This is a refreshing, not-too-assertive cabbage and cellophane noodle-based salad. The dressing includes toasted sesame seeds, which you can buy, but it’s better to buy raw sesame seeds and toast them as directed to avoid the rancid flavors that sometimes accompany packaged toasted seeds.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 green onions white and light green parts thinly sliced, green tops minced separately
2 quarter-size slices unpeeled fresh ginger minced
2 large garlic cloves minced
1/2 head (about 1 pound) green cabbage shredded
2 bunches (1 3/4 ounces each) cellophane noodles soaked in hot water 15 minutes, drained, and cross- cut twice (like quartering a pizza), see Cook’s Note
1 large carrot peeled, and shredded
1/2 large (about 6 ounces) cucumber peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2/2012 Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Fresh Rosemary skinned, boned, and shredded
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro minced
To make the dressing: Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and vegetable oil in a small bowl and whisk together. Put the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring, until lightly browned but not burned. Scrape the seeds into the dressing.
In a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the white and light green parts of the green onions, the ginger, and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, tossing and stirring to brighten its color and wilt it slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the cellophane noodles, toss well, and turn out into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss, add the dressing, toss again, and serve.
Cellophane noodles (also known as Chinese vermicelli and bean threads) are thin, opaque noodles sold in dried bundles. When soaked briefly they become translucent. They have little taste of their own, but soak up whatever flavors are around them.