Asian Cabbage salad at Natanya, part 1 of 2

Natanya, a beautifully restored Beachhouse, on the rocks of Betty’s Bay, South Africa. Set against the fynbos rich Kogelberg Mountains. Closer to the sea you cannot get, with whales playing in the bay, this was the spot we chose for Bruce’s birthday weekend…. Me and Shannon, it is all about the food, and this setting was going to blow our socks off.

I think we’ve spend 2 months planning “the lunch menu”, (endless hours of fun over cups of tea and glasses of wine) as this house is close to our hometown, we’ve decided to invite some friends over on the Saturday to make it an extra special Birthday celebration for Bruce, well, we obviously played our hearts out, planning the menu, who to invite to stay, who to invite to come for the lunch, all very exciting…

Natanya lounge

We’ve planned to have a long table in the “dining room” overlooking the bay, but on arrival we soon realised that our space was quite limited as the lounge area did not lend itself to a long table. I told Shannon, we stick to the plan, i want a long table and we just need to make it happen. Well with Shannon, my foodie friend, we’ve managed to find this beautifull old wooden table outside and at the end we could not have asked for a more fitting visual display…. I loved the rough wood feel of the table and we presented some of the dishes straight on the table without any serving platters, just on sheets of wax paper.

Long rustic table

The recipes for our lunch that will feature in this blog post will be Sanmari’s Asian Cabbage salad. Cabbage, yes, i am not big fan of cabbage but this salad is a real crowd pleaser and got a lot of ooos and aaaaahs from the guests. In part 2 I will post the Creamy Lemon Tart …… And play we did play, in this beautifull open plan kitchen, also with a stunning view of the bay.

For the Asian Cabbage Salad you will need:

2 Baby cabbages, finely shredded we’ve used green and purple cabbage
1 cup spring onions cut into fine rings
1 cup mange tout

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp soya sauce
Some flavouring, 1 tsp, in the form of chicken stock powder
1/4 cup of olive oil

200ml sunflower seeds
200ml flaked almonds
1 packed of uncooked 2 minute noodles broken into small pieces

Start by making the dressing, boil all the ingredients together for 5 minutes, until all sugar is dissolved and the dressing slightly thickens.

Then, chop / shred the cabbage finely, add the spring onions and mange tout.

Roast in an oven tray the topping ingredients, don’t take your eyes off the tray while in the oven, the nuts and raw two minute noodles needs to lightly brown, be careful as once it starts to brown it can burn within seconds, you need a light brown colour.

The above 3 steps can be done well in advance.

One hour before serving mix the dressing with the cabbage mixture.

Just before serving, give the cabbage and dressing another good mix and top with the cooled roasted nuts and noodles…

Don’t mix the nuts and noodles into the salad, it should be on top of the salad to keep it’s crunch…

We’ve served an caprese salad with the Asian Cabbage Salad, made of half red ripe tomatoes, basil pesto and slices of moserella cheese…topped with more drizzles of basil pesto… visual, visual….

The menu further included a goats cheese tart, mini aubergine and feta meatballs (served in heaps straight onto the rough table on wax paper), Asian sticky pork neck cooked for 3 hours and beetroot roasted with red onions and garlic….

Natanya was everything we wanted and expected for this lunch, how do i describe the feeling when we (me and my foodie friend) look at each other at the end of the meal, and we just know we’ve knocked their socks off…. no words needed, a passion for good food we share…


“the birthday boy and my foodie friend…”

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