Asian crunchy coleslaw
Once you have tasted this salad with its fresh, herby flavour, you will find it difficult to go back to coleslaw made with mayonnaise. The crunchiness of the fresh vegetables is complemented by the crisp noodles. And the dressing is sublime. Mix it with the noodles and vegetables just before serving as the vermicelli will absorb the dressing and if you leave it for any length of time, it will go soggy.

2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
juice of ¼ lime
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Japanese chilli

Mix all the ingredients together, whisking until the sugar has dissolved.

3 cups finely sliced red and green cabbage
5 spring onions, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
10 baby corn, sliced 
30 snow peas, stringed and cut in half crossways
½ cup basil, roughly shredded
¼ cup coriander, roughly shredded
1 cup roasted cashew nuts
oil for deep-frying
rice vermicelli noodles 

Mix the vegetables, herbs and cashew nuts together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot. Cut the noodles into roughly 10 cm lengths, holding them over a bowl so they don’t scatter. Test to see if it is hot enough by adding small pieces of noodle. When the noodle immediately puffs up and rises to the surface, the oil is ready. Add the cellophane noodles in small bunches (they triple in size as they fry). As they puff and rise to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  

Mix the vegetables and the fried noodles together, crushing the noodles lightly so they are well mixed with the vegetables. Add the dressing just before serving, tossing until thoroughly mixed. 

Serves 4