Charred Napa Cabbage with Avocado

From Jessica Pelland, executive chef, charbar restaurant

2016 Sep/Oct

This salad is incredibly fulfilling and it’s completely vegan. e smokiness from the charred cabbage mixed with the of the raw cabbage is what makes this salad unique. We round out this dish with a little nuttiness from the toasted seeds and puffed wild rice, a touch of citrus, bright mint, and the rich mouthfeel of the avocado. This salad is great on its own as a meal, or as a side dish.


  • large Napa cabbage to make 2 c. raw Napa cabbage d 2 c. charred Napa cabbage
  • 1avocado, chopped
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1 T.sherry vinegar
  • 2 T.olive oil
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste|
  • 1/2 c. sprouted lentils (see technique, below)
  • 1/4 c. mint, chiffonade
  • 1/4 c. puffed wild rice (see technique, below, or substitute puffed quinoa)
  • 2 T. sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 2 T. pumpkin seeds, toasted


Cut the Napa cabbage in half vertically, cutting through the stem end. Grill one half until you see a light char on one side (approximately 5 minutes of grilling). Let cool. Finely slice both the charred cabbage and the raw cabbage into a slaw and put in a large bowl. Add the avocado, and orange segments.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar and olive oil, add salt to taste then pour over the cabbage and lightly mix. On a large serving platter/wide shallow bowl, pile cabbage mixture high on the centre of the plate – the higher the mountain of cabbage the more impressed your guests will be! Sprinkle with sprouted lentils, mint, puffed wild rice and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

To sprout lentils: Soak lentils in cold water overnight. Drain. Lay them in a perforated colander lined with damp cheesecloth, and place damp cheesecloth over top. Every day, for 3 days, moisten the cheesecloth. You will see little tails emerge and the lentils will soften. They are ready to eat.

To puff wild rice: pour 1/4-inch of high-smoke-point oil – like grapeseed or sunflower oil, not olive oil – into a frying pan. Heat over high until it reaches 500°F., or just begins to smoke. Add 2 T. of uncooked wild rice. It will begin to puff. Quickly remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the puffed rice from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt to taste. Alternately, you can find puffed quinoa in most grocery stores; it makes a great substitute and adds a wonderful nutty crunch.