HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Coleslaw Question

I love coleslaw and I use a really great recipe. My problem is that the cabbage is so waterlogged that it's makes the whole thing too "liquidy". I've heard of people salting the cabbage beforehand to remove excess moisture but does it ruin the end result? Any thoughts, suggestions or tips?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try tossing the cabbage with a tbsp or so of good oil, before any other ingredients are added. That will "seal" the moisture in the cabbage so it don't weep later. It also makes less mayo go a longer way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: labeille

      I do that, oil and vinegar, then mayo etc. I tried Tom Fitzmorris' suggestions for stay-crisp cabbage a couple of years ago and it worked: shred cabbage and place in a bowl of ice water for 2-3 hours in the fridge. Drain, and dry cabbage with paper towels. It worked.
      The slaw was crispy/crunchy and didn't weep. But I prefer it the old way, so haven't done that again.

    2. Knowing that the cabbage is going to weep, I use what at first seems to be far too little dressing. When I add the dressing to the grated cabbage it seems as though it just couldn't possibly be enough. But after I let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour, I toss it again and it seems just right. You might try using about half the amount of dressing you usually do and see if that works for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        I love that phrase "cabbage is going to weep" I keep picturing this sad little cabbage crying.

        1. re: cassoulady

          i went to look for a picture of a weeping cabbage, but found this instead: http://totallylookslike.files.wordpre...


      2. If you include salt in your dressing, and most of us would, it draws out the moisture from the cabbage and that increases the fluidity of your dressing. The salt prep step you mentioned can be applied, but you have to consider that when you're preparing the dressing to avoid over salting the dish. I like the suggestion offered by JoanN. It's a technique you'll have to learn in order to get it perfect, but IMO it's the best route to follow.

        1. Toss shredded cabbage (1 lb. or 1/2 large heard) and 1 teaspoon salt in colander or large mesh strainer set over medium bowl.
          Let stand until cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
          Rinse cabbage under cold running water.
          Press, but do not squeeze, to drain; pat dry with paper towels.

          2 Replies
          1. re: laliz

            That's exactly what i do, except I do squeeze. Comes out nice and crispy every time.

            1. re: irishnyc

              I do the same. Salting makes the cabbage crisp and keeps it from "weeping".

          2. I have done a combo of techniques. I have salted the cabbage put in a collander, rinsed and let dry and for me ... not much difference. I like to pat dry and then add a little sauce. I never add salt to my sauce. Add less then what you think. Also I don't put the sauce on way in advance just a couple of hours. Then I check again close to serving and may adjust with a little more sauce, less is better. Then before serving I add a little salt if needed.

            Always worked for me.

            1. I make my dressing with about 3/4 cup each of mayonnaise and buttermilk, plus some salt, a big spoonful of pickle relish and about 2 Tbs. red vinegar. This dresses a big shredded head of cabbage, which at first seems to be just barely dressed at all. As the salt draws moisture out of the cabbage, it wilts into what is now about the right amount of dressing. And just now I noticed that JoanN advocates a similar strategy. Great minds...

              1. After shredding, toss the cabbage with salt. Then put it in a colander over the sink and stick something heavy on top, like a brick wrapped in foil. Let it drain for 4-5 hours, then rinse and shake dry. You shouldn't have a problem with weeping after that.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                  Follow above recs but dry in salad spinner after rinsing.

                2. I shred, dress it and let it chill. Later, just tip the bowl and get rid of any funky liquid that may have pooled. It works for me!

                  1. Thanks everyone! I think I'll have a little experiment and try both strategies here - salting before and adding less dressing. I'll let you know the results, but I don't believe there will be a blinding difference..or maybe there will be?! :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. I use packaged cabbage and it doesn't weep, could that be the reason or is it just happy???

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                        Poor stuff has already cried all it can ;-)

                        1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                          I do very often, but I have chopped my own, just depends if the pre looks good and if I have time. But I do go light on the sauce and let it set, then a little more sauce.