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Recipe: Napa cabbage slaw

This turns out a spicy, but fresh slaw - a tasty alternative to the usual.

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Napa cabbage slaw
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

A neighbor gave me a head of Napa cabbage the other week. I wondered what to do with it.

The giant head of cabbage is more leafy than traditional cabbage that you might use for coleslaw. I'd eaten it in various Asian dishes - it's known as Chinese cabbage sometimes, too. I knew I could turn it into a salad or stir fry, but I wasn't quite sure how.

So I searched around, finally landing on a variety of recipes that involved using the cabbage for an Asian slaw. I honed in on one from the Food Network's Bobby Flay. I liked that fact that I had most of the ingredients on hand other than two - snow peas and an Asian chili oil.

As usual, once I got home from the store and actually made the thing, I realized that I didn't have everything I needed. And because the head of cabbage was so big, I doubled the recipe (and I still have half of the head left!).

A word of warning: This is a bit spicy. You can easily control the spice by using less of that Asian chili oil, which I found at my local Kroger, and replacing it with another oil.

Napa Cabbage Slaw
2 limes, juiced (I used a lime and a lemon as I had only one lime).
6 tablespoons rice vinegar (I used a combination of rice and white wine vinegar)
4 tablespoons Asian chili oil (I used a combination of 3 tablespoons of the Asian oil and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to cut the heat.)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas
6 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop up all of the vegetables and put in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the citrus juice, vinegar, oil, mayonnaise and soy sauce. Pour the sauce on top of the veggies and stir until it's fully coated. Season with salt and pepper and let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I find that it's better the day after you make it.

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