Joy the Baker

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

March 11, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

I used to keep a dream dictionary by my bed.  Fact.  I thought that I could wake up from a vivid dream all about pansies and weasels, broken clocks and cotton candy to thumb through a book and answer all off those deep subconscious questions.

It never worked.  I was lucky enough if I’d remember the dream, and luckier still if I had the wakefulness to actually reach for a dictionary first thing in the morning.

My dreams are trying to tell me something, I just leave it up to my sly and cunning brains to figure it out or leave it a mystery.

In the same way, my body was trying to send me a message early this morning.  I hadn’t been awake and in the world for more than an hour when I found myself standing at work in the restaurant saying exactly this, completely unsolicited:

I want potato salad.  I want potato salad exactly now.  Potato salad sound SO good.  I want pounds and pounds of potatoes in my belly right this second!

How’s that for a craving!?

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

I know what you’re thinking.  But Joooooy!  You didn’t make potato salad.  What’s all this cabbage business!?

Well,  my body and I have figured out that when I have a crazy potato attack, my body really just needs a comfy sweater, a cup of tea with loads of honey, and a good long hug.  It’s not about the potato, it’s about comfort and warmth.

See it’s just like that dream I had the other night about my teeth falling out.  It’s not about my poor teeth, maybe it’s just my brain telling me that I should talk to that girl at work who says mean things to me, I should tell her how I feel instead of simply ignoring her everyday.

um…..  does that make sense?

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

With that, I bring you Spicy Sweet Cabbage Salad.

It’s everything I wanted from the world, without the heavy potatoes.  I save the potatoes for a time when I know I won’t completely gorge myself.  This salad has got spice, sweetness, and a salty crunch.  Throw on some tuna and its like  healthy, expensive spa food.  Super pleasing!

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

adapted from Bon Appetit

Print this Recipe!

2 lbs shredded cabbage

3 medium carrots, grated

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/3 cup chopped scallions

1 3/4 teaspoons fine grain salt

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (I grated mine on the fine side of a bod grater)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Best canned tuna you can find

Toss together cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, scallions and salt in a large bowl .  Let stand until cabbage is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

Bring vinegar, sugar, grated ginger and red pepper flakes to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Pour over cabbage mixture.  Toss to coat.  Top with canned tuna and lightly sprinkle tuna with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad

30 Comments Add A Comment

  • that sounds SOO good… too bad cabbage doesn’t like me, even though I LOVE IT!

  • This looks very good and unique! I will try it next time I have a craving.

  • Hello Joy. First, please, excuse my english : I’m french. And as a lot of french people, I love cooking. And I love USA … And, surfing on the net, 2 weeks ago, I have discovered some american cooking “blog” (I don’t know if it’s the right word). And I have discovered yours !
    I love the way you write, I love the way you see life and the way you talk about yourself and about cooking.
    I suppose you’re very shy, I just want to make you feel secure : what’s you’re doing is great !
    I come each day on your blog, and each day, I travel … thanks a lot and keep on writing and baking.
    Friendly : Axelle the French, to Joy the baker ;-)

  • Mmm. My favorite kind of canned tuna!
    Also, I just wanted to say I’ve really been diggin’ the savory stuff you’ve been writing about lately!

  • I’m also delurking here today. First, your posts always leave me with cravings that, for lack of talent, go unsatisfied : P In spite of that, I can hardly wait to read your next posts. I love cabbage (know anyone else who claimed cabbage as their favorite food as of the 6th grade?) This salad looks and sounds sooo good. It has me thinking and dreaming of summer as I sit here in my wool sweater with current temps below freezing. Thanks for eliciting the warm thoughts. They are much appreciated!

  • What a healthy and great alternative to potato salad. This sounds just wonderful. Plus, I love cabbage. I know, do people really love cabbage?! Well, I do. Maybe you do, too! So glad you posted this. I’m totally going to make this right away!

  • I love cabbage salad. This is similar to one I make all the time, except I use seasoned rice vinegar. And sometimes add just a little sesame oil. Cabbage is fantastic.

  • Talk about an elegant slaw! Thank you…and I love Italian tuna! The dressing sounds absolutely great with the sweet-and-spicy thing going on.

  • I bought a can of stellar tuna just the other day and had some thoughts on what to do with it. With this though, I’m very intrigued. My other ideas might just to wait.

  • I’m not ususally a big fan of cabbage in salad but with tuna and a hot dressing this sounds very tasty.

    Tell that chick to knock it off or you have thousands of people who virtually have your back and aren’t afraid to show it! =)

  • I’m finally creeping out of the lurking woodwork to make my first comment… and it’s this….. Nice One Joy for not even having been awake for an hour and already being in work! That’s some good timing :) xx

  • Who has time to be mean – that’s all I got to say on that one.

    Will be trying your cabbage salad with tuna tomorrow for lunch. Sounds yummy!

  • Potato salad sure is an interesting craving if you’ve only been up for an hour! :) Nice show of restraint, and knowledge of yourself, in making this healthy salad. Oh, and tell that girl at work to back off! I seriously can’t believe people are still mean to one another – will we ever leave high school?!

  • Mmmm, that looks so tasty and I happen to have some kohl rabi sitting in the fridge, I wonder if I could use that instead?

    I quite often find myself pottering about aimlessly sprouting the words “toast, hmm, toast, yes toast.” Unfortunately I don’t have your will power and instead of making a healthy salad I invariable make toast.

    Perhaps today this salad will teach me toast restraint?

  • I love your blog.

    As soon as I begin reading it I feel hungry and the photographs are wonderful.


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