Spicy Cabbage Slaw Recipe

Spicy Cabbage Slaw Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A spicy cabbage slaw somewhere in between what you'd get at a Mexican taqueria and a Haitian-style pikliz, with flavors of habanero (or Scotch Bonnet) and allspice. Great for sandwiches, tacos, topping burgers, etc.

Note: For a spicier version, use a habanero pepper. For a milder version, use the jalapeño, or no chili at all.

  • Yield:Makes about 2 quarts
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour


  • 2 quarts finely shredded white or savoy cabbage (about 1 small head)
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1 small)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 habanero (or Scotch bonnet) pepper or jalapeño pepper, split in half (see note)


  1. 1.

    Combine cabbage, carrot, red onion, and 2 tablespoons kosher salt in a large bowl. Massage salt into vegetables. Set aside. Combine vinegar, sugar, allspice, pepper, and 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour boiling liquid over cabbage mixture, then place a paper towel directly on top of surface, pressing down until it is saturated to keep the cabbage submerged. Let rest at room temperature until cool. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. Slaw will keep for about 2 weeks.