crunchy korean cabbage slaw

i seem to have mindlessly filled up my entire summer schedule with events, catering, teaching, yoga workshops, birthday celebrations and so on... individually, i am excited for all of these events... until it dawned on me that i hadn't saved a single bit of time in which we could get away from seattle for more than a day or two. i had grand plans to make it out to the washington coast this summer. to fly my stunt kite on the beach (mind you, stunt kites are bad ass...), roast corn over a campfire and whittle away the evenings with cribbage games and s'mores. we might break away for a night or two, but we won't make it as far as the gorgeous coast. there is always next summer, right? 

luckily there are fun and wonderful things to enjoy in seattle during the summer and i am truly enjoying the work i am doing as a personal chef! it is fun to expand my repertoire of recipes and create new, delicious dishes that fit my clients' dietary restrictions. i often spin off of those creations and remake similar dishes for myself at home - tweaking them to my liking, which usually means adding spice! i learned early on that my spice tolerance is much much higher than most of my clients. i can thank my dad and his wall of hot sauces for that. i am also a salt feen. which i usually account for in my recipes here on the blog, noting that most of you would prefer less sodium. but when you spend most of your days sweating like i do, your body craves and needs salt! there are days that i sweat through three changes of clothes between cycling commutes, practicing and teaching yoga, and long climbing sessions at the bouldering gym. anyhow... this recipe hit the spot for all my cravings: salt, sugar, spice and crunch!

crunchy korean cabbage slaw ~ serves 3-4

1/2 small red cabbage
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 english cucumber, peeled only if you prefer 
1 sweet bell pepper, any color 
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 cup tamari or dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped 
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 
2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 
2-3 tablespoons tamari 
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 medium clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons honey 
pinch chili flakes

1 package extra firm, high protein tofu 
3 tablespoons sweet korean red chili sauce, homemade or annie chun's brand

cut the half head of cabbage again into half, then slice the two quarters into thin shreds. cut cucumber in half and slice into thin half-moons. quarter the bell pepper and julienne cut into thin strips. finally, take peeled carrots one at a time and lay flat on a cutting board. use a vegetable peeler, peeling continuously to create thin ribbons. rotate the carrot often, until you've utilized as much of the carrot as possible. gobble up whatever bit you can't seem to peel any further. combine all vegetables together in a large mixing bowl along with chopped almonds and green onions. 

in a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette. poor over vegetables and toss until evenly coated. can be made ahead several hours in advance. serve chilled as is, or with shredded grilled teriyaki chicken, or with cubes of fresh tofu coated with sweet korean red chili sauce.