The hearty winter roots and greens are inspiring an Asian flair in my kitchen, which lend a break to the alternative go-to: olive oil and loads of garlic. (Granted I have no clue if it’s Asian or not apart from my choice of sauces and the beloved Tamarind fruit, which also grow in Nicaragua among other tropical places.)

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Tamarind-Sesame Cabbage Salad

You can substitute the rutabaga for other roots like potatoes, turnips, parsnips and kohlrabi.


  • 1 rutabaga, about 3 cups, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage, loosely packed into a measuring cup
  • 3 cups shredded carrot, loosely packed into a measuring cup
  • 4 hard boiled eggs


  • chopped parsley or chives
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (substitute with sunflower or pumpkin seeds)

Sauce 1

  • 1.5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauce 2

  • 1/2 inch or 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon soil sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 tamarind pods


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the rutabaga on a baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for Sauce 1 and dress the rutabaga with half the total amount. Bake for 25 min.
  2. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for Sauce 2 to the remaining portion of Sauce 1, except for the tamarind.Transfer to a small pot on medium heat. Add the tamarind. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse and prepare the cabbage. Be sure to remove excess water by letting it dry on a tea towel or using a salad spinner. Prepare the carrots. When the rutabaga are tender and golden, mix cabbage, carrots and rutabaga in a bowl. When the sauce is reduced and the tamarind pods are mushy, remove from heat. Using a fork remove all tamarind flesh possible and discard seeds and fiber. Toss sauce with the vegetables.
  4. Prepare the hard boiled eggs: in a pot, submerge eggs in water and bring to a boil on the stove top. When the water begins to boil, start the timer. After 10 minutes, remove to a bowl of ice cold water. Peel however many eggs you will eat now (recommended: 1 per portion). Store the rest in the refrigerator peeled or unpeeled (in a tupperware).
  5. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet. Pay attention to avoid burning. When they begin to crackle and pop, remove from heat. Either toss with vegetables or save for sprinkling on top.
  6. Serve with a sliced hard-boiled egg on top and a sprinkle of parsley or garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste

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