Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 10, 2008 09:57 AM


I plan to make coleslaw for the first time and I read that you are supposed to first salt the slaw and weigh it down so the water goes out (I plan on using the pre-shredded cabbage, I assume this still applies). How much salt do people mean when they salt something to get the water out (I have seen it for eggplant before too). What do you weigh it down with?

Does this process add a lot of sodium to the slaw or egg plant? Thanks!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never salted cabbage to get it to release its water when I make coleslaw. I use vinegar and oil for the dressing, and I don't add any salt. Always works for me. My coleslaw includes shredded carrot, diced green bell pepper, finely diced onion and celery seeds along with the cabbage and dressing.

    Kimchee, on the other hand, is a different story altogether!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      I've never salted cabbage either for this purpose - I use mayonnaise for the dressing though!

      1. re: ChiliDude

        One of the main reasons you would salt shredded cabbage before making coleslaw is to prevent it from getting very watery once you add the dressing (which inevitably contains salt or sodium). If you are making it to eat right away, there is no need for that step. But if you plan on making it ahead for a BBQ or something, you should salt it. Rinsing it well afterwards will remove all the salt (which doesn't get absorbed into the cabbage- only extrudes the water from the cabbage).

      2. Why pre-shredded? It's not hard to cut, it will be cheaper and much better. I love hand cut cabbage slaw. I think it makes a big difference. Any cabbage is great, but I do like Napa Cabbage for slaw.

        I've never done the salting thing.

        1. Count me in with those who have never salted the cabbage beforehand, and I've been making slaw for years. Chances are if you're using pre-shredded cabbage, it will have dried out more than fresh-cut anyway.

          1. The pre-shredded stuff if pretty dry already. I would not do the weighing salting thing. What I would do is add some of the dressing ahead of time and massage it around a bit (in a large zip lock) so that it sort of "re-hydrates". Agree with others, it takes less than a minute or two to shred some cabbage. A serrated large knife works really well. Don't forget onion (white or green) and you may want to try a bit of sweetness like apple (mini chunks).

            1. I make pounds and pounds of cole slaw each BBQ season... and I've never salted it in advance.

              Even when I make it a day or two before serving. I do have a great KFC cole slaw clone recipe if you'd like it. (IMHO the only thing worth eating at KFC ; )

              6 Replies
              1. re: Jennalynn

                I would LOVE that recipe -- I am obsessed with their coleslaw (eaten with a spork, natch).

                1. re: sweetpotater

                  It is really good.

                  KFC Cole Slaw

                  8 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1 head, or one bag of the pre shredded)
                  1/4 cup shredded carrot (1 medium carrot)
                  2 tablespoons minced onion
                  1/3 cup granulated sugar
                  1/2 teaspoon salt
                  1/8 teaspoon pepper
                  1/4 cup milk
                  1/2 cup mayonnaise
                  1/4 cup buttermilk
                  1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
                  2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

                  1. Be sure cabbage and carrots are chopped up into very fine pieces (about the size of rice).

                  2. Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl and beat until smooth.

                  3. Add the cabbage, carrots, and onion, and mix well.

                  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

                  Serves 10-12

                  1. re: Jennalynn

                    i love that kfc recipe. but kfc uses a fine shredding -- almost a mince.

                    btw, some no mayo slaw recipes:

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Yes... that's why it says "the size of rice grains"

                      1. re: Jennalynn

                        sorry! i just skimmed ingredients, and focused on "pre-shredded" rather than "finely chopped." maybe i was just wanting to hurry through the recipe so i wouldn't crave it, and have to go to the grocery for ingredients.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I actually pulse it in my food processor to get the really rice size pieces.