If you are looking for a ridiculously easy recipe for slaw, then look not further than this Vinegar Based Coleslaw recipe. It definitely seems like vinegar coleslaws has been all the craze in the coleslaw world the last few years. They’re more flavorful and to me provide way more flavor when either eat by itself or when topped off on a big fat smoked brisket or pork sandwich. One of my favorite coleslaws is done by a local restaurant right here in Chicago called Smoque. Yes, I said a really good BBQ joint in Chicago and it wasn’t an oxymoron. Believe it or not my favorite BBQ place in the entire country is in Chicago, Green Street Smoked Meats, and I’ve had BBQ in just about every state in the south. Often times it’s not just the smoked meats that make BBQ so good, it’s all of the side accompaniments. I mean what would BBQ be without cornbread, peach cobbler, baked beans, vinegar based coleslaw, you name it. It would definitely not be the same.
There are few ingredients in this vinegar based coleslaw recipe, with a great sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing that compliments perfectly. It all starts with the vegetables of course. A bulk of the vegetable comes from a head of green cabbage, and I for one like it shaved super thin, more times than not using a mandolin. Now just know that when you shave vegetables super thin and apply an acid to it, like vinegar, it’s going to break down faster and become wilted or to put it simply, soggy. I only say this because if you make this vinegar coleslaw ahead of time and slice the vegetables super thin, it may not be perfect when you go to serve it several hours later or the next day. If you plan on making it ahead of time I would recommend combing the vegetables and keeping the dressing separate right until you are ready to serve. Also don’t plan on seasoning it to the end because if you salt the vegetable they will wilt super quick. Yeah that was a lot of explanation on just the first ingredient. Let’s get back to this Vinegar Based Coleslaw Recipe.
For the rest of the vegetables I use red cabbage and carrots, which I also shave super thin on a mandolin. It’s always weird when a vegetable you’ve eaten your entire life is cut or sliced a bit different than normal that it seems to take on a completely different flavor and is so much more flavorful. Wonder if it’s just our minds playing tricks on our palettes?? This coleslaw with vinegar dressing is pretty versatile in the simple fact that you can get creative and add other ingredients to it as well. In addition, the shaved green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots, I add sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, celery seed, salt and pepper and of course the dressing. However, you could add sliced bell peppers, sliced spicy peppers, like jalapeños, or even things like thinly sliced kale or jicama. Look what I’m trying to tell you is that you are only limited by your own creativity, so have fun with this for crying out loud.
If you don’t want to slice the cabbages and carrots yourself for this vinegar based coleslaw recipe then I suggest buying the pre-made slaw mix, it will work just as well. I will caution that sometimes those bagged up veggies can have weird things on them to help preserve them and keep them crisp, so I always believe in buying fresh and doing a bit of the labor yourself, I promise it’s not that bad. I used honey in the recipe, but it can certainly be substituted with 1 tablespoon of sugar, totally up to you. Heck if you are on a total natural ingredient kick you could even use agave nectar. Lastly, and of course, I recommend putting this slaw on top of a pulled pork or chicken sandwich, it’s absolutely delicious! If you are as infatuated with BBQ and all things coleslaw like I am then you for sure want to try a few other killer coleslaw recipes that I’ve created at: Blue Cheese Coleslaw, Creamy Coleslaw, Vegetable Dill Coleslaw, and an Asian Coleslaw.
Vinegar Based Coleslaw Recipe
- 1/2 thinly sliced head of green cabbage
- 1 cup of thinly sliced red cabbage
- 2 whole shredded carrots
- 3 thinly sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon of honey or 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of celery seed
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together cabbages, carrots, green onions and celery seed.
Next, pour a small amount of the dressing on the cabbage mixture and mix together until combined and until desired amount of dressing is achieved.
Season with salt and pepper, and chill before serving.