In the Lexington, NC tradition, this slaw replaces the traditional mayonnaise base with ketchup, which, when mixed with sugar and hot sauce, results in a slaw with a flavor similar to the region's famous vinegary barbecue sauce.
Why this recipe works:
- A sugar-and-salt mixture purges the cabbage of excess moisture, leaving it tender, but still crunchy and well-seasoned.
- Using ketchup instead of mayonnaise gives this slaw its red color and Lexington roots.
- Hot sauce adds a touch of heat that makes this slaw really stand out.
- For the Dressing:
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, preferably Texas Pete
- 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
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
For the dressing: Whisk together vinegar, ketchup, sugar, black pepper, and hot sauce in small bowl.
For the Slaw: Combine cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and toss to combine. Let stand five 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.