cambodian slaw

In Cambodia, there’s no real breakdown between the kinds of food you eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A typical breakfast spread highlights a whole bunch of savory dishes, this fresh-and-fast slaw being one of them. It’s an excellent summer dish since it’s totally raw and requires no cooking (well, once the Tuk Trey Sauce on page 168 is made, that is). You can, of course, consolidate cabbages and use just one or two kinds, but we really like how the three intermix, with napa offering a frilly and delicate bite, savoy for crunch, and red cabbage making the slaw all that much more attractive.
Prep Time
1 hrs
Ready in
1 hrs
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • SLAW
  • 4 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced savoy cabbag
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red cabbag
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, halved crosswise and thinly slice
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Thai basil leave
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leave
  • 1 1/4 cups Tuk Trey Sauce (page 168
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fried onions (see the Num Pang Pantry, page 28
  • TUK TREY SAUCE
  • 3 cups fish sauce
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch segment
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashe
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Directions
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, hoisin, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until slightly syrupy, about 45 minute
  • Turn off the heat and let cool completely, then strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container. Whisk in the sesame oil and refrigerate for up to 1 month (shake well before serving).
  • Toss the cabbages, sprouts, bell pepper, basil, and cilantro together in a large bowl. Drizzle with the Tuk Trey Sauce, then sprinkle the peanuts and fried onions over the top and serve.
  • VARIATION: TOFU SALAD Add 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce to the slaw. Whisk the Tuk Trey with 1/4 cup canola oil and toss with the salad. Add 8 thinly sliced scallions. Serve Spicy Glazed Tofu (page 132) over the top.
  • VARIATION: NUM PANG NOODLE BOWL Take 1 part slaw and add 3 parts cooked rice noodles. Toss with 1/3 cup Tuk Trey, sprinkle with peanuts and fried onions, and serve.
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