Crab and Cabbage Salad (Goi Bap Cai Gà Cua)

See the RecipeAndré Baranowski

Dressed with fresh lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and Thai chiles, this refreshingly tart salad makes the perfect accompaniment to Beer-Steamed Crabs. For the best results when preparing this dish, use jumbo lump crabmeat, which is prized for its large, sweet chunks, which are virtually free of pieces of shell and cartilage.

Crab and Cabbage Salad (Goi Bap Cai Gà Cua)
Dressed with fresh lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and Thai chiles, this tart salad makes the perfect accompaniment to beer-steamed crabs.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head savoy cabbage (about 1 lb.), cored
  • 1 large carrot
  • 14 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large Thai chile, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small skinless boneless chicken breast half (about 1⁄4 lb.)
  • 14 lb. medium shrimp, unpeeled
  • 14 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through to remove any bits of shell
  • 14 cup roughly torn cilantro leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Finely chopped toasted peanuts, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Using a large knife, cut the head of cabbage into quarters. Cut one quarter in half lengthwise, then slice the 2 pieces crosswise into thin ribbons. (Reserve remaining cabbage for another use.) Using the large-holed side of a box grater, grate the carrot into a large bowl. Add the cabbage, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and chile; mix well and set aside to let the cabbage wilt slightly and allow the flavors to intensify.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate. Return the water to a boil, add the shrimp, and cook until opaque, 2–3 minutes. Drain shrimp and transfer to the plate with the chicken. Let the chicken and shrimp cool.
  3. Tear the chicken apart into thin, lacy shreds. Peel the shrimp and remove their tails. Cut each shrimp into 4 equal-size pieces.
  4. Add the chicken, shrimp, crabmeat, and cilantro to the cabbage mixture; toss to combine. (Season with salt, if you like.) Transfer the cabbage salad to a platter and sprinkle with the peanuts.