Lettuce is a bit hard to come by here in the islands of PNG. I suppose those lovely crisp green leaves are not too fond of scorching sun and hot sand. When we are able to buy lettuce it is a far cry from what awaits you in a grocery stores fridge. Once I realized that delicious fresh lettuce salads would not be a regular part of our menu, I admit to having a bit of a grieving process to get through it. Once my grieving was over (I still have relapses occasionally :D) it was on to figuring out what to do instead. Thankfully cabbage has been readily available so there are a few options for crunchy nutrition.
Upon arriving in PNG I was given a wonderfully helpful gift- the “Islands Ladies Cookbook”. This is a collection of recipes that have been gathered by many missionary women in our region over the years. The recipe I am sharing today is one of these recipes, with a little of my own flair. *wink* It was submitted by a woman named Crystal Sconce and whoever she is and where ever she is, I thank her. This recipe has been a hit among many in our region and maybe soon it can be a hit in your family. I hope so.
Crunchy Cabbage Salad
Start out by heating up your skillet with a tad bit of butter in it. Put 1/2 cup of peanuts and 2 tbls. sesame seeds, along with one packet of Ramen noodles-crushed (here we have “Maggi” noodles but they are essentially the same thing). Toast them all lightly, stirring occasionally until slightly brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
Next, I usually go ahead and chop up half a head of cabbage into nice and small pieces. Then chop up 4 green onions and add them to the cabbage.
Now it’s time to whip up the dressing, it’s very simple. Just combine:
- 1 packet of Ramen seasoning
- 1/3 cup oil (I use sunflower oil)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbs. vinegar (I use white)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. sugar
Once the dressing is well mixed you can go ahead and pour it over your cabbage & onions and combine well. Last but not least, add your cooled “toasted” stuff and mix it in. Now you get to eat and enjoy!
Just a tip- it’s nice if the toasted stuff can be very well cooled before you add it to the salad. That way you can enjoy a cold salad. Otherwise your salad will be a bit warm, not ruined by any means but you may not like it AS much this way. But whatever floats your boat :D. Also, this salad does not store well so you better gobble it all up! If you try and save leftovers the noodles will absorb the liquid of the salad and loose their crunch thus making it necessary to call the salad something like “Soggy cabbage salad” and who wants to eat something with that kind of a name? 😛 Not I.
One last thing… if you are one of the people (like I am) who is alarmed and irritated at the massive amounts of MSG showing up in food these days you might want to try replacing the packet of seasoning with your own little concoction of spices. Such as a combination of onion powder, ground ginger, garlic powder, ground black pepper, msg free powdered chicken bullion and salt to taste. I am sure with a few experiments you will find a combo you like.