Notes: Roasted sesame seeds are sold in some supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. If you can't find them, toast your own: stir in a frying pan over medium heat until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. If desired, assemble salad in a glass bowl to show off the colorful layers.
1 English cucumber (1 lb.)
1 cup thinly slivered red onion
Sesame dressing (recipe follows)
4 cups finely shredded napa cabbage (8 oz.)
4 cups finely shredded red cabbage (8 oz.)
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds (see notes)
How to Make It
Rinse and thinly slice cucumber. In a bowl, mix cucumber, onion, and sesame dressing. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Up to 1 hour before serving, layer napa cabbage and red cabbage in a large bowl (see notes). Pour marinated cucumber mixture over the top. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Just before serving, mix well.
Sesame dressing: In a small bowl or 1-cup glass measure, mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Definitely healthier than the typical Asian cabbage salad (which usually includes crushed, baked Raman noodles, cashews and a much sweeter dressing), however we found it to be a bit too tart and too oniony.
I have had this recipe for years, since it was published in the magazine, and have made it many times. It's easy and makes a lovely presentation. The dressing is light and flavorful; I've even used the dressing on other salads. My friends and family rave when I bring this to a gathering.
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