Thai Coleslaw with Ginger Grapefruit
By Heidi Allison
This light, refreshing coleslaw has the bold flavors of Thai cuisine, yet a fraction of the fat and calories of its American cousin. Rather than relying on mayo to provide flavor, this clever dish uses a small amount of toasted sesame seed oil, freshly-grated ginger, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and honey to create a balanced yet bold flavor profile. This versatile dish makes a great side with grilled salmon, or can be used as a healthy, flavor-packed switch-out for lettuce in a grilled chicken or roasted pork tenderloin sandwich.
The bold, light dressing takes center stage in this dish. The bright, slightly sweet and hot flavors of ginger, slightly bitter taste of citrusy grapefruit, and nutty-tasting toasted sesame seed oil, balanced with a bit of honey, are the perfect counterpoint flavors to highlight the slightly bitter raw red cabbage. The jalapeño adds a touch of heat; carrots and jicama lend textural crunch, keeping this slaw interesting to the palate and the cilantro adds a pop of color. Although the toasted black sesame seeds are not crucial, they add a lovely visual interest to the finished dish.
½ head Organic Red Cabbage
½ Jicama, peeled
2 Carrots, peeled
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Jalapeño Pepper, cut in half and seeded
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 bunch Cilantro, stems removed
1 Tablespoon Toasted Black Sesame Seeds (optional)
1 Texas Ruby Grapefruit, juiced (about I cup)
¼ teaspoon Grapefruit zest
2 inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane (about 1½ teaspoon)
½ teaspoon Kosher Flake Salt
¼ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons filtered Water
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
1 heaping teaspoon Honey
Using a mandoline or Japanese Benriner vegetable slicer, thinly slice red cabbage into ¼ inch slices into a large bowl.
Using the medium julienne blade, slice jicama, carrots, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and jalapeño into ¼ inch matchstick slices into bowl.
Chop cilantro into medium ¼ inch pieces and sprinkle over veggies and set aside.
In a medium bowl, add grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest, ginger, salt, pepper, water, sesame seed oil and honey, and whisk with a fork until incorporated into a light emulsion. Pour dressing over veggies and toss to coat. Taste and adjust salt if more is needed to balance out the flavors.
Serve or place in refrigerator to allow flavors to “marry” for several hours.