Foodie Friday: Red Cabbage (no-Mayo) Slaw Two Ways – Choose Asian or Mexican Style!

This is two recipes in one: Mexican slaw or Asian slaw. Same ingredients, but different seasonings make it the perfect topper for Mexican dishes or Asian dishes! For example, I made this batch “Mexican style” last night to top off tacos, and it was amazing. It’s such a nice, fresh way to lighten up Mexican food, which can tend toward the heavy. It also works really well on top of spicy grilled fish or fish tacos. Then last week, I made this exact same slaw to top off Japanese rice! Asian style, this crisps up pretty much any dish you can think of. I adore it as a side to Thai-style whole grilled fish, and have even used it on Chinese noodle dishes, ramen and stir fry.

So what I’m saying is that this is some flexible, delicious stuff. And as someone who cannot stand your classic cole slaw, that’s saying something coming from me. The big trick with this? No mayo, all freshness …

Ingredients (for either style!):

  • Half a red cabbage cut fine on mandoline (if you want you can use green cabbage, but I use red because it’s prettier)
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ¼ sweet onion cut fine on mandoline
  • 3 scallions, chopped into rounds
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, cut fine on mandoline
  • 1 serrano pepper (or your preferred pepper, depending on if you like things more or less spicy), chopped
  • Salt to taste (go easy if you’re doing Asian style, because you’ll be adding soy sauce!)

Seasoning, Mexican Style:

  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste
  • One tablespoon chipotle seasoning

Seasoning, Asian style:

  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce


Combine. That’s literally it. Doesn’t matter what order, just add salt to taste last so you don’t oversalt.

One more thing – Mexican OR Asian style, this is insanely good left over to eat with corn chips. There is something about soy sauce and corn chips that is so tasty, yet defies all logic because it sounds gross.  Now I’m hungry …