Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nappa Slaw Wrap with Spicy Tamarind Sauce

In the recipe section (which is not up yet, but will be soon) is a recipe for Asian slaw.

It’s a good one because it lasts a couple days in the fridge. I had some left over and made a wrap with it last night. I took a collard leaf, cut off the end and a bit of the center hard stalky bit and then piled a few large spoonfuls of the nappa slaw, topped with some shredded carrot and sprouts and then I spooned a spicy tamarind sauce on top and rolled up.. or rather more like folded up. There is a knack to rolling and eating wraps in collard leaves, especially ones with lots of sauce.. practice lots and have a couple napkins.

But the messiest foods are often the best.

Asian Slaw

  • 1 head Korean or Nappa cabbage, chopped small
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped small
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 T honey
  • 1" ginger
  • ½ t salt
  • Sesame seeds to garnish

Put cabbage, cilantro and apple in bowl. In another bowl mix the rest of ingredients together. Pour this dressing on vegetables and toss. Top with sesame seeds to serve.

Tamarind is a legume which looks like large snapbeans, but brown and very plump. Their brown skin is hard and brittle like thin plastic. You know the legumes are mature when you can squeeze them with your fingers and the skin shatters revealing a honey-colored, gummy mass inside which are embedded several very hard, dark-chestnut-colored seeds the size and shape of baby lima beans.

Spicy Tamarind Sauce

Tamarind can be a fair amount of work but it is totally worth it.. one of my favorite flavors. Tamarind can be bought in most Asian grocery stores-markets. It is usually found in a 7 oz - 1”x2 ½ “x3” block. Take a 1/4th of the block and put in a dish of water, enough to cover and let soak for awhile, at least ½ hour. Then when it is soft, I mash it up a bit with a fork and then press it through a small metal strainer. Now you have a tamarind paste.

Using this paste add some maple syrup, tamari or shoyu and olive oil, approx 1-2 T of each. Add some salt and something spicy, cayenne, or I used some sambal oelek, which is a spicy chili pepper paste. Ginger would also work well (&/or garlic).. but I left it out as the Nappa slaw had lots.

Experiment and enjoy!

p.s. I had some red bananas and mangos frozen which I made into ice cream (put through the juicer with blank plate) for dessert.. sooo good! Red bananas are a bit more dense and sweet than the regular yellow (Cavendish) bananas we usually get. I had a nanny for the kids when they were very young, she was a kindergarten teacher from Brazil, who was just learning English and I remember how she was so amazed that we have such a limited selection of bananas.. there are so many varieties and we only get 1 type here in Canada. I think of her when I eat bananas. Interesting also how we get associated with things.. I have had several people tell me recently that whenever they eat pineapple they think of me. : ) I love them and share them frequently. My favorite!

Have a delicious, bright and spectacular day!

Tamarind pic and info from http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/tamarind.htm

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