soy sauce.  It also calls for black sesame seeds, but if you can’t find them (like I couldn’t! Go figure…) just use white.  Your pictures won’t be as pretty as they could have been…

Asian Cabbage Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

… but your salad will still be delicious!  Enjoy!

Asian Cabbage Salad with Edamame and Creamy Sesame Dressing

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Asian Cabbage Salad with Edamame and Creamy Sesame Dressing

A quick & delicious Asian cabbage salad with edamame & a creamy vegan sesame dressing based on blended raw cashews.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups shredded Napa cabbage (1 medium cabbage)
  • 1 cup steamed edamame beans, shelled
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ cup snow peas, steamed for 30 seconds
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts, cleaned & trimmed
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 T. black sesame seeds, toasted (divided)
  • ½ - ¾ cup sesame dressing (recipe follows)
  • cilantro leaves, to garnish
    For the Sesame Dressing:
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water 15 minutes, then drained
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • ¼ cup dark sesame oil
  • 2 T. calmansi juice (or lime juice)
  • 1 T. agave (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1 T. toasted black sesame seeds

Instructions

    For the dressing:
  • Blend all ingredients except sesame seeds in a high-speed blender.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings (more soy sauce for salt, more calamansi/lemon juice for acid, more agave/honey for sweetness.)
  • Stir in sesame seeds.
  • Makes a little over 1 cup of dressing.
    For the salad:
  • In a large salad bowl, toss together cabbage, edamame beans, carrots, snow peas, spring onions, cilantro, and 1 T. sesame seeds.
  • Pour ½ - ¾ cup of dressing (you won’t use it all- store leftovers in the refrigerator) over all and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves & remaining 1 T. sesame seeds.
  • Makes about 4 lunch-sized servings.

Notes

Prep time includes soaking cashews in hot water for 15 minutes, and 20 minutes to prep the salad. It's that fast!

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Comments

  1. Karen Croshaw says

    Where did you buy the edamame beans? I have only ever seen then for sale once in Makati Supermarket and have never seen them anywhere else for sale

    • says

      Karen, I get them at the Alabang Saturday Market… they’re sold fresh from the guy that has his stall halfway down on the right. I can meet you there sometime and show you. He doesn’t always have the edamame, but often. 🙂

    • says

      Melisssa, start with 1/4 cup mayo and adjust upward… you may need as much as 1/2 cup to get the same creaminess as the cashews. Japanese mayo tastes great in this recipe, but regular works fine too- whatever you already have in your fridge. 🙂

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