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How do you make Cole Slaw?

 
steward
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When I was growing up my mom made cole slaw by adding salad dressing like Miracle Whip with shredded cabbage and then added a little ketchup.

I like the cole slaw that I get a places that sell fried chicken so I looked for a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) copy cat recipe.

Yesterday I ask google though I feel over the years the original KFC cole slaw recipe had changed.

This recipe is one I have been using for a long time:

1 head shredded cabbage
1 Cup salad dressing, like Miracle Whip.
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon milk
1/2 Cup shredded carrot
2 Tablespoon diced onion
1/8 teaspoon pepper

After shredding the cabbage, I salt it with 1 Tablespoon salt.  Let this mixture sit overnight to wilt.
Drain off water, rinse cabbage to remove the salt, drain, and mix in the above mixture.

One of the best cole slaw that I have had was when a group of friends got together for a cookout.

The hostess gave me the ingredients to put the coleslaw together.  I can't remember what all the ingredients were though I would guess:

Cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and any other vegetables that are good raw.

How do you make your cole slaw?


 
gardener
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I use vinegar instead of the lemon juice. and add diced apple or craisins. My secret ingredient is orange zest.
 
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I chop cabbage into long, fine shreds. For the dressing I use mayo with a splash of milk and a splash of vinegar.  

Often that is all I do but I may also add black pepper, raisins, dried cranberries,or sunflower seeds.  If I feel it is lacking flavor I may add a spoonful of ranch flavoring powder.

It is always a very last minuted decision to make it when I unexpectedly need to make a meal bigger so it has to be quick and made with what ever I have on hand.

Sometimes I didn't have enough mayo on hand so I used sour cream in its place.
 
pollinator
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When making coleslaw, I keep it simple and just use mayonnaise, shredded cabbage, carrot and onion. I don't really think about the amounts but there's more cabbage than anything else. Sometimes, when feeling daring, I even use red cabbage. For a change, I add spices - whatever there is in the pantry at the time.
 
master gardener
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I also eyeball it. Cabbage and mayo for sure, probably carrot, maybe onion, black pepper and lemon juice, and then maybe just whatever else. Also, the cabbage can be replaced, in whole or part, by kohlrabi or shredded broccoli stems -- I wouldn't even think of those as a different thing, but you might.

If my wife makes "cole slaw" it'll also be shredded cabbage and other goodies, but it'll have a dressing of toasted sesame oil and an acid. It's good, but really doesn't feel like cole slaw to me. It would be interesting to discover if that's a big regionalism or subcultural thing or something.

ETA: I mostly make slaw to put on BBQ burgers. It's a fine side-dish, and we eat the leftovers that way, but wouldn't bother to make it for just that.
 
gardener
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I'm not a fan of mayonnaise (or whatever creamy alternative there is- mayonnaise has way too much variation where i live).
Some years ago, after walking about 7 miles in New York visiting with my mother and checking out the brand-new High Line park and the new trees they were putting in (and schmoozing with the overseeing botanist, who turned out to be someone I knew), my mother mentioned how she hadn't had good matzoh ball soup or a decent pastrami-on-rye since my last visit, and since the best place in the world was just a few blocks away, off we went to remedy that situation.
This restaurant receives guests with two appetizers on the table: sour and half-sour dill pickles they make themselves, and an amazing coleslaw that has been widely reproduced on the internet.

1 small/ half a large head of green cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced thinly
1 large rib of celery, cut crosswise into thin slices
1/2 to 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
(mix it up. that's it.)

the recipe is flexible as heck (no celery, add celery salt or lovage; i use the lower volumes of vinegar and sugar, and maybe add some fresh dill; add whatever you've got!).
At the restaurant, the owner told me they make it the night before. If you make it a few hours before eating, it's better, and even better the day after.
I make this easily four times a month when the weather is warm. It's also amazing on top of a sandwich.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
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Christopher Weeks wrote:If my wife makes "cole slaw" it'll also be shredded cabbage and other goodies, but it'll have a dressing of toasted sesame oil and an acid. It's good, but really doesn't feel like cole slaw to me. It would be interesting to discover if that's a big regionalism or subcultural thing or something.


Ha. I mostly learned to cook in Japan and I make salads like this all the time--- but I'd call that a cabbage salad. Even the recipe i just posted above, the restaurant guys call it "health salad"  because of the lack of mayonnaise (sugar isn't on their radar, apparently....), their coleslaw has mayo.
 
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I don't like mayo, so I usually use oil and vinegar instead.

Shredded cabbage
Oil
Acv
Celery seed
Ranch powder

Sometimes I'll use sour cream if I have it to make it creamy. Ranch powder in coleslaw is great and everyone should try it.
 
pollinator
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My cole slaw is mostly like Teresa’s. A vinaigrette dressing, and some additional finely sliced veggies depending on what’s on hand.

Adding a shredded apple is popular with the kids. Also like to top it with toasted sunflower seeds.
 
pollinator
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My coleslaw has a bite. We put "the vinegar slaw sauce" over shredded cabbage, maybe with a little shredded carrot or onion etc. If people are looking for slaw to be creamy, we've added a bit of sour cream or ranch dressing or a mild dijon mustard to the veggies before mixing it all up. We use it for slaw, pork BBQ, and all sorts of things that need some zing. Make up a bottle or two, leave it on a shelf until you need it.

"The vinegar slaw sauce"
2 C white vinegar
2 C apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp each brown sugar, powdered cayenne pepper, and a vinegar based hot sauce
2 tsp each salt, ground black pepper, hot pepper flakes
 
gardener
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There seem to be two schools of thought on slaw dressing.

One is vinegar based.

One is mayonnaise based, but is closer to traditional salad "house dressing." It's known around here as creamy slaw dressing.

Creamy is my fave.

If you're mixing mayo and apple cider vinegar as the base, you're on solid ground. A bit of buttermilk will take it to the next level, as will a bit of sweetener. You don't have to use granulated sugar. You can use date syrup or maple syrup. A pinch of salt. A squeeze of lemon juice if you want that extra tang. Thin it out with milk if it's too thick.

The secret to table-pounding good slaw is to let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days before diving in. Some people sweat the cabbage first, as someone posted above. Fine by me.

I love freshly grated pepper in mine, too. Added afterward. And finally...

If you're not eating it with club crackers or butter crackers, you're missing out.

The old KFC slaw and Long John Silver's slaw are both commercial examples of a creamy slaw recipe.

j
 
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