Once upon a time...long long ago, a little American girl packed up with her family and moved to Southeast Asia. As you might imagine this was quite an adventure! It was filled with new smells, tastes, sounds, colors and many more things the girl had never experienced before.
The open markets in Asia remind me of the farmers markets here, only on steroids. They're bustling with hundreds of people selling, waving hands, yelling and negotiating prices for fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and much more! It was a beautiful thing! My love for these new tastes and experiences was forever sealed. I pretty much love all Asian styles of cooking now.
This recipe is a light salad, reminiscent of Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking. The Nước chấm Sauce is modified to make it a little less fishy for my kids...and they LOVE it. I also added olive oil for body and omitted the commonly used garlic and red chili's. This makes for a very fresh salad taste that your whole family will love.
The Savoy Cabbage in this dish is a sweet, tender, light and crinkly cabbage. Savoy is high in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber. It's also a very good source of fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you have trouble finding it at your market you can also use Chinese cabbage, or a mixture of romaine and ice burg lettuce cut into very thin slices.
A word about fish sauce... it is important to buy a good fish sauce that is from the first pressing, with no added fillers, colors or chemicals. "Red Boat Fish Sauce" is a great fish sauce and is free of additives and sugar.