Flashily Dressed and Ready to Party

Cabbage, one of the most ancient cultivated vegetables—has been a lynchpin in world diets, offering a versatile range to diners in all forms: raw, cooked, and fermented.

Coleslaw is one such raw offering. I love the crunch and the cast of ingredients that makes this dish stand out, especially when paired with long-cooked foods like barbecue, or rice dishes throughout Asia.

Coleslaws are so easy to reinterpret with most any salad veggie player. Raw cabbage is roughage and prepping it needs consideration. Serving razor thin strands vs hand cut thick strands, or shredded. It’s about the mouthfeel you want to consider. I use a mandolin slicer to get uniform slices. I also have a very sharp Japanese chef’s knife that can hand cut very thin slices. Times I use my shredding disc on the food processor. It is important to be consistent in your thickness; so the slaw will breakdown in the dressing with consistent results.

As a side salad imagine cabbage in place of lettuce and toss with a simple or fancy dressing. It holds up all week for a quick sandwich or dinner side.

Here are a couple of my all-time favorites.

Asian Coleslaw

Serves 6

  • Napa cabbage – 4 cups, thinly sliced [or red or green cabbage]
  • scallions – 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • carrots – 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Daikon radish – 1 cup, thinly sliced [I used watermelon radish]
  • ginger, fresh – 1 TBS, grated
  • raisins – 2 TBS [optional] 
  • Dressing
    • rice vinegar – 4 tablespoons 
    • peanut oil – 2 tablespoons 
    • toasted sesame oil – 1 tsp 
    • sugar – 1 tsp or honey
    • salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste
    • pepper – 1/8 tsp
    • red pepper flakes – 1/4 tsp [optional]
    • sesame seeds – toasted, 2 TBS


  1. Prepare the vegetables and add to a large bowl
  2. Make the dressing and taste for seasoning balance
  3. In a preheated dry skillet, add the sesame seeds and toss occasionally until lightly browned
  4. Toss and refrigerate all for a couple hours to enhance flavor
Dry Roasting Sesame Imparts Great Flavor

Topped with Flowers

Torquato’s Tuscan Slaw

Serves 6

I found this simple crunchy slaw in Epicurious magazine from trusted cook, Faith Willinger

The preparation is unusual and that probably makes it taste so delicious. You marinate the cabbage in the vinegar and salt, then drain off and add the oil!

  • green cabbage – 1/4 head, finely sliced [or all green or all red]
  • red cabbage – 1/4 head, finely sliced
  • red onion – 1/2 cup, finely sliced
  • red wine vinegar – 1/4 to 1/3 cup [or balsamic vinegar]
  • salt – 1 tsp
  • pepper – 1/8 tsp

olive oil – 3-4 TBS


  1. Toss the cabbage and onion in the vinegar, salt, and pepper and let wilt for 30 minutes
  2. Drain off the liquid and drizzle in the olive oil
Watermelon Radish Balances Color

ANOTHER GREAT SLAW: Check out Green Papaya Slaw You can exchange cabbage for the papaya for a complex, tropical crunchy slaw

2 thoughts on “Coleslaw

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