Chef Ali's Peanut Noodles with Asian Slaw

Chinese Cabbage

Long, pale and frilly Chinese cabbage is mainstay throughout Asia. Left raw it adds crunch to a salad or slaw, sautéed it adds texture to a stir fry and slowly braised it soaks up flavors becoming a beautiful vehicle for flavor. Here are 3 recipes one for each incarnation.

Peanut Noodles with Asian Slaw

I LOVE this dish for a potluck it can be served warm, room temperature or cold straight from the fridge (actually it’s a fabulous thing to find in your fridge when rummaging through looking for a midnight snack). If you have a peanut sensitivity substitute tahini for the peanut butter, and toasted sesame seeds for the peanuts. This works well with many types of pasta from soba noodles to rice noodles to angel hair, it is especially fantastic with fresh Chinese egg noodles if you can find them.


Asian Slaw

This slaw can hold its own as side dish with sticky ribs, teriyaki salmon or shrimp, on top of any sort of fish especially tuna or pan fried haddock. It makes a terrific addition to sandwiches and a fun refresher with sriracha spiced chicken wings. It works well with anything spicy, sticky or fatty.


  • 3 cups Chinese Cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons (julienne)
  • cup red bell or horn pepper, sliced into thin ribbons, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 scallions sliced thinly
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1 whole Asian pear cut into matchsticks (sub apple or jicama if there is no Asian pear available)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. neutral oil (vegetable, canola or grapeseed or peanut)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice & zest from 1 lime
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves


  1. Place the cabbage in a large bowl
  2. ix together salt, ginger and sugar
  3. Rub the salt/sugar mixture into the cabbage and let sit about 10 minutes
  4. Add remaining vegetables
  5. Whisk together the oils, lime juice & vinegar
  6. Let sit at least 15 more minutes or overnight
  7. Toss cilantro leaves in right before serving

Other things you can add: Slivers of ripe mango, slivered of under-ripe mango or papaya, julienned daikon radish, julienned jicama, julienned broccoli stems, Thai basil leaves, fresh mint leaves, bean sprouts, pea shoots or slivered snow peas (raw or blanched)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy or tamari
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  1. Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy
  2. aste and adjust seasoning to your liking, you may like it saltier or sweeter or find you like more acid or spice

Putting the dish together

  • 1 pound noodles of choice
  • ½ cup chopped salted roasted peanuts or toasted sesame seeds
  1. Boil the noodles in salted water according to package instructions
  2. Before draining the noodles set aside ½ cup of the pasta water
  3. Drain noodles and set aside in large bowl
  4. Whisk reserved hot noodle water in to the peanut sauce
  5. Add sauce to noodles and using tongs gently turn the noodles in the sauce about 20 times until all the noodles are covered in sauce
  6. op with slaw and peanut right before serving.

You can make this a more substantial meal by adding cooked shredded chicken or some bits of firm tofu or cooked shrimp, pork or beef.