For a not so traditional Filipino recipe, we’re going to make a creamy coleslaw salad. I first got a taste of coleslaw salad during my teenage years while dining in a restaurant that serves a holistic mix of different cuisines. I think I ordered a steak or barbeque that time and their side dish is this little bowl of, what looked like to me, shredded vegetables mixed in mayonnaise.
I took a quick bite and instantly liked its sweetness despite not being a fan of most salads at that time. Plus, it’s placed in this small bowl so it wasn’t overwhelming for me to eat it like most vegetable dishes. Over time I kept eating at the same restaurant and ordering the same food and I eventually grew to like that little salad.
I came to find that that side salad was called coleslaw and it’s not a Filipino recipe, again, but it fits well with our Filipino taste. The shredded vegetables make the dish less chewy and the mayonnaise brings deliciously connects all the different flavors of the vegetables together.
Now as an adult and with a more evolved palate compared to when I was a teenager, I grew to actually like salads and their million different ways of preparation. And for this article, I would like to recreate a creamy coleslaw salad that I think even picky eaters or people who are not a big fan of salads like myself would like. I also want my creamy coleslaw salad to have a little bit of Filipino twist that I think fits into the Filipino palate.
But first, what is coleslaw?
Again, coleslaw is not a Filipino dish, it’s the original word for coleslaw is a Dutch word from the 18th century, koolsla. It means cabbage salad, shredded cabbage in particular. The word for this cabbage salad gradually evolved to be what it is now known as coleslaw and is generally served as a side dish for more savory recipes like barbeque, fried chicken, and even french fries.
Come to think of it, coleslaw is the western version of the Filipino atsara (or achara) which is made from shredded unripe papaya along with little bits of shredded carrots and pickled. It’s also served as a side dish to more savory recipes.
Anyway, coleslaw is usually made with shredded cabbage and people can use any kind of cabbage they can get their hands on. Other shredded vegetables are also thrown in the mix, most commonly carrots. Lastly, these shredded cabbage sala is mixed in with a choice dressing of mayonnaise, sour cream, or buttermilk. There are a variety of versions to making coleslaw but as I said, I’m going to make mine that leans into the Filipino palate.
I find that making coleslaw is ridiculously easy, you only need shredded vegetables and mix it into the dressing of your choice and you’re done. You can even prepare it in advance and put the ingredients in a container if you’re traveling, prepare it at your destination and serve it on the spot.
For my creamy coleslaw salad recipe, I’ll be using cabbage, of course, carrots, and pineapple. All shredded or sliced into very thin pieces. For the salad’s dressing, I’ll be using a combination of whipping cream and mayonnaise. I’ll mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and pour in the dressing and blend well. I also like to add a little bit of sugar to bring out that delicious sweetness that we Filipinos love.
What I like about this recipe is that the extra juiciness of the pineapple tidbits makes it very attractive to Filipinos and the raisins bring out a more dynamic texture to the recipe. This is a great dish for a light snack or you can also use it the popular way as a side dish for more heavy dishes. I think this would go great with the Filipino style barbeque or fried chicken.
How to Make Creamy Coleslaw Salad
- 2 cups cabbage finely shredded
- 1/2 cup carrots thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pineapple tidbits sliced into small pieces
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix well.
- Serve chilled and enjoy your creamy coleslaw salad!