Cold dishes are a common appetizer in China, especially in Beijing. All menus have a variety of these cold dishes just as sure as you’ll find mozzarella sticks, wings, and potato skins at a Friday’s. While having a weekday lunch at a regular place I frequent, I decided to order a shredded cabbage dish to get my daily dose of veggies along with my jiaozi (boiled dumplings).
I was surprised when the tower of vibrant purple cabbage arrived glistening with sauce and all these little crunchy fried scallions. Needless to say, my lunch cohorts and I cleared that little plate pretty quickly.
Over time, I had forgotten about this dish, but something sparked in my mind as I was thinking about all those wild spring onions probably growing on our lawn back home. I used to just mow them down with the tractor, but then I got wise and harvested them.
They were aromatic, flavorful and tasted quite a lot like garlicky scallions. In any event, I decided that they were ok to eat since we cut out the lawn fertilizer a while ago to raise our backyard chickens and also to save the Maryland blue crabs (at Sarah’s insistence).
The point is, between thinking about the fact that I don’t have to mow the lawn anymore, and reminiscing about the NJ wild spring onion harvest, I was reminded of that red cabbage salad with crispy spring onions. And that bizarre train of thought is what led to this red cabbage salad.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and carrots. Rinse the potato sticks in cold water to remove some of the starch and use a kitchen towel to dry them really well.
Do the same with the scallion. In a shallow pan, fry the scallions and potatoes in oil until crisp. Drain on paper towels.