Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Salads»Asian»Vegetables»Confetti Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing Recipe

Salting ahead of time creates pickle-crisp cabbage that is perfect for combining with bold flavors.

The Problem

Cabbage salads tend to become watery and bland once dressed and allowed to sit.

The Goal

Cabbage salads seasoned with sweet and spicy ingredients that won't lose their punch because the salad becomes so watery.

The Solution

Cabbage salads are diluted by the cabbage itself. Its cells are full of water that leaches out once a salad is allowed to sit. One way to solve this problem, we figured, was to get rid of some of this water before making the salad, and the easiest way to do that was to salt the cabbage to draw out the liquid. While this method does take just a bit of crunch out of the cabbage, the salads made with it had a nice pickle-crisp texture, and no one could call them watery.