This isn't your average cabbage salad. Mason Hereford, chef of wildly popular NOLA sandwich shop Turkey and the Wolf, explains that this spicy mix is a hybrid of the banana blossom salad at Uncle Boons in NYC and the cabbage salads you can find at the Vietnamese restaurants in the Westbank of New Orleans.
In his recipe, a spicy dressing of coconut milk, fish sauce and Sriracha coats sliced cabbage, red onion and jalapeño. Next, Hereford fries up pig's-ear cracklin to crush into the salad, but we substitute pork rinds for a rich and salty crunch. The result is one of our favorite salads we've had all year.
To learn more, read “Burn Notice.”
Spicy Cabbage Salad
Recipe adapted from Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans, LA
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 dried red Thai chiles
One ½-inch piece galangal, peeled and minced
¼ medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
2 teaspoons Korean red chile flakes (gochugaru)
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
For the Salad:
One 2½-pound head green cabbage—cored, quartered and thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup Thai basil leaves
1 cup pork rinds, coarsely crushed
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced on a mandoline
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced on a mandoline
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds, for garnish
½ cup fried garlic, for garnish
1. Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chiles, galangal and onion, and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar, shrimp paste, chile flakes, Sriracha and tamarind paste. Cook, stirring often, until caramelized and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth, then set aside to cool.
3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together, leaving out the garnishes. Check for seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Garnish with the sunflower seeds and fried garlic, then serve.