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Magic Chinese Salad August 19, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Asian Dishes, Classic Salads, Recipes.
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Magic Chinese Salad

The average male thinks about sex 72 times per day.  If you don’t believe me, try counting.  This great salad recipe will help you focus on other things.  It is so good that you will find yourself daydreaming of cabbage instead of sex.  I’m not sure that is good or bad, but you have to try this recipe.  I have seen guests stand up and reach across the table to literally grab seconds or thirds.   And, you will get you practice on your chopping skills as well.  This salad goes really well with “Salmon and Pesto” (blog post of Aug. 8, 2011).  The recipe assumes that you are a social animal and will be serving a group of about eight.

Showtime Stats:  The heart of this recipe is Napa Cabbage, although is not clear why people in the U.S. call it that since it is not from that famous wine producing area.  It is actually a Chinese vegetable that came here with Asian immigrants.  They just happened to grow it first in Napa Valley.  The Brits more correctly call it Chinese cabbage.  As with most cabbages, it is relatively high in protein (26%) and Vitamin C (a normal serving has 45% of RDA).

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Napa Cabbage
  • 2 bunches Green Onions
  • 4 tbs. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 packages Ramen noodles – without seasoning pack!
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. Soy sauce (Tamari if possible)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 small bottle of sesame seeds (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 pkg. of sliced almonds (about 8 oz.)

Procedure:

The Salad:

  1. Core the cabbage and chop finely
  2. Slice the onions as thinly as possible including most of the green tops.
  3. Mix the chopped cabbage and green onions, put into plastic bag, and chill overnight in refrigerator.  Obviously, you need to do this the night before your guests arrive.  Sitting overnight, the flavor of the onions will permeate the salad.

The Dressing: (Make this in front of everyone – it is quick and showy)

  1. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and olive oil in a small saucepan.  If you can get Tamari soy sauce, do so.
  2. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  3. When reasonably cool, put the saucepan in the refrigerator while you work on the Crunchy Stuff.

The Crunchy Stuff:  (Let your guests help since you get to pound things and stir for about 10 minutes and you need some break time for a glass of wine)

  1. Use your meat pounder to break up the Ramen noodles while still in the original package.

    Pounding the Ramen Noodles

  2. Melt the butter in a 12” frying pan over medium heat and add the noodles (without the seasoning pack), sesame seeds and almonds
  3. Stir constantly while toasting for about 10 minutes.  DO NOT BURN!

    The Crunchies

Just before serving, toss everything together.  If you don’t want to do the “Salmon and Pesto”, you can add grilled chicken or shrimp to make a complete meal.  The leftovers should be saved in a plastic container.  They are even better the next day.  Be prepared, some of the women will swoon over this dish.

Women swooning

If your guests don’t rave about this salad, they should probably not be invited back since they clearly have some deep problems.

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