Another lazy post. Or lazy recipe.
As I usually do, I write recipes I’ve made and posts I want to publish in the notes app on my phone. I write wherever I’m at.
This time it’s the bus.
My daily commute.
It’s an adventure being on a bus, and being carless makes that adventure a daily routine I don’t think about anymore. If you are in — or you’ve been to — Lebanon, you know how careful drivers are, and how they care for the passengers that they don’t blast bad music across the bus, smoke, allow smoking, drink, catcall, or treat migrant workers badly. This fell into the routine that every time I tell someone I took the bus they whistle in exclamation and comment on the effort I made to get there.
In a future post, I’ll elaborate on the types of people one encounters on a bus. But for now, I got thrilled to learn about Chinese American food. I was listening to an American radio podcast (I’m new to this, check the link at the end of this post) and they were discussing China Town in LA, how it started, how it was and how it’s going, and how it should go in the coming years. Another guest talked about the origin of General Tso Chicken and how this red, sweet, and sticky served over the not-Chinese-native broccoli Chinese dish is not recognized in China.
Another guest talked about how he exported Chinese food (the American version of it) all the way back to China. He talked about their experience with Chinese recipes being unfamiliar to natives and the funny moments when natives try to eat the fortune cookie and the paper inside, or they discard the paper as a gift they don’t want.
Thinking of this cultural differences and adaptations, I couldn’t help but recall how our tabbouleh was warped in the West. I once made this recipe that I didn’t call Mexican, but inspired, for its similar ingredients. Therefore this post’s recipe is not authentically Asian, or belongs to a certain Asian cuisine, but inspired by the ingredients used in Asian cooking.
Try it as a side salad, or a light meal with maybe a grilled chicken breast. It’s creamy, colorful, fresh, and definitely crunchy.
Asian Slaw with Peanut Butter Dressing
- 1 small white cabbage
- 1 small purple cabbage
- 2-3 carrots
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander
- 2 stalks spring onions
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (raw, fried, or roasted)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut vinegar (or grape vinegar)
- 1/4 cup water (more depending on preferred consistency)
- Lemon juice to taste
- Finely grate the carrots and grate (or finely slice) the cabbages. Set aside in a large bowl
- If using raw peanuts, roast them in a hot oven or fry them in some hot oil. Set them aside to cool
- In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously until combined. Taste and adjust consistency and taste with lemon juice. The dressing should remain slightly thick
- Pour the dressing over the cabbages and carrots and toss to coat
- Diagonally slice spring onions into thin slices and add to the salad with the chopped coriander and toss gently
- Roughly crack the peanuts and sprinkle over the salad and serve