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Island Cabbage with Coconut and Basil

Dixie Schexnaildre

I am not currently on an island, but am dreaming of a trip to: Tahiti, Bora Bora, Japan, and Fiji simultaneously, while enjoying the blend of flavors which are prevalent in dishes from those locations.

I could go on and on about the deliciousness (the traditional balance of: sweet, salty, bitter, umami, sour has my taste buds dancing!), the fabulous textures of this meal, or the health benefits (much research suggests eating fermented foods improves gut health), but instead, I will hurry through the description so you can get to savoring /making it for yourself sooner!

Note: I prefer to use fresh ingredients always, but during certain seasons or natural disasters, we must rely on dehydrated vegetables, etcetera. As pictured, this recipe was made with dehydrated onion and jarred lemongrass. Feel free to substitute with fresh, when possible, using the same preparation basics.

Additionally, remember when purchasing pre-made miso that fish sauce is often an ingredient. To keep this vegan, I seek out the pictured brand, ‘Hemis Fares’ (I have no affiliation with that company, nor any other).


  • 2 Cups - Organic rice, prepared as directed
  • 2 Cups - cabbage slaw (see blend description to make your own)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • 2-3 large portobello caps, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 TB fresh or jarred lemongrass, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (optional)
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut (preferably sweet)
  • 1 can of unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 TB miso paste
  • optional chili sauce
  • sliced hearts of palm (one small can/ about 5 hearts)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, diced
  • 1/2-1 cup of dehydrated or fresh onion, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen, shelled edamame


  • Cautiously heat pan with a small amount of coconut oil. Layer in finely chopped lemongrass, dehydrated (or fresh) onion, thickly sliced portabellas, prepared cabbage slaw with carrots [OR: shredded cabbage, carrots, green onion, and celery], fresh or frozen shelled edamame, optional ‘raw’ cashews, and sliced hearts of palm.
  • Allow vegetables to warm thoroughly and soften, about five-minutes. Stir in: fermented miso paste (about 2TB used here), a can of full-fat coconut milk, a 1/2 handful of cilantro, approximately a cup of shredded coconut [sweetened used here for flavor balance, but can use unsweetened], warm throughout and remove from heat. Finish by topping with a large handful of freshly sliced basil. It’s that easy!
  • Optional: steamed rice as directed on the package, or according to one of my rice recipes listed on this site.
  • Serve over a platter of steamed rice and/or simply drizzle with fresh-squeezed lime juice or chili sauce.