Vietnamese-American Thanksgiving Red Cabbage Salad

Red cabbage, carrot, and fennel slaw.

This past Saturday the C & C Club got together for a delicious Vietnamese dinner. The hostess sent me this recipe and I was delighted to make it.

  •  2 Thai, Fresno or serrano chiles, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 to 2 1/2  or more tablespoons fish sauce
  • 5 plus tablespoons unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
  • 3 carrots, cut into julienne or matchsticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (1 cup / 115 g total)
  • 4 cups packed / 200 g shredded red cabbage
  • 3 plus tablespoons chopped fresh mint and/or basil (Thai or Italian) leaves
  • 3/4 cup toasted cashew halves and pieces


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to mash the chile, garlic, ½ teaspoon sugar, and salt into an smooth paste. Scrape it into a bowl and add the remaining teaspoon of sugar, fish sauce and rice vinegar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Taste and tweak to create a spicy, tart, savory, lightly garlicky dressing.I added more fish sauce and more rice wine vinegar.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the carrot, fennel, cabbage, herb, and cashew. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well, either with tongs or better yet, with your hand in a gentle massaging motion. The vegetables will soften slightly but remain a little crunchy. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, balancing the sour, sweet, salty, and spicy. Transfer to a serving plate, leaving any unabsorbed dressing behind, and serve.
Origin: Viet World Kitchen
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