Please consult the OU's guidelines for checking fruits and vegetables.

Cabbage Salad with Cucumbers, Peanuts and Cilantro (pareve)

Eileen Goltz | Pareve

Cabbage and Cilantro require inspection for insect infestation. Please see instructions below under “Special Instructions”.

CABBAGE may be infested with black/gray thrips or aphids and, less often, cabbage worm. Though cabbage infestation is seasonal, being more prevalent during the summer months, our research has indicated that outbreaks of infestation do occur in the winter months as well. We, therefore, recommend that cabbage be inspected throughout the year.

Ingredients

1 Head white cabbage, cored, thinly sliced
4 To 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 c Distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 fresh chilies, seeded, chopped (you pick the level of chili hotness you prefer)
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro


Instructions

In a large salad bowl combine the cabbage garlic, cucumber, carrot, vinegar, sugar or honey, soy sauce, chilies and oil. Toss to combine and then chill until ready to serve. Just before serving top the salad with peanuts and cilantro.

Note. For a more hardy salad add 1 to 2 cups cooked shredded chicken or turkey.

CABBAGE and INSECT INFESTION: Please note: When examining sacks or cases of cabbage (typically containing 12–16 heads of cabbage taken from the same field), if three heads are found to be completely clean, the rest of the cabbage in that sack or case may be used without any inspection once the wrapper leaves have been discarded. Cabbage taken from larger cases or bins must be individually checked. Fortunately, it has been determined that infestation is predominantly limited to the first three layers of leaves, i.e. the outermost six leaves on the head (two per layer). If these six leaves are found to be clean, the rest of the head may be used. (Although insects have been found deeper than the third layer, this is uncommon.) The above holds true for Grade A cabbage only. Inferior grades of cabbage are much more prone to infestation, and their use is not recommended. Packaged, pre-washed, and shredded green cabbage may pose kashrus concerns with regard to insect infestation. These products are only recommended when bearing a reliable certification. Prepared cabbage salads such as cole slaw, health salad and sauerkraut contain numerous ingredients which may pose kashrus concerns in addition to the question of insects. INSPECTION: Several methods have been developed for the inspection of cabbage: 1. Detach the loose leaves (‘‘wrapper leaves’’) and discard. 2. Core the cabbage and split the head in half, allowing the leaves to be peeled away more easily. 3. Peel the three outermost layers (approximately six leaves, not including wrapper leaves) off the head and discard. The remainder of the head may be used. 4. Some maintain that the six outermost leaves should be checked rather than discarded. The most practical way to check is to hold the leaf above direct light. Because the leaf is translucent and the bugs are not, the bugs are accentuated and easily detected. Check both sides of each leaf. 5. If only one or two insects are found on these six leaves, then they and the remaining leaves of the head may be used without further checking. It is recommended that the remaining leaves be washed before use. 6. If three or more insects are found on the first six leaves, the remaining leaves must be thoroughly washed and checked prior to use. The second method described above (_4) is impractical when cabbage quarters must remain tightly packed so that they may be shredded easily. It should be noted that the outer leaves of the quarter sections must be removed, checked and put back to facilitate shredding. Fresh Cilantro and Insect Infestation: Fresh Cilantro (as well as, sage, basil, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used. Inspection: 1. Soak the herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.