For years I ramrodded my Church's potluck each month. The Church was ALWAYS packed that day, more down on their luck folks would come to share the bounty and fellowship of the Big Kitchen... One woman in the Congregation always brought the same thing and it was remarkably good. It was the first thing on the chow line to disappear. So in honor of this good woman I present you Judy's Vegetarian Asian Salad... (think chinese chicken salad without the chicken - you could easily bump this into a Asian Chicken Salad by adding poached chicken meat or pieces of baked breaded chicken tenders).
1 whole head cabbage
1 bunch scallions, cut on the bias
2 carrots washed and grated
4 stalks celery, cut on the bias
1 cup cider vinegar (the brown vinegar)
1 cup corn oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tbls Soy Sauce
1 Tsp. salt
1 Tsp. black pepper
2 Tbls toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbls butter
1 Package Ramen noodles
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Cut cabbage head in half then laying flat side of each half on counter cut into it twice lengthwise. Then slice thin. Place in bowl. Repeat for 2nd half of the head of cabbage. Now add other vegetables and give it a hearty toss.
To prepare dressing place brown sugar in a jar, then whisk in cider vinegar until sugar is disolved. Then add soy sauce, oil, salt and pepper and toasted sesame seeds. Screw on lid on jar and shake well for about 30 seconds. Store refrigerated at least one half hour before service to allow flavors to meld.
In large saute pan melt butter, break up Ramen noodles and saute two minutes, now add slivered almonds and saute 2 minutes more or until all is golden brown. Remove mixture from pan to prevent burning.
Toss salad with some of the dressing. Taste, if not enough dress with more dressing. Once you are satisfied with flavor then add garnish and serve immediately. DO NOT dress salad before you are going to serve it, it totally blows the crunch fresh nature of the salad. If you want a non-vegetarian boost to this bake some breaded chicken breast strips until golden and slice on bias, toss into salad just before serving.