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Looking for a vinegar slaw recipe

I want to mimic a slaw at a local bbq joint. (Hubba Hubba in Flat Rock , NC) They call it vinegar slaw, but it's not the typical boiled dressing slaw i'm accustomed to. It's fresher tasting...I tend to think it's just marinated. It's all quite sweet and has some cilantro in it. Does this ring any bells? I can just wing it, but I'd like to see a recipe if anyone has any ideas.

And...after I make that, I want a creamy slaw to serve on the same platter. But something with more color...maybe heavily carrot? Any ideas here appreciated. Happy 4th!

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  1. Have you ever tried the Cooks Ilustrated Best Recipe version? I haven't made it in years but remember really liking the vinegar. No cilantro, though.


    5 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      that looks pretty close, actually...the sheen in the picture even. Interesting that the sugar is sprinkled on with the salt, not dissolved in the oil/vinegar. Thanks, you're quite the resource, chowser.

      1. re: danna

        As I read your description, that recipe just popped into mind. It sounded just like it; and reminded me that I need to go back to making it regularly.

        1. re: chowser

          It was pretty good, and received compliments, but it wasn't what I was looking for. It was a fun experiment in how much moisture actually comes out of a head of cabbage when it sits w/ salt and sugar (a LOT!). But now that I've made it, I realize the slaw I'm after still has much more of it's moisture and crunch, and is sweeter and tarter.

          For the other salad, I chopped in small cubes (hey...i was off work and it was too hot to go outside after about 10am) 2 kinds of zucchini, green pepper, cukes, added cut off corn and quartered 3 types of cherry tomatoes. Added cooked wheatberries that had been tossed in a garlic/balsamic vinaigrette while warm...garnished w/ feta. It was good. After I started chopping all those fresh veggies I couldn't bear to put mayo on them.

          Thanks all!

          1. re: danna

            Sorry it didn't turn out! That second salad sounds great, especially for this warm weather. I love a huge mixed vegetable salad but you're right about the chopping. And , I also prefer a vinaigrette to mayo. Right now I'm thinking of new potatoes and haricots verts w/ mustard vinaigrette since I have the ingredients but it might be too heavy.

            1. re: chowser

              Thanks. I often do a "summer succotash" that I originally found on Martha Stewart's site. They modified that site several years ago in keeping with Martha's new plan of having her magazine and everything else suck real bad. The search function is borderline unusable and what you do find is 10 different versions of the same recipe. Some apparently dumbed down for the "everyday food" publication.

              That is to say, i couldn't find a link for you. But basically, it was corn, tomatoes, soy beans, green beans, yellow wax beans. It had a mustard based vinaigrette but it really wasn't too heavy at all....I always start w/ half the vinaigrette /sauce any recipe calls for ....since you can't go back!

    2. Maybe cider or rice wine vinegar was used. They are both more refreshing and less sharp than white.

      1. No help here with a cilantro coleslaw, but I have a suggestion for a nice variation on creamy slaw. Here's a link to an old summer standby in our family, Bacon-Curry Cole Slaw. You could easily make it more colorful using half red cabbage if you wanted, and maybe add some grated carrot too. Very tasty hot weather dish, and seems like it'd be a good foil for your vinegary one...


        1. I make one that is simply shredded or chopped cabbage, 1" peices of cilantro(stem and all) some shredded carrot , finely sliced JalapeƱo or Serrano chili, Cider vinegar, brown sugar and S+P.
          No real measurements just all to taste. Oh, and no oil.

          1. I winged it with juice from a jar of hot spicy pickles from Costco that made an awesome dressing. Add sugar. This is where Miracle Whip may be a better choice than Hellmans.

            1. Try this recipe - it is delicious! A little background: this recipe is from the Chuck Muer's restaurants and they are known for, amongst other things, their vinegar based coleslaw recipe.

              I think what makes it different is the addition of parsley and lemon juice. I would experiment with substituting cilantro since you mention that, but I'm telling you, the parsley is delicious and makes the coleslaw! I would even try a combination of parsley and cilantro.

              Anyone from the Detroit area will vouch for this delicious coleslaw:

              COLESLAW With Italian Vinaigrette Dressing (From Chuck Muer's)

              3/4 lb. cabbage, coarsely shredded (6 cups)
              1/2 c. onion, finely diced
              1/2 c. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
              1/2 c. carrots, shredded
              1/2 t. white pepper
              1/2 t. salt
              juice of 1/2 lemon
              1/2 c. Italian vinaigrette dressing*

              Toss together the first 6 ingredients. Toss with juice and dressing.


              1/2 c. olive oil
              1/4 c. plus 2 T. vegetable oil
              3 T. white wine vinegar
              1/4 t. dried basil
              1/4 t. dried oregano
              1/4 t. garlic, minced
              1 T. sugar
              dash ground cumin

              Whisk together and refrigerate.
              (makes 1 cup)

              Personally, I use both green & red/purple cabbage and I have never used the cumin. The diced onion also really adds to this recipe.

              If you try this recipe, will you post again and tell us how you liked it? I have a feeling this is the recipe you are looking for!

              1. What a good idea! I hate mayo-based slaw and love curtido, which is closer to what you're talking about, so I'm interested to know what you end up with.

                1. Joy of Cooking has a good recipe for Asian Cole Slaw, which I've modified -
                  for one head of shredded cabbage

                  1cp rice vinegar
                  1/2 cup sugar
                  lime juice
                  minced ginger, about 2Tb
                  red pepper flakes - to taste
                  1cp shredded carrots

                  marinate overnight or for at least a few hours to let flavors meld.
                  add cilantro at the end. this is always a hit at picnics.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emdoubleu

                    How much lime juice do you put in? I've made the Joy recipe, which is a two step process. It's always a hit, but your easier version is appealing. Thanks

                  2. I doubt it was this, SUPER SLAW, (to the rescue!)...heh, sorry, but this has no mayonnaise and it includes cilantro and IT.IS.DELICIOUS!!!!!

                    1. I make my slaw(straight green cabbage) w/ both mayo ( a little) & vinegar (either cider or rice), a little green onion, shredded carrot, & pickapeppa sauce, makes it a little brown,but it tastes great...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thistle5

                        I used cider vinegar or rice vinegar in my recipe and the cole slaw was very good,. Must be refrigerated at least 4 hours.What is pickapeppa sauce?

                      2. I normally have two coleslaw recipes I use - an old North Carolina slaw recipe and an old BBQ restaurant recipe. However, yesterday I decided to use the following, very simple recipe. It is quite delicious.

                        Brookville Hotel Restaurant Sweet & Sour Coleslaw
                        1 1/2 lbs shredded green cabbage
                        1 teaspoon salt
                        2/3 cup sugar
                        1/3 cup vinegar
                        1 cup whipping cream

                        Put shredded cabbage and salt in a bowl and mix. Refrigerate several hours or until well chilled.

                        30 min before serving time, mix ingredients in order given. (I did this about 2 hours before we were going to eat.)

                        Chill and serve.

                        I prefer to shred cabbage on a box grater. It seems to me that the cabbage is much more tender when shredded by this method, as opposed to a food processor.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Wtg2Retire

                          This is my favorite style slaw! My Mother obtained the recipe from a restaurant in Florida, The Beachcomber, many years ago - they serve it with their family style fried chicken dinner. I add a little pepper and sometimes celery seed.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            I started to add pepper, but decided for the first time making this, I would stick with the exact recipe. However, the next time I make it I will add pepper and also like the tip for adding celery seed. Thanks, meatn3.

                            1. re: Wtg2Retire

                              I'm so happy "meeting" someone else who finds this delicious! I've stopped making it for potlucks - I think it is just outside of the flavor profile a lot of people expect. Maybe it's just in my little corner of the world...

                        2. Ming Tsai has done several slaw recipes that are acidic. Here is one from East Meets West that also has cilantro.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mike0989

                            not sweet, though. thanks for playing ;-)

                          2. Whisk some sugar into some rice vinegar and throw in a squirt of freshly squeezed lime juice. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. Shred some veg stuff (presalt the cabbage if desired) - I like carrots and sometimes even red bell peppers in my slaw. Season with salt and pepper.

                            Go nuts with additional flavors, if you like. You can add a little bit of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Fresh, minced jalapenos or serranos are good. Cilantro is always good. Peanuts make an interesting topping.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sandylc

                              I think that's probably more like it, with unsalted cabbage. I'll try to remember to let you know when I try it. thanks!

                            2. It's called bbq slaw or red slaw. You only find it around winston salem/lexington. Try googling it- plenty of recipes show up. The color comes from a little bbq sauce or ketchup as well as vinegar (white and/or cider). Very easy, very simple.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jameshig

                                Nope! Although that link isn't working for me, I believe I'm familiar with the kind of slaw you normally find on a pulled pork sandwich in the Carolinas...and the stuff I'm attempting to replicate is not the same. Way too coarsely chopped and sweet to put on your sandwich, imo. Thanks, though!

                              2. I am actually looking for the same recipe for Hubba Hubba's slaw for this weekend because I would rather make it then spend 11.00 a quart (we are feeding 20 people) I think I have found one that matches pretty close..... see if you can get to it by the link below. I am going to make it tonight and see if it is comparable!!!!

                                1. i grew up in south florida, and the slaw you are talking about seems like it might have a cousin named "health salad." here is a recipe. http://www.food.com/recipe/Health-Sal...

                                  i'd substitute your cilantro for the oregano in the recipe.