January 28, 2010

Fennel, Carrot, and Red Cabbage Slaw with Shoyu-Glazed Salmon

The other day I was taking another read through a post on the New York Times Well blog about the 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating, and I was reminded that I haven't been eating red cabbage much lately. I love the flavor and crunch of raw cabbage, and many of its nutrients - including vitamin C - are most available when it's eaten raw. So, I decided to make a slaw featuring red cabbage along with crunchy fennel and carrot, and given a zesty kick with a citrus and jalapeno vinaigrette.

Fennel, Carrot, and Red Cabbage Slaw

1 shallot, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head of red cabbage
1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced; fronds reserved and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
2 Tbsp sesame seeds or gomasio (a mixture of sesame seeds lightly ground with sea salt)
  1. Whisk together shallot, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon and lime juices, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  2. Divide the 1/2 head of cabbage into 2 pieces to yield two 1/4 heads. Remove the core from both pieces, discard, and then slice thinly.
  3. Add shredded cabbage to bowl with dressing, along with fennel and chopped fronds, carrot, and sesame seeds or gomasio. Toss well to combine.
  4. Allow slaw to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving, in order for the flavors to meld.
I topped a generous portion of the crunchy slaw with a broiled, shoyu-glazed wild Alaskan salmon fillet.

The salmon was marinated for 20 minutes, in the fridge, in a mixture of:
3 Tbsp shoyu
3 Tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
1 tsp agave
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Removed the salmon from the marinade and broiled it skin-side down for about 7 minutes, until it was mostly cooked through but still a little translucent in the center. I simmered the marinade in a small saucepan until it reduced slightly, then drizzled it over the cooked salmon and sprinkled gomasio on top. Feel-good food at its finest!


  1. I made a similar recipe once, and absolutely loved the combination of flavors!

  2. The slaw looks very refreshing and healthy. I have never seen fennel in a slaw.

    In the salmon recipe, I noticed agave as an ingredient. I am not that familiar with agave. Could you please describe further. Does it have anything to do with the cource of tequila?

  3. Gorgeous and delicious. I am making salmon tonight and may incorporate some of this. I am trying to eat more cabbage. Good for you and oh so cheap. And yes, would still like to use your torrone recipe. I need to make it in order for them to publish it and then link to you. But will not proceed without your permission. Happy weekend!

  4. Nancy: Ignore second part of comment. I am mixed up as to whom I am speaking with these days. But the salmon and cabbage - yes, that is totally grand!

  5. Hi Raymond! Yes both agave syrup and tequila are made from the sap of the agave plant (usually the blue agave plant). The sap can be boiled down to form the syrup, or fermented in the case of mezcal or tequila.

    Agave syrup is a nice alternative to white sugar when you want a neutral-flavored sweetener. However, I should add that I don't use agave syrup very often or in large amounts. The syrup is very high (up to 90%) fructose, which explains its lower glycemic index -- but high fructose intake also can lead to elevations in blood triglycerides, insulin, and other undesirable metabolic effects. So I wouldn't go guzzling agave syrup on a daily basis but I think it's fine in small amounts, as in this marinade, or for occasional use.

    thanks for your questions!

  6. Hi Claudia,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I just had another red cabbage and carrot slaw with my lunch today, this time tossed in some fennel seeds and golden raisins. Yum! The great thing is that rew cabbage stays fresh in the fridge for so long! So I can use the head all week in different recipes or variations.

    Hey some torrone sounds good! Look forward to seeing the recipee.

  7. Hello Nancy,

    I so love this beautifully combined salmon & raw salad dish!! I also love the dressing!

  8. I like the addition of maple syrup to your red cabbage slaw recipe, and the salad marries perfectly with the asian-inspired broiled salmon.

  9. Gonna try this tonight - thanks so much for giving me an idea for the bulb of fennel and head of red cabbage in my fridge!!! :D

  10. Thanks for your kind comment, Michelle! Hope your slaw turned out great :)