From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Rethinking Barbecued Chicken
The natural spicy sweetness and crunchy texture of cabbage make a flavorful salad that works well with many strong and unconventional flavor combinations. Even better, it can be made well in advance, and any leftovers stay fresh long after it’s first served.
Dressings with spicy chiles, sweeteners, tangy acids, and strong herbal or spice flavors highlight the natural flavors in cabbage without overpowering them. However, because cabbage cells are full of water that leaches into the salad and dilutes its flavor, cabbage salads tend to become watery and bland when dressed and allowed to sit. Salting the cabbage and setting it over a colander will draw out much of this liquid and prevent these problems, but the cabbage must be rinsed, drained, and patted dry before it is dressed. Salting does soften the cabbage a bit, meaning that it won’t have the same intense crispness of some coleslaws, but we find that the pickled-firm texture is ideal for side-dish salads and works well with our flavorful lime-cumin vinaigrette.
Makes about 5 cups, serving 6 to 8