I remember eating a salad at an Aussie friend’s house and thinking how peculiar it was perched there alongside the coleslaw and potato salad. It was made of Chinese cabbage and iceberg lettuce, topped with fried noodles accompanied by a sweet soy dressing. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that this salad is somewhat of an Australian institution made famous by the company Chang’s (a well-known Australian manufacturer who has been making Asian food since 1968). In fact it is as much of an institution as beetroot in hamburgers and lamb chops for dinner.
For decades this salad (deemed somewhat exotic by my Aussie friends), topped with Chang’s crunchy fried noodles has made countless appearances at parties and BBQ’s where it has sat proudly alongside its Anglo counterparts. However one thing I never really understood was why anyone would want to put sultanas in it. As weird as banana in a curry in my opinion, but hey, whatever rocks your tastebuds.
So here is my version of the famous salad. Instead of fried noodles and peanuts I make it with toasted slivered almonds and lots of crunchy vegetables. Best dressed just prior to serving as the wombok has a tendency to release all its juices when it comes into contact with the vinegar, and as a result the salad can get a bit watery (that is if it’s been sitting around for a while, though it usually doesn’t last that long).
Mr Chang might have introduced us to crunchy noodles, but Mrs Chang (one of my many secret aliases), wants to make sure you’re eating a healthier version. The great thing is, this salad has so much crunch and flavour, that you’ll never miss the wheat.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cooks In 10 mins
- • FOR THE SALAD
- • 1 medium wombok (napa cabbage), cut in half then each half sliced finely
- • 1/2 bunch of spring onions (green onions/scallions), sliced finely on the diagonal
- • 2 medium cucumbers, sliced finely on a mandolin
- • 2 mangoes, peeled, cored and sliced finely into long strips
- • 2 green apples, skin on, cut into thin slivers
- • 3 long red chillies, de-seeded and sliced into long fine strips
- • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked off and stems sliced very finely
- • 3/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
- • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted, to scatter over (optional)
- • FOR THE DRESSING
- • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- • A little salt
1. Place all salad ingredients except almond slivers and sesame seeds into a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
2. Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Scatter over almonds and sesame seeds and serve.
Makes one large bowl of salad to serve 6-8 as a side.
Recipe, photography and styling by Tanya Zouev.
This recipe originally appeared on Tanyazouev.com and has been republished with permission.
About the Author
Tanya is a Sydney, Australia based commercial and advertising photographer with 25 years experience specialising in food, still life and interiors.
Tanya’s love of food comes a close second to her love of photography. Tanya cooks as she shoots – a marriage of heart and intuition. “When I’m working in the studio, I just know when I’ve got the capture. The same goes for when I’m in the kitchen, I just know when the flavours are right. When I’m not reading photography books or briefs, I’m reading cookbooks.”
Tanya can be reached via her website Tanya Zouev
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