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The FOOD magazine is a community of foodies, bon-vivants, and quite simply food aficionados! The aim is to establish a bridge between readers looking for inspiring recipes and ideas and the content creators who share their creative cooking and expertise with the community. Whether it's your favorite new recipe, cooking hacks, experimental "ethnic" cooking, vegetarian/vegan options, or new grilling techniques... we'll have it here on the FOOD blog!

Asian Slaw – Coleslaw 2.0 Update, Crunchy and Delicious, Spicy Optional

Crunchy Asian Slaw & Ingredients — by David Smith
Crunchy Asian Slaw & Ingredients — by David Smith

Asian Slaw Updates Traditional Mayo-based Coleslaws

For starters, I love coleslaw. I have already written a recipe for my favorite style of creamy coleslaw. However, sometimes the creamy coleslaw just does not fit in. And that is where the Asian slaw comes in.

For example, when I want a burger, I want Asian-style coleslaw. Even with just a ham and cheese sandwich, I want this easy Asian slaw recipe. If I am grilling ribs or barbecue chicken, then I want my creamy coleslaw to help cut the fat. But if I’m eating food like a sandwich, I want a crunchy Asian slaw.

Healthy Boy Soy, Onions & Garlic & Chili in Hot Oil, Diced Garlic & Onion, Cooling Dressing — by David Smith
Healthy Boy Soy, Onions & Garlic & Chili in Hot Oil, Diced Garlic & Onion, Cooling Dressing — by David Smith

Asian Slaw – Coleslaw 2.0 Recipe

Stage one – Asian Coleslaw Vinegar Dressing

1/3 Corn Oil (Aceite de maíz)

1 whole head of garlic (usually about 8-12 pieces) (Ajo)

1/3 Quality Soy Sauce (Salsa de Soya)

1 Medium Onion (Cebolla)

2-5 Dried Chilies (Picante Chile Rojo Seco)

2-3 Tablespoons of Sugar

¼ to 1/3 Cup of White Vinegar

Avoid the Soggy, Let the Asian coleslaw vinegar dressing cool

Importantly, this part should be done in advance in order to allow the dressing to cool. If you do not allow this to cool, it will wilt the cabbage and turn the salad soft and perhaps a little gross. Keep it mind, this oriental salad with ramen noodles is supposed to be the best crunchy Asian ramen coleslaw recipe, not the soggiest.

Making the Dressing for your Spicy Asian Slaw

First, start to warm the oil in a medium to small sized sauce pan. This oil is low temperature, you do not want to deep fry anything. Next, Chop the onion and garlic into a medium to fine mince. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan. If it sounds like it is frying, it is too hot.

At this stage you can add the chili, too. Or leave it out, up to you. Obviously, the more chilies you add the spicier it is going to get. If you dice it up, it will also make the dressing spicier, give you a nice spicy Asian slaw.

Nothing wrong with some moving around in your pan, but keep the temperature low. Nothing should be boiling or frying. If it is, turn down or off the heat. At this stage, you are infusing the oil with the wonderful tastes of garlic, onion and chili. While mellowing out the onion and garlic themselves.

Adding the Sweetness & Remaining Ingredients

After about 10 minutes of the onion and garlic taking a bath and cooking in the oil, turn off the heat. Stir in the sugar. You can try honey, if you would prefer. I still would recommend a similar amount of honey or sugar. There is some sweetness to the carrot, but not enough to balance out the flavors.

The heat is off? And again, as long as the temperature was low, you can move ahead and add the soy sauce and vinegar. I recommend a quality Asian Soy Sauce, like Healthy Boy Brand. I know I prefer using Thai products, but any of the real Asian soy sauces will do.

Asian Soy Sauce – Deeper and Richer Flavors

Importantly, I absolutely recommend using some of the more popular imported brands from either Thailand, Japan or Korea. These are the countries that I have sample soy sauces from. The flavors are so much deeper and richer than any American-style ones. And, I have been able to find my preferred Healthy Boy Brand Soy Sauce in my local supermarkets Ethnic food areas.

Finishing the Dressing

Let it cool. The rest of the recipe is easy. And if you need it to chill fast, throw it in the freezer for a few minutes, but only a few minutes until is cool.

On Our Way to Slaw City — by David Smith
On Our Way to Slaw City — by David Smith

Asian Slaw Vegetables - The Cabbage,

Stage Two – Cabbage & Carrots

1 Medium Cabbage (Col)

1 Medium Carrot (Zanahoria)

For this recipe I used a medium-sized cabbage, you can go bigger or smaller. I have made this before where I have used just half of a big cabbage and have found that the same amount of dressing works well. Obviously, a little more strength.

Shred or grate the cabbage and carrot to your desired size. I like to hand chop the cabbage and medium grate the carrot. Always, I try to think about what would be a good size to pick up with a fork. For this recipe, I like a medium to find chop for the cabbage. Chop ‘em up and put them in your mixing bowl.

Extra Dressing?

More than anything, I would just adjust accordingly with more or less of the liquids; vinegar, oil and soy sauce. If needed, the liquids can be again added at the end. However, I generally try not to, as the whole point of the dressing was to infuse the liquids with the garlic and onion flavors.

You can taste the dressing to see if it is well-balanced overall, but remember it will be very strong tasting. However, you should be able to detect all the normal notes of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and spicy.

Asian Slaw - the Ramen and You must be Nuts! Almonds that is.

Stage Three – Smashy & Toasty

2 packages of normal Ramen noodles (Fideo de Ramen)

1 Cup of Almonds (roasted & unsalted works best) (Almendra)

Now it is time for smashy, smashy. Get a rolling pin, can or iron fist. Break the ramen into smaller pieces, not into powder, but into smaller pieces. You mostly just want to avoid large chunks of noodles.

Likewise, you want to break the almonds into smaller pieces. Or you can chop the almonds. And if available, you can use almond slivers.

The Toastening of Almonds and Ramen, nice brown color, eh. — by David Smith
The Toastening of Almonds and Ramen, nice brown color, eh. — by David Smith

The Toastening

You will want to toast the ramen and the almonds in frying pan. The trick is to balance out toasting the big pieces, while not burning the small pieces. Solution – stir constantly and toast separately.

Now, you can toast the almonds and ramen pieces separately, but stir constantly. I usually mix them together, first toasting the ramen and then toasting the almonds.

Please note, I have also burned them before. It is always the little bits that burn first, so keep the temp low and stir.

As it nears the end, you will notice a pleasant toasted smell. And the ramen and almonds should have brownish toasted marks on them.

Easy Asian Style Coleslaw and Kid-Friendly

Stage Four – The Mixening

I know some of the chopping can be dangerous around kids, that’s why I have left the Kid-friendly part out, until here. Hopefully, you did allow your children to do the smashy smashy, although, you may have enjoyed this as well.

Have your kids help you with the mixing and adding of ingredients, there is not a lot that can go wrong now. Although there always can be something like throwing the cabbage or drinking the dressing.

Already the cabbage and carrot are waiting. If you are going to be eating this oriental coleslaw soon, then pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and mix well. Next, add the ramen and almonds and again mix well.

by David Smith
by David Smith

Importantly, the Asian slaw will not be crunchy Asian slaw if you put on the dressing and wait. If you are not going to be eating this ramen noodle coleslaw shortly, cover the cabbage and carrot and refrigerate without the dressing. Usually it can stay this way for at least 4-8 hours. When you are ready, follow the same steps; pour on the dressing, mix thoroughly, add the ramen and almonds, mix thoroughly, serve.

For a different twist, this easy Asian slaw goes great on sandwiches, too.

If you are looking for a little more mayo for a Meat-Feast. Check out:

This article was originally published on @talentedinternational