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732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this is a couple of questions plus a recipe request. first off I need to know why the creamy dressing makes coleslaw so gross, but an oil and vinegar dressing actually makes coleslaw worth while ?. I admit I hated coleslaw until I made some last night with an oil and vinegar dressing and i was like wow, it must have been the dressing that i hated, not the cabbage. I also would like to get a good recipe for an oil and vinegar dressing, because the one I made, I don't know what happened, but I wound up with the salad soaking in a pool of oil, for some reason, the dressing found it's way to the bottom of the bowl (I used a half cup of dressing for around 2-3 cups of cabbage), instead of just staying on the salad. any help is appreciated.

139 Posts
your posting makes me laugh! ( in a good way!).

Just started the CA program at a local comm college...we are focused around a restaurant...first semester is lunch service. Being on limited budgets we do A LOT of slaw as side dishes...

I HATE cole slaw with mayo but like you've discussed really like the vinegar slaws....I also try to make vinegar ones...but get into huge arguments with many of my younger classmates who insist that it's cole slaw and therefore MUST have mayo...

I don't know why but seeing you post this just makes me smile and laugh! :lol I

ANyway, I don't really have a recipe to share with you...I just kind of reach for whatever seems good...the last one I did had somewhat of an asian slant with orange, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, maybe some soy(I forget to tell you the truth), peanuts, partner for the day hated it(no mayo) but the chef loved it...and so did the customers. :)

I'm sure others here will have lots of good suggestions...

2,550 Posts
I like Jimmy Sneed's recipe, from In Julia's Kitchen. I've used it time and time again.

Richmond Slaw
(Serves 4)

For the dressing
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar

For the peppers
½ large red bell pepper
½ large yellow bell pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons sea salt

For the cabbage
1 large carrot, peeled
2 scallions, ends trimmed, green stalks left on
½ small head of green cabbage (2 ½ to 3 cups shredded)
2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger root should yield about ½ teaspoon freshly grated

Making the dressing: Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a 6-cup saucepan, swirling the pan by its handle until the sugar has completely dissolved. Measure in the Old Bay seasoning, the pepper, and the salt. Return the liquid to the boil, set the pan aside off heat, and let it cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the celery seeds and vinegar.

Blanching and Julienning the Peppers: Quarter the peppers; remove stems, seeds, and ribs, and cut the peppers into julienne strips 1/8 inch wide and about 1 ½ inches long. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the salt, and when it returns to the boil, drop in the peppers. Blanch for 15 seconds, drain, and immediately drop them into the ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain again, pat dry, and put them into the bowl.

Julienning the Carrot: Rather than julienning the carrot by hand, try the mandoline with its julienne blade to make matchstick-size strips 1/8 inch thick-but do watch your hands since the blade is very sharp indeed. If the central of the carrot is definitely of a different orange than the rest, do not include it. Pile several strips together, and with your knife cut them approximately the same length as the peppers. Turn them into the bowl with the peppers.

Slicing the Scallions: Slice the tender green and the white parts of the scallions into very thin rounds, and add to the other vegetables.

Shredding the Cabbage: Pull away the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, and either slice it by hand or use the food processor.

Finishing the Slaw: Fold the shredded cabbage into the bowl with the other ingredients, pour on the dressing, and toss thoroughly. Taste, and toss with more salt if needed. Grate the ginger on top of the coleslaw. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more, to let flavors blend.

Ahead of Time Note: The coleslaw will keep nicely as is for a day or two. Before serving again, you may want to drain off the accumulated liquid, toss and check the seasoning.


P.S.: I hope you can find the Old Bay seasoning. If not, I can give you the list of ingredients. It will then be up to you to tweak it to your taste.

Super Moderator
4,716 Posts
Kimmie, that recipe looks great! Here is cole slaw, as my dad, and his parents, and their parents, etc. have made it:

-Shred cabbage (green, never red)
-julienne lots of onion
-mix these in a bowl
-add cider vinegar and about 1/2 that amount in water
-add sugar (to balance out the vinegar, our family likes a sweet & sour thing)
-season with salt, pepper, and celery seed (lots)
-allow to sit overnight to let the cabbage and onions wilt.

Sorry that there are no measurements, but to this day, nobody in our family has ever measured out the ingredients. It is just on of those "add it until it tastes right' kind of things.

205 Posts
The slaw "soaking in a pool of oil" is actually soaking in a pool of oil and cabbage juices. Cabbage is one of those very high-water veggies that releases a lot of liquid when salt hits it.

A solution might be to pre-salt it lightly first and let it drain in a colander before adding the dressing, and reducing the salt a bit in the actual dressing.

221 Posts
Yep, I do what Compassrose does and pre-salt/drain my cabbage in a colander with a plate and a couple of cans of soup on top to rid the cabbage of excess water. Then I rinse well and either spin dry or squeeze with my hands. This treatment of cabbage changes the texture somewhat. It becomes satisfyingly crunchy rather than crispy. One of my favorite ways of preparing coleslaw is with a Southeast Asian (Thai or Vietnamese) style dressing that is usually used on shredded green papaya or green mangos. The dressing contains no oil but you don't miss it at all. Its made with lime or lemon juice, fish sauce, chili paste and sugar. Use just enough to season the cabbage. Otherwise, it could get a little salty. Sometimes I also add a few sections of grapefruit or pomelo when it is available.

Happy crunching.
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