Napa Cabbage Salad with Sweet Tamari-Sesame Dressing
This napa cabbage salad is crisp, refreshing, sweet, tangy, crunchy, and addictive. It's modeled off of that addictive napa cabbage salad that typically incorporates bits of crunchy ramen noodles.The flavor of this salad is very similar to that old-school favorite but with a slight twist on the dressing. White sugar is replaced by vitamin-rich grade B maple syrup. Cold-pressed olive oil takes the place of canola oil. Tamari sits in for soy sauce to keep things gluten-free. In place of the ramen noodles, you'll find crunchy sunflower seeds. I also added red peppers, carrots, and cilantro to perk up the freshness and color. The result is a refreshingly crisp and crunchy salad with a tangy and sweet vinaigrette. The recipe makes enough for 3 to 4 light meal-sized servings but could easily serve 6 to 8 as a side.
Napa Cabbage Salad
1large head napa cabbage, washed and finely-chopped
7scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
2medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
½ to ¾cupfresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2to 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I use raw sunflower seeds)
1 to 2tablespoonssesame seeds (I use un-hulled sesame seeds for added calcium)
3 ½tablespoonscold-pressed olive oil
1tablespoontoasted sesame oil
1tablespoonpure maple syrup
In a large serving bowl, combine the cabbage, scallions, carrots, red pepper, and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, tamari, and pure maple syrup until emulsified.
Pour the dressing over the salad, thoroughly toss to coat, and sprinkle with the seeds.
This salad holds up well even a day or two after being tossed in the dressing thanks to the cabbage. Just keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for best results.