We could eat this slaw by the large bowlful, but it's also excellent served alongside barbecued lemongrass chicken or beef. Pickled carrot is a great fridge staple, too, so make a double batch (or even a triple) - it's best made a day ahead, and will keep for several weeks. Start this recipe a day ahead to pickle the carrots.
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 birdseye chilli, coarsely chopped, or to taste
- 2 tbsp lime juice, plus wedges to serve
- 250 gm Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup each (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint, coriander and holy basil (see note)
- 2 red or golden shallots, thinly sliced
- To serve: fried shallots (optional)
- 140 ml rice vinegar
- 50 ml fish sauce
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced into thin ribbons on a mandolin
- 1For pickled carrot, bring ingredients, except carrot, and 50ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add carrot, remove from heat, cool to room temperature, then transfer to a sterile container and refrigerate overnight.
- 2Pound garlic and chilli to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add lime juice and 60ml pickling liquid from the carrots, stir to combine, then set aside.
- 3Drain pickled carrots and toss in a large serving bowl with cabbage, herbs and sliced shallots. Drizzle with dressing to taste, toss lightly and serve scattered with fried shallots.
Note Holy basil, also called tulasi, is available from Asian grocers.