Crunchy Asian Cabbage-Chicken Salad is Packed with Powerful Nutrients
Healthy and tangy medley
A satisfying salad that you’ll keep returning to, this Asian-style cabbage medley blends healthy ingredients that you’ll feel good about eating. And it’s just so darned tangy and crunchy. The texture, the blend of mild and sharp spices, and the slight natural sweetness make it something you’ll want to set on the table regularly.
Cabbage, the superfood
Cabbage is known for its phytonutrients, which is the fancy word for foods that contain biological properties that, while not essential nutrients, can potentially lower the risk of disease. It also contains a natural compound called glucosinolates. Those nutrients can degrade in processing, including cooking, so eating this cruciferous vegetable raw has definite benefits.
Getting on to what makes this such a healthy dish, cabbage is packed with Vitamin C, K, and manganese. It’s also a good source of fiber, protein, Vitamin A, B6, folate, and potassium. The Savoy variety is softer, crinkly, and more tender and sweeter than the typical green or red cabbage you’ll find at the grocery store, and contains more glucosinolates, a cancer inhibitor.
Another mild cabbage variety is Napa, or Chinese cabbage, an oblong-shaped, leafy cabbage of choice in Chinese cuisine. You might have to shop the health food stores, or farmers or Asian markets for Savoy and Napa.
Versatile, and you'll want seconds and thirds
This salad is versatile. Use it in place of the standard lettuce-and-tomato side, or munch as a snack. It’s filling, and so low in calories you can load up a bowl for second and third helpings. Granted, you’ve got oil, chicken, and nuts in there too, but you can cut down on those if you’re counting calories. You may also want to add a splash of agave nectar or honey if you like a little more sweetness.
The only downside of this dish is that you can’t fix it and enjoy it immediately. You’ll want to marinate it for at least a few hours so the cabbage has a chance to soak up the other flavors. Experiment with the marinade. You might find the ratio of sweet to sour needs tweaking to your taste.
Marinate 4 hours
- 1/2 medium cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup chicken, shredded
- 1/4 cup scallions, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/8 cup sesame or peanut oil
- 1 Tablsp ginger, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 tsp agave nectar or honey, optional
- 1/8 cup almonds, slivered
- Toss cabbage, chicken, scallion and cilantro.
- Combine the marinade of orange juice, vinegar, oil, ginger, garlic, pepper and sweetener in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Add the first set of ingredients to the marinade. Toss, cover, and set in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
- Sprinkle with slivered almonds and serve