Why It Works
- A sugar-and-salt mixture purges the cabbage of excess moisture, leaving it tender, but still crunchy, and well-seasoned.
- Seeding the jalapeños lessens the peppers' heat and gives this slaw a mild spiciness that everyone can enjoy.
- Cumin, cilantro, and lime add a Tex-Mex flavor that compliments the fruity heat of the jalapeño.
Tex-Mex and barbecue are my two favorite cuisines. Since I've managed to cover a pretty decent range of barbecue-style coleslaws, I figured I'd try out a recipe that has a little something in common with my other great love.
Sour cream seemed like the place to start. I threw in some buttermilk with the mayo. I also replaced the vinegar in favor of bright, tart lime juice and added in some supporting Tex-Mex flavors—namely grassy cilantro, earthy cumin, and hot jalapeño. This is the kind of slaw that would be right at home in a fajita.
The trick for a great coleslaw is getting the veggies to release their excess moisture, leaving the cabbage and carrots tender-crisp, and ready to absorb lots of flavorful dressing. Kenji featured this technique in his classic creamy coleslaw, and I employed it when developing my other coleslaw styles: Lexington-style red slaw, mustardy slaw, bright vinegar slaw, and a tangy apple slaw.
For the Dressing:
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice plus 1/2 teaspoon lime zest from 3 large limes
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Slaw:
1 large head green cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds), finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
1 large carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 large jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
For the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, lime juice and zest, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and black pepper.
For the Slaw: Combine cabbage, carrot, and jalapeño in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes, then transfer to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
Transfer vegetables to a salad spinner and spin dry. Alternatively, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and blot mixture dry with more towels. Return to large bowl.
Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and/or sugar.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 10 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||5%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 53mg||263%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|