Slaws wanted
January 22, 2019 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I want to make more cabbage slaws, but lack good recipes.

Recommend me your slaws! From the most mundane of upper midwestern coleslaws to the most sophisticated and coastal, I will eat them all. From the kind that incorporate crumbled ramen to the kind that incorporate vinegars with terroir, no slaw is too simple and none is too fancy!
posted by Frowner to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Lexington North Carolina style Red Slaw is a favorite of mine, even though I dislike ketchup in most other uses.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:32 AM on January 22

I believe this is the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. It's basic but delicious.
    1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
    1/4 cup sour cream
    2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
    1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon celery seed
    1/8 teaspoon dill seed
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1 to 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped (any type onion)
    4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced or chopped (about 1/2 medium head, or use equivalent amount of package slaw mix)
    1/3 cup shredded carrot
  1. In large glass or plastic bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, mustard, celery seed, dill seed, salt, pepper and onion.
  2. Stir in cabbage and carrots, tossing until evenly coated.
  3. Cover and refrigerate one hour to blend flavors.

posted by ubiquity at 7:32 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

The Better Homes & Gardens cookbook has a great recipe, my relatives gush over it.
posted by Melismata at 7:36 AM on January 22

Bund Gobhi Nu Shaak is delicious!
posted by Knicke at 7:39 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]

I don't know if this qualifies as a slaw, but:

Red Cabbage Salad

(no amounts given because this is all to your own taste...and also because I never measure)

finely shredded red cabbage
garlic powder
fresh lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Dress cabbage with garlic, lemon juice, oil and seasonings. Taste once mixed and adjust as needed before serving.

The coleslaw recipe that ubiquity posted above is more or less my default, though I leave out the sour cream and the sugar and use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.

And if the red cabbage salad stretched the definition of slaw, this probably breaks it completely (but is very very tasty):
Goi Ga (Vietnamese cold chicken and cabbage salad)
posted by Janta at 7:58 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]

From Bakesale Betty,s famous chicken sandwich its delicious
posted by supermedusa at 7:59 AM on January 22

I make a super simple one that I love to serve alongside pulled pork or ribs, or on top of tacos (fish, chicken, anything):
red cabbage sliced thin
chopped cilantro
dressing: lime juice (apple cider vinegar if lime isn't available), olive oil, S+P to taste, plus, as desired: cumin, paprika, and/or cayenne

To fancy this up, you could add in carrot (ribbons or shredded) for color. And to serve as part of a vaguely Mediterranean spread, I'll sub lemon juice for the lime, parsley and/or mint for the cilantro, and serve with shawarma-style chicken and tahini sauce, yum.
posted by CiaoMela at 8:01 AM on January 22

I recommend this all the time but here it is again - massaged kale salad. It's a technique for preparing the kale: take ripped-up kale, hit it with olive oil+salt+lemon juice, and scrunch it up/knead very firmly in your hands for a few minutes until it turns dark and looks as if it's been cooked.

Then you can add what you like - in this case, a lot of thin sliced red cabbage so it ends up being more of a slaw with kale accents, maybe carrots, dried fruit (cut up dates? raisins that have been soaked with a little water or apple juice?), fresh fruit (chunks of tart apple? mango?), nuts and cheese, whatever you like in a slaw. You can finish with a little splash of apple cider vinegar.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:03 AM on January 22

You may be interested in the coleslaw review FB page. I'm sure they'd love to hear some of your reviews of these recipes, and you may learn something by following along.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:11 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

My mother's cole slaw consisted solely of shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. It was amazing.
posted by FencingGal at 8:14 AM on January 22

I like everything just slightly pickled so I'm partial to a quick (unfermented) curtido. Like this Serious Eats recipe, but white vinegar. A huge pile of this alongside some pupusas is *chef kiss*.
posted by clavicle at 8:14 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

I’m a big fan of this kale and cabbage slaw.

I make the following modifications to the salad:
- don’t bother with the shaved almonds
- add cubed baked tofu
- more cilantro
- less carrots

And the following adjustments to the dressing:
- at least double the lime juice
- more garlic
- spicy sesame oil instead of regular
- no sweetener
- double the ginger
- 1/2 the veg oil

It’s scrumptious and super fast, cheap, and easy!!
posted by Dorinda at 8:15 AM on January 22

I made collard slaw recently, though its addition of raisins was a daring change that I didn't try.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 8:21 AM on January 22

Jicama slaw:

4 parts julienne'd jicama
1 part supremed orange slices, cut in half
1 part thinly sliced red onion

juice and zest of one lime
juice and zest of half an orange
pinch of salt (more if you love margaritas and enjoy the salty citrus thing)
a glug of tasty olive oil

Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette, beat with a fork to encourage the oil to break up and incorporate. Mix together the fruits and veg, toss to coat in the dressing. Better the next day. Very nice on a bed of sliced red cabbage too, but keep it separate so the cabbage doesn't dye the jicama.
posted by Mizu at 8:32 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

Chop up some cabbage (both red and green is best) a little bit of carrot. Put it in a bowl and pour some malt vinegar over it. Just enough to get it damp; don't drench it. In a separate bowl, or preferably a ramekin, scoop in a couple of spoonfuls of mayonnaise. Pour a little bit of 2% milk in, maybe two glugs, and then sprinkle some black pepper, and stir. Once the mayo mixture is stirred, then you just mix it in with the cabbage and carrots, making sure to coat all the veggies with the mixture. Taste it. If it needs more of something, add that and stir. Once it tastes right, refrigerate for a couple of hours. I like to sprinkle some additional black pepper on top after taking it out of the fridge to serve, but that's personal preference. Very basic, but it tastes good. Reminds me of what I used to eat growing up.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:37 AM on January 22

Could go in a slaw-esque Korean direction:

half a head of cabbage sliced/shredded (~4 Cups)
3 green onions
1.5 Tbsp brown rice vinegar or apple vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp garlic powder
~2 Tbsp red pepper powder (uh, powder, not flakes. I guess flakes might work?)

Combine and consume, or refrigerate for up to a couple of days.
posted by aramaic at 9:03 AM on January 22

This is my everyday coleslaw recipe. I think it has a good balance of flavors without being fussy:
8 cups finely shredded cabbage
2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 big ones?)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.
I use the shredding disc on my food processor to shred the carrots and cabbage. This literally takes 5 minutes to prepare including peeling carrots, and everything in it is inexpensive and will keep in your refrigerator for a gotdam month or more, which reduces worries about produce going grotty.

I also make a Korean-ish napa cabbage slaw that goes something like this:
8 cups shredded Napa cabbage
4 sliced green onions
1 cup peanuts
1/3 c sesame oil
1/4 c lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tablespoons Korean hot pepper flakes

With this one I usually knife-cut the cabbage.
posted by drlith at 9:11 AM on January 22

my favorite shredded cabbage thing is in a southeast Asian direction:

thinly shredded cabbage
chopped up mint and cilantro
fish sauce
lime juice
chopped peanuts
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:15 AM on January 22

I really like this Memphis mustard coleslaw recipe. I've copied-and-pasted it below. I always double the sauce, because I like the coleslaw to be very wet. And I use pre-shredded cabbage from the supermarket.



CHEF'S NOTE “This is a very tangy slaw from "Raichlen on Ribs'' by Steve Raichlen. Great book if you don't have it. Definitely a keeper for all of you BBQ Grill experts out there. Please note: this is an adopted recipe and I hope to make it soonest. If you make it before I do, I would appreciate feedback, Thanks

YIELD: 4 cups

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (or more)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Texas Pete
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 Large green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (for about 4 cups finely chopped)
1 medium carrot, peeled


Place mustard and sugar in a non-reactive mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Gradually whisk in vinegar, oil and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste; the dressing should be highly seasoned. Set dressing aside.

Finely chop cabbage in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade, running the machine in short bursts; this is a chopped, not a shredded, slaw. Work in several batches so as not to overcrowd processor bowl.

Finely grate carrot by hand or use shredding disk of food processor.

Add cabbage and carrot to dressing and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and vinegar as necessary.

The slaw tastes best served within a few hours of being made but can be refrigerated, covered, for a day or two.

posted by alex1965 at 9:21 AM on January 22

My Japanese friend makes wasabi slaw for her sushi parties and it's soo good:

1 head of cabbage, shredded fine
1 bottle wasabi dressing (or Kewpie mayo plus wasabi paste to taste)
sugar and salt to taste
black sesame seeds (a few tablespoons is fine)

Mix it up until it looks like coleslaw, use less dressing than you think it needs, as it will get wetter as it sits. You're aiming for spicy, but not eye-wateringly so.
posted by ananci at 9:21 AM on January 22

Waldorf Slaw (original source unrecorded)

1/3 cup rice vinegar
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 apples, cored (Granny Smith or Russet)
3 stalks celery, slant-cut very thin, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves chopped fine
1/3 cup toasted walnut oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves

In a very large bowl, mix vinegar and zest. Cut apples in matchsticks, tossing them in bowl as they are cut. Add sliced celery pieces and mix well. Add walnut oil, toss, season with salt and pepper, then fold in scallions and toss again. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until chilled. To serve, add celery leaves and tarragon.
posted by vers at 9:26 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

This Santa Fe slaw from Sunset magazine involves chipotle sauce and lots of lime juice and is SO good. It's my go-to camping dish as the ingredients are easy to put together separately and combine later. I use frozen corn and leave out the jicama.
posted by lovableiago at 9:48 AM on January 22

Blue Cheese Coleslaw adapted from Cooking Classy

16 oz sliced cabbage
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1-2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 Tsp onion powder
1/4 Tsp garlic powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/8 Tsp pepper
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Pour coleslaw mix into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to evenly coat. Fold in crumbled blue cheese. Refrigerate coleslaw for 30 minutes and toss once more before serving.
posted by vers at 9:51 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

Slaw is about the technique first and foremost. You have to do something to tenderize the cabbage - either brine in sugar and salt, or give it a massage. Here's the Serious Eats Food Lab on coleslaw!
posted by schwinggg! at 10:03 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]

Agree with schwinggg, all these nice recipes and suggestions and not a one starts with

1. Salt cabbage and let sit for an hour or more...
posted by humboldt32 at 10:16 AM on January 22

I now realize that I have lost the recipe I use to make cole slaw as the site it was on is no longer around. If you find a recipe you like online make sure to make your own copy of it.

These are the steps but you'll need to test the exact quantities:

1. Shred and salt your cabbage. Leave it alone for a while and drain any liquid that comes out.
2. In a pot combine oil, white vinegar, sugar, salt and some black pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
4. Pour the hot vinegar mixture onto the cabbage and mix.
5. Leave it alone for a couple of hours and enjoy. It'll be better after a couple of days in the fridge but pretty good after a couple of hours.

The oil and vinegar were somewhere around a 1/2 cup each. The sugar was a lot more than you'd think, maybe a 1/4 cup and then maybe 2 tablespoons each of the salt and black pepper.

You'll notice there's no mayo as that's apparently how they do it in Montreal (the recipe was from Dunn's, a Montreal deli that does have a website but not the helpful one with recipes it used to).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:42 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]

1. Chop up half a head or so of cabbage, however fine or chunky you like it.
2. Cut up a large, flavorful apple into bite-size chunks (or use two smaller apples... a green one and a red one are pretty)
3. Scoop enough mayo into a bowl to moisten the cabbage and apples
4. Add enough vinegar to thin the mayo to a nice dressing consistency
5. Sweeten to taste with your sweetener of choice.
6. Pour dressing over cabbage/apple mixture and mix well. Best if refrigerated for a few hours before serving, or overnight.

I like to serve this with a pork roast, or lasagna.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:20 PM on January 22

Try mixing some kimchi with mayo and sour cream. It takes 5 seconds and it’s soooo good!
posted by bluebird at 2:16 PM on January 22

My wife makes a slaw with red cabbage, fennel, onion and carrot. The dressing is buttermilk, sour cream, mustard, fennel seeds and carraway seeds. The aniseedy flavours are great with spicy things.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:40 PM on January 22

An old friend's mum used to make a cucumber slaw with the following:
equal parts:

shredded cabbage
shredded cucumber (maybe strained afterwards)
small amount of shredded onion
cucumber salad dressing
salt & pepper
(maybe a bit of miracle whip?)

The cuke seemed to lighten the whole thing up. Best made in smaller batches because the cucumber can get a bit soggy.
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 4:31 PM on January 22

Trader Joe's goddess dressing is really good on shredded cabbage. I prefer slaw to be underdressed. Salt and pepper make a huge difference with whatever dressing you add. I love the crunch of finely shredded cabbage that has not been salted/ wilted. You can quick-pickle cabbage, shredded carrots, etc., in leftover pickle juice for some zing.
posted by theora55 at 4:37 PM on January 22

chop up cabbage skinny-wise
shave carrot into cabbage
add a lil bit of red onion
dollop of mayonnaise
pinch of salt and pepper
big squirt of yellow mustard
mix it up

posted by whimsicalnymph at 5:42 PM on January 22

Best I ever had (so far) was from a local diner. Here's the original recipe the owner generously shared with me, as well as half and quarter versions I calculated to make for less than restaurant-sized portions.

2 heads green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
1 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
4 large carrots, grated
2 cups raisins
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp each salt and black pepper
2 cups mayo
1 cup sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the last 3 ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a bus tub and label, date and refrigerate.

1/2 recipe:
1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
1/2 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
2 large carrots, grated
1 cups raisins
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp each salt and black pepper
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 recipe:
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
1/4 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp chopped garlic (more?)
1/2 tbsp each salt and black pepper (less?)
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
posted by dancing leaves at 6:23 AM on January 23

I really like this creamy cole slaw recipe from Bobby Flay. I reduce the sugar to 1 Tsp. The ground mustard, sour cream, and grated onion add very interesting flavors. I also strongly agree with the suggestions to salt the cabbage and let it drain for an hour as step #1.
posted by cheapskatebay at 5:13 PM on January 23

"Alabama hot slaw" from the Moosewood cookbook is my family's go to.
posted by gang of puffins at 8:29 PM on January 24

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