Orange Cilantro Cole Slaw
Back in what seems like forever ago now, I worked for a catering company in New York where it seemed my tasks often included tedious jobs that others weren’t called on to do. I was good with my hands, and detail oriented, but it sometimes got- well, tedious.
One of those jobs was slicing – by hand, with a chef’s knife – cabbage for cole slaw. If it was a large party, the job of slicing the cabbage could take quite a while. One day, I complained to the chef asking if she couldn’t get the cabbage pre-shredded to speed up the job. She said “but then you wouldn’t have a job to do”. That’s one was to shut up a complaining prep cook.
One of the upsides of the job, however, was the freedom to create dishes. I was often just given a general direction to make a stuffing or a sauce or, in this case, a cole slaw, without restriction. As a result, it was there that I began the journey of creating dishes.
One of my favorite dishes created in that kitchen was this delicious Orange Cilantro Cole Slaw. This 4th of July I was privileged to spend the morning cooking and then later, eating, with my friend Keith, and his and his wife, Beth’s, guests. We served this slaw alongside Planked Salmon and an herb brined and mustard grilled pork loin. Keith made Hawaiian style potato salad – a lot like the Southern potato salad I’m used to, except for the addition of little elbow macaroni. And yes, everyone agreed that the cole slaw is delicious.
BTW, I use a little Benriner Japanese Mandolin Vegetable Slicer now to slice my cabbage (I like the length of the slices I can acheive, as opposed to pre-shredded cabbage), but Keith and Beth didn’t have one, so we used the slicing blade of their food processor which works quickly and well, too.
- 1/2 large green cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1/2 medium carrot, grated
- 2-3 tablespoons red cabbage, sliced thinly
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2-3 tablespoons best quality apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest of 1 large orange, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons sour cream (optional, but I often add it, as I like the bit of creaminess it gives to the slaw)
- Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- Add the dressing ingredients to the shredded cabbage and carrots, mixing well. I generally like to make this a day ahead, and always check the seasonings before serving. I might then decide to add a bit more cilantro, or even chili garlic sauce, if I'm feeling like my life needs a little more spice that day.
Yield: @ 6 servings