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I’ve been meaning to publish this post for some time. I make this Japanese style coleslaw that is seriously addictive. I promised some friends last week that I’d sit down and write out this recipe for them. Thanks Ami, Lizzie, Lauren and Adrianne for finally getting me to write this post!

One day in Japan, my husband came home from work with a “blessing” from the local shinto priest in our neighborhood. In rural villages in Japan it is customary for the local priest to offer something to each household as a sort of blessing and spiritual provision—our blessing came in the form of the largest head of cabbage I have ever seen in my entire life. We kept this cabbage out in our refrigerator-like indoor porch and slowly ate away at it for over a week—pickled, stir-fryed, boiled and shredded into salads. We ate the whole damn thing.

This winter I started to make a cabbage salad to which I am unabashedly addicted. The flavors are complex, rich and filling enough that this salad and a bowl of rice makes a meal in itself.  Yesterday I made this salad and then mixed it with cold udon noodles: extremely delicious.

Recipe: Japanese coleslaw

thinly sliced green cabbage (half a head for a family, a whole one for a crowd. purple is fine, but it will make a bright pink salad!)

1 or 2 carrots (matchstick thin, at least)

green onion (2 to 3 sprigs, finely chopped on the diagonal)

daikon (not a key ingredient, but a nice touch. finely chopped into thin matchsticks)

Dressing—there are many versions. you can omit or add ingredients depending on taste. less spice, no spice, more spice…

Miso (two tablespoons of really good red, dark or mugi miso)

Mirin, or agave or sugar (2 teaspoons)

Sesame Oil (1 teaspoon)

a tablespoon of grated ginger (i’ve also used beni-shyoga—a salt pickled Japanese ginger)

Soy sauce or tamari (1 tablespoon)

Rice vinegar (2 teaspoons)

Dry Sake (1/2 teaspoon) *optional

hot sauce (either a chili-garlic sauce or Siracha… to your own heat tolerance)

Mayonnaise OR Tahini OR Wildwood garlic Aioli  (i think all of these work well to add a nice creaminess to your dressing, go for 2 to 3 Tablespoons of your choice)

Whisk all dressing  ingredients together until they are seriously smooth and completely incorporated. Drizzle over cabbage salad in a large bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and toss thoroughly, put it on the picnic table.