Monday, May 17, 2010

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

I used to say that I hated coleslaw, but that wasn't really fair, because my only experience with it was the kind that comes in a paper cup next to the fish and chips.  You know the kind I'm talking about.  Soggy.  Drenched in mayo.  Maybe a faint hint of lemon.  

Those days are over.

Now I have a lot of fun trying out different recipes for coleslaw, and I never use mayo in it.  Oil and vinegar-based dressings taste great on coleslaw, and they are safer to bring to picnics since there is no need to worry about spoilage as with mayo-based salads.     

We served this slaw with some tofu kebabs that we grilled and basted with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.    

We also grilled some delicious green onions (first drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper).  

We made some white rice to go with it, but we completely forgot about it until after we were done eating.  Oh, well, we were full without it!

I accidentally ended up with some nice sherry vinegar a couple months ago, so I used that in this recipe.

To shred cabbage, I like to use my food processor, and I use the slicing disc (one large hole) rather than the shredding disc (many holes), because I think coleslaw looks more appealing when it's in slightly larger pieces, as opposed to the pre-shredded bags of coleslaw you find at the store.

And hey, if you think it might be fun to shred your red bell pepper with the shredding disc of your food processor as if it were a carrot, think again.  What you will end up with is red pepper pulp.  I didn't have another pepper, so I had to scoop it into a strainer to drain the liquid.  It worked out in the end, but I don't recommend it.      

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw
adapted from Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Serves 8

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced chile (jalepeno, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup peanut or extra virgin olive oil
6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green, and/or red cabbage
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, roasted and peeled if you like, seeded, and diced or shredded
1/3 cup diced scallion, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

In a large bowl (large enough for the whole coleslaw, plus room to toss), whisk together the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and chile.  Add the oil slowly, whisking constantly to emulsify.

Add the shredded cabbage, peppers, and scallion to the bowl and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

This is best if you make it about an hour before you are going to eat it - the flavors develop and the cabbage softens a bit.  You can also make it up to 24 hours in advance, just drain the slaw before serving (it will be watery from the liquid released by the cabbage).

Just before serving, toss with the parsley.  


  1. Haha, just Sunday I bought a package of preshredded cabbage and made the coleslaw according to the directions on the back of the bag. I loved it. =) But yours sounds much better obviously!

  2. It probably tasted so good because it was freshly made by YOU! :-)


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