Coleslaw, in any form, has been one of our family’s all-time favorite salads for as long as I can remember, even when our children were little. Because of my lettuce intolerance, it’s always been a great way for me to enjoy a salad as well. Back when we lived on the mainland I always has a bag or two of pre-shredded cabbage on my shopping list because it was healthy, convenient and inexpensive (99 cents or less for regular coleslaw, $1.20 or less for angel hair slaw, which was less than buying a whole head of cabbage). All I had to do was open the bag and rinse off the cabbage, whip up a dressing, add a few additional ingredients, most of which were pantry staples, and we had a cool, crunchy addition to our meal.
The following recipes for traditional, “Asian” and sweet and sour are still our three favorite ways to eat coleslaw, and all three are based on using a 14-oz bag of pre-shredded cabbage. These days I shred my own cabbage as a bag of the pre-shredded stuff is at least $5.99/bag (or more). Locally grown cabbage often shows up at the farmers’ market, and we can occasionally get heads of Hawaii-grown organic cabbage at Costco, but if not I can usually find something affordable at Safeway or Big Save.
Because we enjoy coleslaw so much, I hope that some of you will share your favorite recipes with me as we’re always ready to try something new!
An incredibly easy and delicious recipe.
1 14-oz bag shredded cabbage for coleslaw
grated carrot (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (2 TBSP more if you like a “wetter” coleslaw)
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Blend in mayonnaise until mixed well with cabbage. Sprinkle sugar over the coleslaw, then vinegar, and mix into the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let coleslaw sit for about 15 minutes before serving for flavors to mingle.
There are probably a hundred variations of this cabbage salad, none of them truly Asian, but this is the best one I’ve tasted. I sometimes add shredded leftover chicken and serve it as a main dish.
1 14-oz bag shredded cabbage for coleslaw (angel hair coleslaw preferred)
1 bunch green onions including green tops, thinly sliced
1 pkg. oriental- or chicken-flavored ramen, flavor packet set aside
2 TBSP sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/3 cup light olive or canola oil
3 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP dark sesame oil (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine the cabbage, onions, sesame seeds and almonds in a large bowl. Break apart the uncooked ramen noodles into small pieces and toss with the cabbage. Just before serving mix together the oil(s), rice vinegar, salt, pepper and flavor packet from the ramen and blend well. Pour over the cabbage and toss to mix well. Serve immediately so the ramen stays crunchy.
SWEET AND SOUR SLAW
This yummy recipe comes from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet. It goes well with grilled meat, and curry or Thai-flavored dishes. The recipe makes quite a bit, which is great for potlucks, but I usually cut the recipe in half for my family.
1/3 cup rice or cider vinegar
1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy is OK)
3 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or 1/2 garlic chili sauce (optional)
2 14-oz bags shredded cabbage for coleslaw
1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Blend together the vinegar, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil; set aside. (If you would like to add a little kick to your salad, add red pepper flakes or the garlic chili sauce.) About an hour before serving, place the peanut butter mixture in a large bowl, and add the cabbage, about 2 cups at a time, tossing the ingredients after each addition. Cover and chill the salad for an hour, tossing it every 20 or so minutes. Just before serving, add the chopped peanuts and toss once more. (This is quite a “wet” slaw; serve with a slotted spoon).