According to my brother-in-law, you can tell how long a couple has been married by checking out how much Tabasco sauce is left in their bottle. Or..something like that… only nothing like that applies to my husband and me. We go through hot sauce and hot peppers like most people go through salt and pepper. Which is why, after hearing a radio report on an entire cookbook of recipes using Sriracha Thai-style hot sauce, I immediately drove home to order the book on Amazon. I would not necessarily recommend “The Sriracha Cookbook,” mainly because it only contains 50 recipes, some of which are kind of lame. (E.g: Recipe for Sriracha ketchup: Mix Sriracha and ketchup.) Still, I loved the one recipe I have tried so far. The Sriracha slaw is both tasty and Goldilocks just-right hot (although maybe not to the couple who celebrate their 60th with a dash of the nuptial Tabasco.)It is also colorfully festive in a 4th of July-barbecue kind of way, which will remind you that, despite the winter chill, summer grilling will be here soon.
Adapted from The Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth, reduced-fat but Clemens recommends chunky)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh pineapple or orange juice
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
2 table spoons fish paste (I used vegetarian oyster sauce so the dish would be vegetarian)
1 tablespoon ginger paste or fresh minced ginger
2 tablespoons sugar (I’d reduce this because I thought the peanut butter and orange juice added enough sweetness)
a few shakes of toasted Sesame oil
1 and 1/2 pounds napa cabbage
1/2 pound red cabbage
2 red bell peppers
6 green onions
1/4 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup mint or basil (My husband just revealed to me that he hates fresh herbs so I set aside a portion without the herbs and it was fine)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
pepper salt OR soy sauce to taste
TO MAKE DRESSING: Combine all ingredients except sesame oil. (I used a food processor.) Set aside.
TO MAKE SLAW: Preheat oven to 350. Spread almonds in pan and toast in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until fragrant.
Shred cabbage. Julienne carrots and bell peppers. Slice green onions. Chop herbs. (I simply julienned everything in the food processor, in stages, of course, given the bulk of the ingredients.) Place all slaw ingredients except salt/soy sauce and pepper, including toasted almonds, cooled, in a very large dish. Toss with dressing. Season to taste with salt/soy sauce and pepper. Drizzle with a few shakes of toasted sesame seed oil. Serve at the first barbecue of the year.
FYI the version in this picture also contains oven-toasted Ramen noodles. I would not add these again because they quickly grew soggy.