Thai Cabbage & Soba Noodle Salad

According to Ayurveda's six tastes, cabbage has a bitter taste and is great for cooling the body during summer months. Bitter tasting foods combine the elements of space and air, which are both cool, light, subtle, expansive – all qualities that help us maintain ease in the heat. 

Yet, the bitter taste is detoxifying and purifying which our bodies aren’t naturally drawn to. Instead, we generally prefer sweet tasting foods that gives us strength and stability. This is why we crave sweet tastes when we feel weak, physically or emotionally. Interestingly, the deeper tissues in your body love sweet too, so Ayurveda has evolved formulas to combine the bitter taste with sweet in order to drive the medicinal benefits of bitter into your deepest inner workings, where it can clean you out and power you up.

This salad recipe takes little time to prepare, just be sure to get your cabbage in the vinegar for a quick ferment at least 4 hours before serving. I love using cilantro as a salad leaf and just quickly trim away the stems before tossing in. It’s fast, easy and makes for a more beautiful salad.

Ingredients

Thai Cabbage Salad

  • 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1 package rice or buckwheat (soba) noodles
  • a few handfuls of your favorite summer lettuce, torn
  • 4 small cucumbers, semi peeled (persian cucumbers are my favorite)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed away
  • 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds
  • black and white sesame seeds
  • a dash of pink salt
  • Optional: fresh cracked black pepper

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons soba noodle water
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free tamari
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime

Note: If you don’t have coconut vinegar then use rice vinegar. Just know that coconut vinegar has a sweetness to it so it needs to be replaced with another mild vinegar. (The ever more popular Apple Cider Vinegar would be too strong.) Equally, almond butter can be subbed with peanut butter or any other nut butter. 

Instructions

Run the purple cabbage through a spiralizer to slice it thin. In the morning, or the night before, place the cabbage in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Set aside. If overnight, set in fridge.

When you are ready to make the salad, prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain, reserving a bit of the water for you dressing. Put the noodles in a bowl with ice and set in your refrigerator to cool.

In your salad bowl, pour your cabbage with vinegar, and add the rest of the salad ingredients.

Make the dressing by gently warming the coconut oil with the garlic. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, stir in the almond butter. Allow that to warm thoroughly for a minute or two, then add the soba noodle water and whisk well. Take off the heat.  

Stir in the tamari first and then the olive oil. Add more soba water to thin and get the consistency you need for a salad dressing.

Pour over the salad and lightly toss. Finish by sprinkling the juice of one lime over the salad and again lightly tossing. Taste to adjust salt and pepper, and serve.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.