We're getting napa/chinese cabbage in our shares for the first time ever, and Tom says we'll have lemongrass this week too, so I found the perfect recipe which uses both! - debbie
Thai Chinese-Cabbage Salad
serves 8 as a side dish
modified from Gourmet Magazine, June 1998
1 head napa/chinese cabbage (about 3 lbs.)
1 tbsp. coarse salt
2 small fresh hot chilies (thai, or jalapeno)
(if you don't want the heat, use a little sweet red pepper instead)
1 lg. or a few small stalks lemongrass
1 lg. clove garlic
1 shallot (optional, in my book - debbie)
2 tbsp. fish sauce (naam pla)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Discard outer cabbage leaves, quarter head and core. Cut quarters crosswise
into 1/4" thick slices. Wash cabbage well in a large bowl of cold water
and spin dry. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, toss together cabbage
and salt until salt is dissolved, about 5 minutes, then transfer to colander
set over a bowl to drain. Drain for about 1 hour, then rinse well and squeeze
in small handfuls until as dry as possible. Seed and mince chilies (wear
rubber gloves if your skin is sensitive, to protect it from the hot oils).
Discard outer leaves of lemongrass stalk(s) and trim off root. Separately
mince garlic, shallot, and lower 2" of lemongrass. In a large bowl, toss
together cabbage, chilies, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, fish sauce and
lime juice. Salad may be made 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered.
Serve salad at cool room temperature.
Someone who made this recipe suggested skipping the salt/draining step, which actually softens/wilts the cabbage. If you skip that step, the salad will be fresh and crunchy in texture. I see appeal in both methods, so use your own judgment. Don't skip the fish sauce or lime juice though -- they are what give the dish a real thai flavor!