When I hear the word “slaw” I think of overly sweetened, mayonnaise coated cabbage that shows up at potlucks alongside the cold fried chicken and chunky mashed potatoes. Needless to say, this doesn’t conjure up fabulous or delicious memories. I didn’t even remotely enjoy anything called slaw until I went to South Carolina to visit my dad about seven years ago and had a pulled pork sandwich piled high with coleslaw. I was a slaw convert on the spot. I’m still not the biggest southern cole slaw fan, but I have since tasted many versions and don’t just automatically pass up this classic side dish any longer.
A few weeks ago, we went out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was one of those places that’s like immobilized food trucks in a warehouse. Tiny specialty kitchens serving unique fare at higher than average prices. The eating experience is usually great because each tiny kitchen stall only offers about five dishes. I had something called a Chino Latino Waffle. A crispy green tea waffle topped with spicy asian slaw and fried chicken. It was delicious! David and I had gotten small dishes from a few different vendors to share. I think I only let him have two bites of this I liked it so much. I set out to create something very similar at home. In my slaw, I kept the veggies rather large because I wanted it to be a more substantial side dish. It worked well on it’s own, but I would chop everything smaller, or grate it all, when the intention is to serve it on a sandwich as I did here. I made a classic crispy waffle recipe, no green tea, the fresh vegetable slaw, and panko-crusted chicken breast which I baked until golden and crisp. Pretty darn good I must say.
David is great at providing honest opinions about my new recipes. We’ll sit down to eat and discuss what really shines in the dish and what we feel is missing. It is so nice to have someone that will give me constructive feedback! This helps me improve on the dish for the next time I serve it… especially if the next time will be on the plate of a paying client. I knew this dish was a winner when he couldn’t stop talking about how fresh it tasted and how much the vegetables held their own. He has a similar aversion to slaw as I do and he was pleasantly surprised to taste something that wasn’t overly sweetened or swimming in dressing.
Keep scrolling past the recipe for even more slaw dishes! What is your favorite way to serve this classic side?
- 1/2 head red cabbage (450g)
- 2 persian cucumbers (270g)
- 3-5 carrots (250g)
- 1 scallion (20g)
- 4-5 sprig cilantro (10g)
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- salt, to taste
- Very thinly slice, or grate, the red cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. Chop the scallions and mince the cilantro. Place all these ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and salt. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine well.
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