Whilst closing-up after a Cannon & Cannon Meat School event the other night, I noticed one of the Borough Market greengrocers organising his cabbages for the next day in the wholesale section where we are based (from 10:30pm, the car park at the back of the market becomes a riot of fresh vegetables and forklifts).
I couldn’t help but take a snap of a small selection of the many cabbages being stacked up – and very nearly nicked a few of the awesome looking January king cabbages on display.
The scene reminded me of the following recipe from my most recent herb guide feature for Borough (on coriander, obvs). A refreshing, zingy bit of crunch to suit the first few weeks of February, and probably longer.
This slaw takes inspiration from the flavours of Vietnamese and Thai cooking (coriander, lime, chilli and fish sauce), and matches them with the great British cabbage. It’s vibrant and quite punchy, particularly if you can get your hands on a Japanese black radish.
You could partner it with many things – not least a buffet or as padding to a baguette – but definitely consider some crunchy on the outside, fatty and unctuous elsewhere roast pork belly.
Coriander cabbage slaw
Enough for 6
- 450-500g January King cabbage OR 300g Hispi cabbage and 200g red cabbage
- 100g black radish or fiery breakfast radishes
- 1 medium red chilli (approx 20g)
- 1/2 an apple
- 25-30g picked coriander leaves
- 40g unsalted, skin on peanuts
- Juice from 1 lime
- 5g grated fresh ginger
- 5g golden caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- Pinch of coarse see salt
You probably need only half a cabbage for this – a little goes a long way (or 1 hispi cabbage plus a wedge of red cabbage).
Remove the core of the cabbage(s), and shred as finely as you can. Put this in your largest mixing bowl.
Use a Japanese mandolin to slice the radish to 1-2mm thin pieces. Arrange these on top of each other, then cut into matchsticks. Do the same with the apple and add to the shredded cabbage.
De-seed the chilli and slice as finely as you can. Add to the cabbage bowl. Then roughly chop the coriander leaves and add these as well.
Put the peanuts in a mortar and tap a few times with a heavy pestle – to just break them open a little, rather than crush. Add these to the cabbage.
Make the dressing in a separate bowl by mixing all of the remaining ingredients then pour this over the shredded cabbage. Mix well. Leave for 5 minutes. Mix again, then serve – you can make it in advance, though it’ll wilt a little after 30 minutes (but then remain the same for 24 hours or so when kept covered in the fridge).