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  • Writer's pictureDina Begum

red cabbage coleslaw with lime & coriander

Coleslaw is one of those things I used to avoid with a passion, and eventually began eating in very small quantities. I always found the shop bought or restaurant ones too rich and saturated in mayonnaise, which I don’t like much either (I’m a ketchup girl). And in my mind coleslaw became synonymous with mayonnaise - with added unnecessary bits - just another sauce masquerading as coleslaw. I don’t know why everything is drenched in sauce all the time. It’s the reason why I also avoid potato ‘salad,’ (aka salad cream with bits) unless it’s homemade. 

Did you know coleslaw is in fact a salad? No, me neither. The name comes from the Dutch word koolsla. Kool, as in cabbage and sla, as in salad. I made an American diner style lunch for my sisters last week and decided to add homemade coleslaw to the menu. I wanted something light and fresh tasting that would complement burgers, fries and onion rings and be more like the original Dutch koolsla. I don’t think I’ve eaten Dutch coleslaw but having googled ‘Dutch coleslaw’ the images do appear less mayonnaise with bits, and more salad. 

Vinegar is usually added to prepare coleslaw but I didn’t have any to hand so I decided to add lime juice instead. This provided a lovely zingy freshness to the coleslaw and worked brilliantly with the coriander, giving it an Asian edge. My sister told me it was the best coleslaw she’s ever eaten! I know I’m biased, but I’m afraid I’d have to agree. So here’s my actual cabbage salad. Not cabbage sauce with a slight twist. Eat it with burgers, eat it with fried chicken. I promise you'll love it:) 

Ingredients (serves 4) 

1/3 large red cabbage

1/4 medium red onion

1 medium carrot

150g Full fat or light mayonnaise (approximately 10 tbs)

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tbs fresh chopped coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


In a bowl add freshly squeezed lime juice and stir in the sliced onion.

Wash and peel the carrot and grate using a food processor, or a box grater and add into the lime and onion mix.

Wash and slice 1/3 of the cabbage and remove woody core. Cut once in the centre so that the strips aren’t too long and finely shred. Add this to the bowl and mix well.

Measure out the mayonnaise and stir through ingredients in the bowl.

Add pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and coriander and stir so that everything is incorporated. Chill in the fridge preferably overnight, or at least a 2-3 hours before serving.

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