According to Ayurveda's six tastes, cabbage has a bitter taste and is great for cooling the body during summer months. Bitter tasting foods combine the elements of space and air, which are both cool, light, subtle, expansive – all qualities that help us maintain ease in the heat.
Yet, the bitter taste is detoxifying and purifying which our bodies aren’t naturally drawn to. Instead, we generally prefer sweet tasting foods that gives us strength and stability. This is why we crave sweet tastes when we feel weak, physically or emotionally. Interestingly, the deeper tissues in your body love sweet too, so Ayurveda has evolved formulas to combine the bitter taste with sweet in order to drive the medicinal benefits of bitter into your deepest inner workings, where it can clean you out and power you up.
This salad recipe takes little time to prepare, just be sure to get your cabbage in the vinegar for a quick ferment at least 4 hours before serving. I love using cilantro as a salad leaf and just quickly trim away the stems before tossing in. It’s fast, easy and makes for a more beautiful salad.
Thai Cabbage Salad
- 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup coconut vinegar
- 1 package rice or buckwheat (soba) noodles
- a few handfuls of your favorite summer lettuce, torn
- 4 small cucumbers, semi peeled (persian cucumbers are my favorite)
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed away
- 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds
- black and white sesame seeds
- a dash of pink salt
- Optional: fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons soba noodle water
- 1 teaspoon gluten free tamari
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lime
Note: If you don’t have coconut vinegar then use rice vinegar. Just know that coconut vinegar has a sweetness to it so it needs to be replaced with another mild vinegar. (The ever more popular Apple Cider Vinegar would be too strong.) Equally, almond butter can be subbed with peanut butter or any other nut butter.
Run the purple cabbage through a spiralizer to slice it thin. In the morning, or the night before, place the cabbage in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Set aside. If overnight, set in fridge.
When you are ready to make the salad, prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain, reserving a bit of the water for you dressing. Put the noodles in a bowl with ice and set in your refrigerator to cool.
In your salad bowl, pour your cabbage with vinegar, and add the rest of the salad ingredients.
Make the dressing by gently warming the coconut oil with the garlic. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, stir in the almond butter. Allow that to warm thoroughly for a minute or two, then add the soba noodle water and whisk well. Take off the heat.
Stir in the tamari first and then the olive oil. Add more soba water to thin and get the consistency you need for a salad dressing.
Pour over the salad and lightly toss. Finish by sprinkling the juice of one lime over the salad and again lightly tossing. Taste to adjust salt and pepper, and serve.