A few days ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a recipe by Scott Jurek for Indonesian Cabbage Salad with Red Curry Almond Sauce and this is my take on that recipe--with honey added, of course! The Curry Nutbutter Sauce makes a great cabbage salad (photo above) as well as a sauce for cold noodles. Try this instead of coleslaw or pasta salad for your 4th of July picnic! The curry sauce makes it a spicy dish--but not too spicy--and it is both a refreshing and "meaty" with lots of umami.
Curry & Honey Nut Butter Sauce
Makes about 1 1/4 cups of sauce
1 clove garlic, minced, and soaked for 5-10 minutes in 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter or cashew butter)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
2-3 tablespoons honey (I used summer honey)
2 teaspoons green curry paste (if you don't have green or red curry paste, substitute 1-2 teaspoons of hot pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
While the minced garlic is soaking, in a small bowl, stir the water into the nut butter and blend well. Add the remaining ingredients (including the water that the garlic soaked in) and stir to combine well. The sauce will be a bit soupy.
Spicy Cabbage Salad
serves 6-8 as a side dish
1/2 head of cabbage (medium-sized), coarsely shredded
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch long pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 to 3/4ths cup Curry & Honey Nut Butter Sauce (recipe above)
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and let sit for about 20 minutes for the flavors to meld. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Variations: you can play around with the vegetables for this dish. Try adding cucumber instead of (or in addition to) the bell pepper. The Post-Gazette recipe included sliced bok choy, which would be another nice addition. Try adding some fresh (or thawed frozen) peas.
Spicy Cold Noodle Salad
serves 2 for lunch
1/2 pound linguini, cooked according to package directions and rinsed with cold water
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 to 3/4ths cup Curry & Honey Nut Butter Sauce
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (or chopped peanuts)
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Toss the noodles, cucumber, red pepper together to mix. Pour the Curry & Honey Nut Butter sauce on top and mix well. Toss in the sunflower seeds and fresh mint and toss again. Place in two bowls and top each with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve!