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Charred Spicy Cabbage Salad

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Ingredients

1 small head green cabbage,
core removed and sliced ¼-inch thick

1 small head red cabbage,
core removed and sliced ¼-inch thick

½ cup neutral oil

2 cups spicy fermented tofu vinaigrette (recipe follows)

10 basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted (plus extra for garnish)

Salt

Korean red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon toasted garlic

Spicy Fermented Tofu Vinaigrette

1 head garlic

2½ cups neutral oil,
plus extra for roasting garlic

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon fermented tofu

1 (2-inch) piece finger ginger, minced

2 teaspoons saté paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes

1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

½ cup sesame oil

Salt

Directions

  1.  Set a large cast iron pan over high heat. In a large mixing bowl, toss cabbage slices in oil. Once pan is blistering hot, add just enough cabbage to cover the bottom in an even layer. (Work in small batches to prevent pan from cooling and allowing cabbage to steam.) There should be a fair amount of popping and crackling noises coming from the pan.
  2. Allowing cabbage to char for 2 minutes before stirring, and then allowing to cook 2 minutes between each stir, cook for 8 minutes. Carefully transfer from pan into a medium mixing bowl. Repeat until all cabbage has been charred and transferred to mixing bowl.
  3. To the bowl, add spicy fermented tofu vinaigrette, sliced basil, and black sesame seeds. Toss to combine and season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Garnish with black sesame seeds and toasted garlic.

Spicy Fermented Tofu Vinaigrette 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully slice root end from head of garlic, toss lightly with neutral oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in oven for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Once the garlic is golden brown and tender all the way through, remove and let cool. When cool, remove roasted cloves and place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Puree mixture on high until smooth, seasoning with salt to taste. Store vinaigrette in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to three weeks.
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