Yesterday I had the brilliant idea of buying a rack of pork ribs and marinating them overnight for my husband to grill this evening. The idea was that he’d shoulder most of the work for dinner as I polished my book manuscript! Alas, it started drizzling in the afternoon. We could have kept the ribs in the fridge for another night but decided to go ahead with a warm weather dinner. Just because it is dreary outside does not mean that we have to eat cold-weather food!
I used a Thai-Chinese marinade for the ribs and wanted an easy side dish. After rummaging through the fridge, I found a partial head of green cabbage. I also found a bottle of Sriracha chile sauce that Pim Techamuanvivit of ChezPim.com gifted to me. I'd been keeping it for a special occassion and this was it! I needed something to brighten up the day.
Panich brand is the original Sriracha chile sauce. It is labeled “Sriraja” apparently due to a trademark dispute. Pim brought it back from Thailand for me to try. If you can get your hands on this stuff, it’s absolutely delicious and well balanced. The medium-hot is what I have and it is not as assertive as the Rooster brand of Sriracha. Panich brand is nice and mellow and along the lines of homemade Sriracha.
After tasting some straight from the bottle, I got a little heartburn. However, the Panich Sriracha was so good that I wanted to eat more. To be prudent, I decided to dress a cole slaw with the Thai chile sauce. It is very simple but you have to finesse it a little because of the different levels of heat in Sriracha. The ground celery seed lends an herby edge that pairs well with the chile sauce. I buy celery seed and grind them myself, mostly for adding to bloody Mary cocktails. And, the fish sauce offers a little umami depth.
Sriracha Cabbage Slaw
Use eggless mayonnaise for a vegan version. I like full-fat mayo as it imparts a terrific richness.
Serves 4 as a side
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, purchased or homemade
Salt or fish sauce, to taste
1/2 head green cabbage, cut into thin ribbons
1 carrot, cut into fine shreds
1. In a bowl, whisk together the celery seed, sugar, chile sauce, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Add a few big pinches of salt or about 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce to taste. You want the flavor to be on the tart side so tweak the coral-colored dressing to please your palate.
2. Add the cabbage and carrot, toss. If you like a crunchy slaw, serve it about 5 minutes after tossing. Or, let it sit for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and the cabbage to wilt. Cole slaw is chameleon like so taste it again right before serving. Verify the flavors then dish it up, leaving the residual dressing in the bowl.
Have any nifty cole slaw ideas on your mind? Share you ideas! Memorial Day barbecues are just around the corner.
- Homemade Sriracha Chile Sauce
- Sriracha taste off (Panich brand was not part of this tasting but it would have scored at the top!)
- Sriracha and Crab Rangoon Wontons