Have you ever felt like your coleslaw is lacking? Like it could be so much better with a few minor adjustments? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re taking a look at everyone’s favorite cabbage-based concoction. Whether it’ll be serving as a topping or a side, you’ll want to bear the following tips and tricks in mind. With any luck, you’ll end up with a coleslaw that leaves you, and anyone else who tastes it, craving more.
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Here’s how you can spice up your coleslaw
Variety is more than the spice of life; it’s also key to making a killer coleslaw. Instead of dressing some green cabbage and calling it a day, consider incorporating a variety of vegetables into your dish. A blend of green and red cabbage, with a healthy dose of carrot for sweetness, is a reliable combo. Don’t feel limited to these three components, though. If you’re craving the tart flavor of a green apple, or the sharp bite of red onion, feel free to add them to the mix, too.
The last thing coleslaw should be is mushy. Luckily, ensuring yours isn’t is as simple as preparing your ingredients with a little care. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to keep things on the chunkier side. Dice your cabbage too small, and your dish won’t have any body. Instead, aim for long, thin slices that will soak up dressing, rather than get lost in it. As for carrots and other equally robust ingredients, you can get away with grating them, provided they won’t come out too fine in the process.
Everybody knows that seasoning food greatly enhances its flavor. Coleslaw is no exception. Sure, the whole affair will wind up doused with flavorful dressing in the end. Still, sprinkling a little salt and pepper on the components beforehand makes a world of difference. Word of warning, though: the addition of salt will extract moisture from the cabbage. Before you dress your dish, make sure you drain off any excess; the last thing you want is to wind up with a watery side.
Tailoring your dressing to the dish you’re assembling is simple. It all depends on the flavor profile you’re going for. For a classic creamy coleslaw, the gold standard is mayo mixed with some acid—typically apple cider vinegar or citrus juice—and a touch of seasoning. A little mustard, either Dijon or whole grain, also goes a long way. For a lighter dressing, consider subbing out the mayo for olive oil. Or, if you want some added tang, go for Greek yogurt.
Once the components and dressing are combined, it’s time for the finishing touches. You’d be amazed how much difference a single addition can make. A pinch of red chili flakes, for instance, can lend substantial kick to an otherwise refreshing coleslaw. For those with a sweet tooth, a bowl with whole dried cranberries in the mix is to die for. And don’t be surprised when a little dose of sesame oil knocks your socks clean off. Experiment with flavors you know and love, and you’re sure to discover a delicious combination.