Italian Coleslaw

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Just wonderful; creamy thanks to the parmesan; hot thanks to the chilli oil.

Italian Coleslaw

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sophisticated little number I pulled from Gourmet Traveller.

It speaks of the thinly sliced, super-fresh vegetables and herbs you throw in and with the parmesan, chilli oil and some seasoning, wow.

We had it with a glazed pork chop and some braised beans it was wonderful; it is hot, fresh, soaked up the rest of the plate and stood its own as a side. The next lunch served with a rare BBQed eye fillet and some hand-cut chips, it got even better.

Slaw is always good and this is a wonderful version of it.


180gm peas (de-thawed peas are fine or if using podded peas, start with 500gm )
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup each (loosely packed) basil, mint and flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
¼ cup (firmly packed) watercress sprigs
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
40gm parmesan, finely grated
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chilli oil
2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. If using podded peas, blanch peas in boiling salted water until tender (1 – 2 minutes), fresh and drain. If using frozen, de-thaw completely.
  2. Combine in a large bowl with cabbage, fennel, onion, radish, herbs, watercress, capers and parmesan and toss to combine.
  3. Just before serving, add oils and juice, season to taste and toss lightly to combine.

Omelette of Pork Mince, Preserved Radish and Spring Onion (Trung Chien Thit Bam)

Serves 2

I am so impressed with the Red Lantern cookbook (Secrets of the Red Lantern, Pauline Nguyen).

Having not cooked from it for a few years, I am back into it and everything I have cooked so far has been quite outstanding; the recipes are clear to follow and the book is generally an excellent read, with many stories behind the authors and the food.

This omelette is great and reminded me of Neil Perry’s Blue Swimmer Crab omelette, not because they are similar in taste, but because of the freshness and lightness of the end-production. The spring onions with the fish sauce and browned pork is just great, surrounded by the fluffiness of the egg.

I had the omelette with sliced green chillis and spring onions, and a bowl of rice on the side.

This should become one of the long-day, too-hard-to-cook-but-should-cook-something recipes in your repertoire.


4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 spring onions, white part only, sliced
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 small red onion (I used an eschalot)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g minced (ground) pork
1 tablespoon preserved radish (available from Asian Supermarkets, I found a Japanese brand providing a whole, slated radish and chopped it finely)


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, fish sauce and sliced spring onions.
  2. Place a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and then fry the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the pork and preserved radish and continue to fry until browned.
  4. Pour the omelette mixture into the pan and cover with a lid; foil or a same-size fry pan will do.
  5. Cook until the base is golden brown and the top just set, slide out onto a plate folding if desired and serve.