Friday, October 12, 2012

Pickled Ginger & Asian Pear Coleslaw – "Holiday Slaw" 2012 Edition

I’m not sure when this relatively new tradition started, but for whatever reason, I like to come up with a new and interesting coleslaw to serve at Thanksgiving. With all the rich, heavy foods that the holiday table brings, I really enjoy the contrast these cold, crisp, bracing salads provide.

I’ve been doing this for five or so years now, and this may be my favorite version. Just adding the always interesting Asian pear to a standard coleslaw would’ve been a nice enough touch, but what made this so special was the subtle heat from the pickled ginger.

I can just imagine how great that piquant punch is going to work with roasted turkey, and while I still have weeks to wait for official verification, I’m pretty confident. I’m also confident you’ll be able to find some pickled ginger, especially if you have any sushi bars near you.

By the way, this is not one of those “make the day before” coleslaws. You want everything fresh and crisp, and if you leave it overnight, not only will it get soggy, but it will be way over-marinated. You can make the dressing beforehand, as well as slice up the ginger and cabbage, but wait until an hour before the dinner to cut the pear and toss everything together.

Anyway, if you’ve never considered a coleslaw for one of your holiday side dish selections, I hope this unusual, but very delicious variation inspires you to give it a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 servings:
1/2 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large Asian pear, thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely sliced pickled ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp yellow miso paste, or to taste
hot sauce to taste (I used sriracha)
*Best if tossed together no more than an hour or two before service.

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