Asian coleslaw

There’s only one thing worse than a garnish of undressed salad and a soggy tomato placed on the side of your plate, and it’s called coleslaw. An unfortunate staple of many a tired street corner café – and all school canteens – coleslaw is usually done very badly. So often and so badly, in fact, that when I think of it, the image of a pale, greasy gloop comes to mind, peppered with ill-judged sultanas and encrusted in a yellowing film of cheap mayonnaise.

It’s why, when I make it myself, I tend to avoid mayonnaise, plumping instead for this Asian-inspired recipe, which is light and healthy, and not all what one would usually associate with the word ‘coleslaw.’

Asian Coleslaw
Feeds 2 on its own or 4 as an accompaniment to meat.

Asian Coleslaw recipeIngredients

x1/2 red cabbage
x1/2 white cabbage
400g unsalted cashew nuts
x2 apples


6 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar

What to do with them

1. Finely slice the red and white cabbage halves, removing their tough cores first. Chop slices roughly into bite-size chunks.

2. Using the handle of a knife or a rolling pin, crush the cashew nuts. I do this while they’re still in the bag to stop the bits flying everywhere.

3. Put a little sesame oil into a frying pan and heat. Add the crushed cashew nuts and toast until they start to turn brown.

4. Core and peel the two apples, then chop them into bite-size chunks. Do this as near to the time that you’re going to eat the salad as possible or they will go brown.

5. Combine the chopped cabbage, cashews and apple.

6. To make the dressing, combine the vegetable oil, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Whisk to emulsify. Add the soy sauce and sugar and whisk again. Pour over the salad and toss thoroughly to ensure every part of it is dressed.

* This is a good accompaniment salad to barbecued meat, sausages or slow roast pork belly.

* I am not a professional cook or recipe writer. This is what I did, but it may not work for you. If you have any cooking tips or advice as to how this can be improved, then I’d love to hear from you below.

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