Cookbook author and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen, Santa Cruz, CA: "My siblings and I have traditional Thanksgiving meals with our own families, but the day after, we gather at our parents' home for a Vietnamese feast. My mother sets out old-school favorites as well as modern dishes, including riffs on Viet cabbage salads."
Fresh chiles give this slaw a clean flavor and make it a nice, light element in a hearty Thanksgiving spread.
1 or 2 red Fresno or serrano chiles, chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
5 tablespoons Japanese unseasoned rice vinegar
1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel, including stalks and fronds
1 qt. thinly sliced red cabbage
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
2/3 cup toasted cashew pieces
How to Make It
Pound chiles, garlic, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and salt into paste in a mortar, or in a blender. Transfer paste to a small bowl and add remaining 1 tsp. sugar, the fish sauce, and rice vinegar.
Combine carrot, fennel, cabbage, and mint in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the vegetables, tossing to coat evenly. Sprinkle with cashews just before serving.
Make ahead: Up to 2 days, slaw mixture and dressing. Just before serving, combine with nuts.