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why does some Coleslaw turm 'watery'?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

scenario: ran out of mayo to make coleslaw at work, so i went and got some Hellmans mayo from the shop and use that.

 

a day or so after the coleslaw had begun to turn very watery. something that never usually happens with the mayo that is usually bought in and used.

 

 

i started to think that it was the different mayo used that caused the coleslaw to turn watery, or could it be the juice and water in the onions and carrots seeping out into the mayo?

 

 

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post #2 of 31

The salt in the slaw draws out the water from the cabbage. You'll notice the cabbage is somewhat wilted. It's pretty universal in coleslaw. Some recipes presalt the cabbage and let it drain to help control this before mixing up the slaw.

post #3 of 31

I only use coleslaw on the day it's made. I always use home-made mayonnaise. 

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

sure it keeps for a couple of days even if using homemade mayonnaise.

 

 

 

yes phatch, can see the salt being responsible for drawing out the moisture of the cabbage and even the onion and carrot too, probably even more so.

 

however, i do  also recall using coarse rock salt instead of sea salt. regardless i still wonder if the choice/make of mayo made a difference maybe

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post #5 of 31

The reason I DON'T keep it is that I found the same problem you mention.  Even though I don't use shop-bought or commercially-available mayo.

post #6 of 31

worked in our family deli as a kid. Back then we used hellmans. The commercial gallons were always Heavy Mayonaise and the

grocery store was not.

I can also remember that when I shortcutted and added brine and mayo seperately we would not be able to remix to get rid of

the watery brine.

We always made a homogeneous mix of the brine and mayo, then mixed. This allowed us to take a spoon and remix it back quickly when it weeped and it stayed mixed

hth

pan

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post #7 of 31

I've always attributed it to the salt drawing out the water from the vegetables.  It doesn't bother me, I rather like the coleslaw juice seeping into the bread of my sandwich. 

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post #8 of 31

I never use salt in slaw nor red cabbage. Slaw will weep so after it is made put it in a strainer on top of a bowl then wrap it the liquid drips down. Another way is add some pectin or modified food starch to the slaw, this is done commercially and it helps hold th liquid  to the strands of cabbage. The red cabbage will turn the slaw pink or purple in a matter  of hours. There is a famous deli chain here in Florida that I developed a formula for their slaw and Tuna salad years ago Here is the slaw

 

2 carrots peeled and shredded

1 med head cabbage shredded

2 heaping Tablespoons celery seed

1 1/4 cups cider vineagar

3/4 cup sugar

2 T corn syrup

1 t white pepper

1 cup  HELLMANS ONLY MAYO

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 small can crushed pineapple(optional)

In s/s bowl put mayo, vinegar .sugar, corn syrup, pepper,celery seed,carrots. (pineapple if wanted0

Mix all together well with a s/s wire whip then add cabbage. store in fridge,chill covered at least 2 hours ,

try and produce only enough for a day.

Reason I spec Hellmans is that it contains just enough salt in its own right to the mix. others have to much

If you want you can put shredded red cabbage on top but not in.

 

Note.* If you want to add onion home you can, we did not because the onion cut down on the shelf life of slaw.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 31

Does anybody NOT make slaw with vinegar?

I have a person who maintains there is no vinegar of any kind in their coleslaw. I find this strange.

post #10 of 31

Chef Ross

I prefer the coleslaw that's made when I visit my Hispanic friends.

They use lime juice for the acid, heavy cilantro, onions, pepers, small amount of tomato and no mayo.

pan

They use a little mayo for the bolillos ;>D

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post #11 of 31

Isn't that more of a curtido?

post #12 of 31

If and when you salt cabbage to prevent watery coleslaw how is this done?  Soak in saltwater?  Blanched in saltwater?  Just sprinkled with salt?

post #13 of 31

Hey Patch,

     We eat it fresh and crisp. The curtido I know is the same ingredients but kind of marinated and not as crisp.

You know, you are probably right. I'm not really up on this.

When my guys make it they call it co loss. lol coleslaw

pan

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post #14 of 31

Cook's Illustrated just slices the cabbage, salts it and puts it in a colander to drain. They slightly oversalt on the concept that they'll lose some in the drained liquid. You want to finish with it at the proper salt level. Even if you salt lightly and let it drain it helps. I salt lightly as I'm on a sodium restriction. The other nice thing about this technique is that it gives you time to "ripen" the coleslaw. Coleslaw is a dish that improves with standing time, just like potato salad. And now you can age it overnight or a few hours at least without it going watery.

 

Yes, Panini, curtido is more of a pickle as it should age a few days in the liquid. Good stuff though.

post #15 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

Does anybody NOT make slaw with vinegar?

I have a person who maintains there is no vinegar of any kind in their coleslaw. I find this strange.


My mother-in-law used to make cole slaw with just cabbage and mayo.  It's hideous.  Don't do it.  Ever.

 

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

Chef Ross

I prefer the coleslaw that's made when I visit my Hispanic friends.

They use lime juice for the acid, heavy cilantro, onions, pepers, small amount of tomato and no mayo.

pan

They use a little mayo for the bolillos ;>D


Add green pepper and carrot and I call this old fashioned Health Salad
 

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

Cook's Illustrated just slices the cabbage, salts it and puts it in a colander to drain. They slightly oversalt on the concept that they'll lose some in the drained liquid. You want to finish with it at the proper salt level. Even if you salt lightly and let it drain it helps. I salt lightly as I'm on a sodium restriction. The other nice thing about this technique is that it gives you time to "ripen" the coleslaw. Coleslaw is a dish that improves with standing time, just like potato salad. And now you can age it overnight or a few hours at least without it going watery.

 

Yes, Panini, curtido is more of a pickle as it should age a few days in the liquid. Good stuff though.


Phatch
To me leaving it overnight only assures a soggy mess.. As far as their salt process it reminds me of the start of making sauerkraut not slaw. Most people like a crispy slaw, at least down here they do. The stuff that comes already made in supermarkets is soggy stuff and to me is uneatable. It sits there for days

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 31

It certainly has a peak but it's good for a day or two in my opinion. It's still fairly crisp too. But tastes do vary. The nice thing about the salting and draining is that the liquid wept by the cabbage is not particularly pleasant so that could be part of why older slaw has a bad reputation.

 

Give it a try before dismissing it.

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaYum View Post


 


My mother-in-law used to make cole slaw with just cabbage and mayo.  It's hideous.  Don't do it.  Ever.

 



I wish I could but this person maintains that this is what she grew up eating. Cabbage, mayo, tabasco, salt and pepper. It truly is bland and most people don't care for it that way.

On another note......sauerkraut is nothing more than cabbage and salt allowed to age.

post #20 of 31



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post





I wish I could but this person maintains that this is what she grew up eating. Cabbage, mayo, tabasco, salt and pepper. It truly is bland and most people don't care for it that way.

On another note......sauerkraut is nothing more than cabbage and salt allowed to age.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaYum View Post


 


My mother-in-law used to make cole slaw with just cabbage and mayo.  It's hideous.  Don't do it.  Ever.

 


 

It all depends on what your idea of cole slaw is.  My idea of coleslaw is that it is a condiment.  It is a topping for pulled pork sandwiches and hot dogs and a few other sandwiches.  I don't particularly like to eat it as a salad.  Therefore I keep it really simple.  Cabbage, a little carrot, mayo, red wine vinegar, and celery salt.  It's just something crisp, creamy, and refreshing to top my sandwiches, that's all.
 

 

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post #21 of 31

Kouko,

  NY?  A lot of folks where you are feel the same. 40yrs. ago we roasted our own beef and turkey. Our number 1 sandwich was RoastBeef on Rye with coleslaw and Russion dressing..

2. Fresh turkey breast on a Kaiser roll with bacon, tomato and slaw. Our chicken salad was very popular. People drove in from all over to get it. They could not figure out why it tasted so good. Well, we made it with the rest of the turkey after removing the breasts. lol

 

Chefedb,

     The guys will put something meat free together for lunch on Fridays. Didn't have any protien yesterday so they made the slaw and added beans, roasted corn, green pappers, for tacos. It was like a health salad. We had that and spiced fresh fruit. Nice light meal.

 

  Down here it's usually a side especially with bbq. Most always made with a buffolo chopper, mostly with onions, garlic, hot sauce, added and always lite on the Heavy Mayo.

 

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post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

Kouko,

  NY?  A lot of folks where you are feel the same.

 



Nope, New Yorkers don't know what to do with cole slaw.  They think it's something that you get in a little paper cup at a diner alongside a nasty little pickle.  I shiver to think about it.  I grew up in Virginia, so we ate the NC style BBQ down there.  Cole slaw is a must.  Regular cole slaw, not the fancy stuff with raisins or whatever.

 

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post #23 of 31

I generously salt the cabbage for about 30-45 minutes, wash in water then wring out in a towel.  It's a lot of extra work but it makes a non-weepy coleslaw with a good texture.

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post #24 of 31

Here down south or southeast there is either sweet slaw or regular. In Ny it was a combo. Go into any Jewish style Deli In NY and tell them you don;t know from coleslaw , They will throw your butt  out. Take Katz's, The Stage,Ratners, Carnagie, Bens all famous not only in NY but all over The US. And other then Romania the best Pastrami in the world.

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Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #25 of 31



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

 Go into any Jewish style Deli In NY and tell them you don;t know from coleslaw , They will throw your butt  out.

 

What does this mean?  I don't really go to Jewish style delis anymore, have never enjoyed the food experiences I've had there.

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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post



 

 

What does this mean?  I don't really go to Jewish style delis anymore, have never enjoyed the food experiences I've had there.



It is in answer to your statement "Most New Yorkers don't know what to do with Cole Slaw''

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #27 of 31

I think I'm completely off the reservation with this discussion here. I use three(3) bags of pre-mix; One(1) bag each of broccoli slaw (shredded broccoli and carrots), sunshine slaw (shredded cabbage and carrots) and one(1) bag of chopped cabbage (red and green). The combination of shredded and chopped is nice. I also add a med. sweet Spanish onion and a sm. fennel bulb, both blitzed in the food-pro. Sprinkle in lots fresh cracked black pepper and a half bottle of Marie's poppy-seed dressing. I don't add any salt at all. Mix it all up and it's ready to go. One(1) big batch never lasts longer than two(2) days. It never gets "watery". Maybe the dressing separates a little bit to the bottom, but never watery. Celery, parsley, cilantro, raisins, chopped nuts and/or lemon zest could be included for fun. My slaw is definitely a "side dish" never just a "condiment"

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post #28 of 31

simply put: Salt and vinegar will "cook" your cabbage. The acid and sodium performs a cooking process much like a pickling or curing process. That's the issue with cole slaw. It has nothing to do with your mayo...If you are in disbelief, make your own mayo...one egg yolk per gallon, and it will be closest to store bought.

post #29 of 31

Thanks to all of you. I really liked this thread as I could get to learn something interesting

post #30 of 31

Some members of my family like a creamy dressing on the slaw; some, a vinaigrette. I always make the kind of dressing enjoyed by the members who have annoyed me the least the day before I make the slaw, or the dressing liked by those family members who owe me the least money when I start slicing the cabbage. However, today I realized everyone had been pleasant and all had redeemed their iou's . . . SO, can I make the two dressings and serve them on the side? Does the slaw have to 'steep' in the dressing in order for the flavors to blend?

                                               gman

 

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