If you’ve cooked long enough, you’ve probably had to improvise with a recipe. My local grocery store often doesn’t have specialty ingredients such as miso paste. And the original we based this recipe off of uses miso. I know by now my grocery store wasn’t likely to have it, so I got red curry paste instead and kind of did that magical thing cooks do when they’re trying something new and untried – I crossed my fingers.
This coleslaw uses napa cabbage, which I absolutely love. It’s kind of like a cross between our regular white cabbage and iceberg lettuce in texture. It’s not quite as strongly scented as white cabbage and it’s a little more delicate. The ribs are strong and crisp, however, and they’re good in this slaw as well.
Accompanying this slaw are grated carrots and sliced green onions. The original called for julienned carrots, but I kind of hate cutting anything julienne, so we grated ours instead. Cut the green onions a little bigger instead of the thin slices more often called for, and dice the cabbage into long, slender strips.
Or, you know, however you prefer.
The base of the dressing is mayo, and it looks a little clunky and…not good at first.
Almost time to actually put together one of the easiest sides you’ll make all summer. Give the veggies a good stirring to combine.
Then just pour on that wonderful dressing. And people, it is so, so, SO good. We used about one and a half tablespoons of the red curry paste, which was just enough for us to begin feeling a little heat on the tongue. Given that this is a cool side, if you want more heat, just add more curry paste to taste. If this was a hot dish, you might not need as much curry, but since it’s cold, you may want more. It’s all up to you.
The dressing pretty much makes this coleslaw stellar. The veggies being crisp and fresh help, of course, but the dressing is perfect. It’s a little smokey from the sesame oil, a little bit heated from the curry paste, and the rice and mirin vinegars make it just tart enough, while a little sugar balances it all out. Throw this together a little while before your next barbecue, let it chill for a bit and enjoy!
Creamy Red Curry Coleslaw
adapted from Creamy Miso Slaw by Paula Disbrowe for Bon Appétit
Prep Time: 30 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4
- 2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons grated peeled ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)
Whisk together the mayonnaise, red curry, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, and oil in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and chives and toss to coat. Serve topped with sesame seeds if using.
To save time you could make the dressing earlier in the day and refrigerate it till ready to use. I haven’t made any of this a day ahead yet, though, so I’m not sure if making the dressing a day ahead is a good idea or not. Will update when/if I get to experiment with that.
As far as assembling goes, I wouldn’t mix the dressing with the veggies until you’re ready to serve the slaw, otherwise the cabbage might lose some of its crunch and get a little limp. You can cut the veggies ahead of time the same day as well and refrigerate till ready to use. Combine the dressing and veggies right before serving.