A red cabbage salad with potato sticks and crispy spring onions has been on my mind lately, perhaps as a result of the fact that I no longer have to mow the lawn and a memory of the recent harvest of wild spring onions in New Jersey. The red cabbage salad was the result of that odd line of thinking.
In China, especially in the capital of Beijing, cold dishes are frequently served as an amuse-bouche. Just as you can always count on finding mozzarella sticks, wings, and potato skins on Fridays, you can find a selection of these cold items at any restaurant. At my usual lunch spot during the week, I got my daily serving of vegetables by ordering a shredded cabbage dish to go with my jiaozi (boiled dumplings).
The tower of brilliant purple cabbage arrived, gleaming with sauce and all these little crunchy fried scallions, and I was taken aback. My lunch companions and I rapidly devoured everything on that tiny plate.
This dish had faded from my memory, but the thought of all the wild spring onions that must be flourishing in our backyard in California revived a memory. Before I learned better, I would just use the tractor to mow them down.
Aromatic and tasty, they tasted a lot like garlicky scallions. Since we stopped using lawn fertilizer some time ago to rescue the Maryland blue crabs and rear chickens in the backyard, I figured they were safe to eat.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 medium carrot (chop into matchsticks)
- 1 potato (chop into matchsticks)
- 1 scallion (thin strips)
- 5 cups of shredded red cabbage
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 ½ tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon of five spice powder
- salt (to taste)
- Mix the carrots and cabbage in a big basin. Wash the potato sticks in cold water and pat them dry to lessen the amount of starch they contain. Proceed in the same manner with the scallion. Fry the onions and potatoes in oil until crisp. Paper towels for the drain.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together, then toss the salad with the cabbage and carrots.
- Toss the salad, then, should be placed it in a bowl. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with scallions and fried potatoes for a garnish.
- Serve the Red Cabbage Salad with Potato Sticks!