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Compendium of Coleslaw Recipes and Regional Variations

It its most basic I suppose coleslaw is just shredded cabbage with dressing. But there seem to be so many variants that I've eaten over the years that are all slightly different (German, Korean, British, USA, Australian,...) .

Whats your favourite recipe? (include location)

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  1. I, too, have had many variations in different countries. My preference to date is Croatian coleslaw which is not all that different but features cabbage and onion with not a carrot in sight. Oil and cider vinaigrette. Here we make something similar but do include carrot and dill seed and a few juniper berries.

    1. I like any coleslaw that does not include mayonnaise. Two of my favorites are Lexington-style coleslaw (the second one on this page is the real deal): http://www.ibiblio.org/lineback/bbq/s...

      and this purported KC-style slaw: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...
      I make it without the bell pepper. It reminds me strongly of the NY deli Health Salads which were really just mayo-free slaws, anyhow. (http://www.pjvoice.com/v35/35900food.... - about halfway down the page)

      1. Great thread. I LOVE slaw and look forward to reading the responses and ideas.

        I call this Asian but it's just a recipe I made up:
        very thin sliced, shredded cabbage+ or - carrot and celery. chopped scallion, cilantro, radish if you have it, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts dressed with rice vinegar, lime juice, a dab of sugar or honey, toasted sesame oil, a shot of fish sauce, salt and pepper, red pepper flake

        I probably make some kind of slaw at least once a week. I also love that cabbage keeps forever in the fridge. Even when I'm desperate to food shop, I can always make a slaw. And I love that changing the dressing, the add-ins, and/or how one cuts the cabbage complete changes the character of the dish.

        I had a slaw that tricked me at McClard's BBQ in Hot Springs, AR recently. It was finely ground which I am usually put off by, but this was fabulous. Perfectly balanced dressing. It had green pepper in it which I am also not usually a fan of, but because it was ground with all of the other veg the flavor was there without the weird texture it would normally take on.

        Does anyone know what the old tool is that grinds cabbage that way?

        1 Reply
        1. re: splatgirl

          My mom made hers that way. She whirred it in the blender with a little water and then strained it

        2. I like both the German version of (often) red cabbage and/or white cabbage with simple vinaigrette, though I haven't made it.

          I would consider the version I make to be fairly broadly "American" -- 3 parts mayo (Duke's, of course) to 1 part vinegar (I like apple cider), salt & lots of black pepper. Shredded cabbage and shredded red onion.


          1. Love mayo-based cole-slaws. May be trashy, but anyone had a no-fail knockoff of KFC's? I've tried several supposed knockoffs, but no luck so far.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pine time

              I use the one from Top Secret Recipes and make a few minor adjustments. When I worked at KFC years ago we used about 3 heads cabbage one onion and a couple carrots. Then added a giant bag of secret sauce. When I make the Top Secret version I usually have to adjust the sugar, vinegar and black pepper until it taste just right.

            2. I love coleslaw, hate mayonnaise, therefore the mayo has to sneak up on the cabbage.

              I love KFC slaw and Cracker Barrel slaw. Tried one KFC copycat recipe and it didn't really work for me. Most of the fried chicken joints around here make a decent slaw and I will often pick up a container to go.

              Mostly I use Hidden Valley brand bottled coleslaw dressing to make homemade slaw. It also has to sit at least 6-8 hours before eating.

              1. My own coleslaw dressing is basically mayonnaise and buttermilk, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of each per pound of finely-shredded cabbage, a big pinch of salt, a heaping Tbs sweet pickle relish and vinegar to taste. Don't want it too sour nor too bland. It will seem to just moisten the cabbage, but after an hour or two in the fridge it'll be almost too wet.

                1. I love coleslaw. I make two kinds... the first is an apple cider vinegar and oil dressing with aromatics. The dressing is cooked, then cooled before adding to the crisped cabbage. The other one is a buttermilk dressing with shallots and lots of herbs with a touch of mayo. Which one is made depends on the meal.

                  1. If anyone can post here with the coleslaw recipe from Phil's BBQ in the San Diego area..... I will be eternally grateful.

                    This is a mayonnaise-based slaw that has to be the best I've ever had. Phil's sells great pork and beef Q, and all the sides are very good..... but I'd go there just for the slaw.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Midlife

                      What makes it special? Can you describe the dressing?

                      1. re: linguafood

                        I'm a good enough cook that I would be trying to make it if I could pinpoint the elements beyond mayo.

                      2. re: Midlife

                        I also love Phil's BBQ 's cole slaw. I'm assuming it's a mayo based slaw, a hint of sweetness but what makes it is the hint of horseradish.

                      3. I start with the basics...cabbage,,,mayo...vinegar...sugar...a bit of milk. But I'll add almost anything to it...diced apple, crushed pinapple, carrots,onion.....even Raddichio

                        1. Steve raichlen (BBQ Bible) has a great recipe that I use quite often. It's standard stuff but the key is celery seed which gives it a fantastic flavor. I usually make a big bucket of it when I grill and it's usually gone when the guests leave. Another key is to skip the sugar.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: mikelowie

                            Do you toast (and grind) the celery seed or add as is?

                            1. re: linguafood

                              Haven't toasted the celery seeds but I think that couldn't hurt. I can try to dig up the recipe - its got vinegar and dijon and mayo, S&P, but the key is the celery seed (at least in my book).

                            2. re: mikelowie

                              I agree that American-style slaw should have celery seeds.

                            3. Belize coleslaw
                              Grape tomatoes
                              Olive oil
                              White vinegar
                              lawreys seasoned salt

                              1. First I process a medium head of cabbage in the Cuisinart to desired fineness. Then I process four or five raw carrots, a large onion, and a large green pepper. Then I add salt and a generous amount of of celery seed. Then I mix mayonnaise with quite a lot of vinegar and sugar (at least half a cup of each) and stir that into the vegetables. Taste it and adjust by adding more salt, vinegar, or sugar.

                                1. Try this - mix some mayo with fresh lime juice and Sriracha sauce. Add to cabbage. The Sriracha adds good flavour without heat (unless you use too much) and the lime really brightens it up. Other than this I far prefer vinegar-based coleslaws to those with mayo.

                                  1. British Coleslaw: Seems to be with Mayonnaise


                                    White Cabbage
                                    Red Cabage
                                    Spring Onions

                                    White Wine Vinegar
                                    Homemade Mayonnaise
                                    Creamed Horseradish
                                    Caster Cugar

                                    1. Coleslaw Buttermilk dressing - Is this more common in the USA? (Without Carrot)

                                      white cabbage (about ½), diced
                                      golden shallots
                                      quality mayonnaise
                                      Juice of ½ lemon
                                      Large pinch of caster sugar
                                      hopped chives
                                      flat-leaf parsley and dill

                                      1. Chinese coleslaw

                                        carrot, sliced into ribbons
                                        Spanish onion
                                        Chinese cabbage leaves, shredded
                                        small Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced on a mandolin
                                        spring onions, julienned
                                        organic brown rice vinegar (see note)
                                        brown sugar
                                        coriander, dill and mint

                                        1. Greek version:

                                          Shredded Cabbage
                                          Fresh squeezed lemon juice
                                          Olive oil
                                          Fresh crushed garlic
                                          Salt & pepper
                                          Optional: Fresh baby arugala

                                          1. I've made this one from Bobby Flay (he also has one with mayo):

                                            I love the citrus and smokey dressing to both act as a foil and compliment to rich BBQ.

                                            Even easier when you by a bag of cole slaw mix.

                                            1. Like both American and Asian coleslaws.

                                              Like both mayo and just vinegar dressings.

                                              Don't care at all for raw onion, pickle relish, horseradish in it...

                                              Carrots are good.