Sunday, August 23, 2015

Jacques Pépin's Curried Coleslaw (with Panfried Opah and Sugar Snap Peas)

I used to not be a big fan of coleslaw. It often seemed 'gloppy' and tasteless to me. Lately, I have been appreciating it more and even enjoying it--especially if it has a flavor twist, like the curry powder in this version by Jacques Pépin. 

This weeks I Heart Cooking Clubs theme is Salads et Vinaigrettes. I was going to make one of Jacques's Caesar salad variations, but when I saw this Curried Coleslaw recipe in Essential Pépin, and saw the recommendation to serve it with fish, I knew I had to make it and pair it with a nice piece of local opah (moonfish). I made a few small changes to the recipe (adding more curry, mixing green and purple cabbage for color, and swapping out half of the mayo for Greek yogurt), noted in red below.

Jacques says, "A dash of curry gives this coleslaw an interesting tang. An invigorating accompaniment, it's perfect with fish. It can be made ahead; the slaw will keep, refrigerated, for a couple of days."  

Curried Coleslaw
Adapted from Essential Pépin by Jacques Pépin
(Serves 4)

1 small head cabbage or 1/2 larger head (about 1 1/4 lbs) (I used a mix of purple & green cabbage)

1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used 3 Tbsp vegan mayo + 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt)
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp curry powder (I used 2 tsp)

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a grater (about 1 cup)
Trim cabbage, removing and discarding any damaged parts. Shred or cut it into very thin strips. (You should have 5 to 6 lightly packed cups.)

Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the finished coleslaw. Add the cabbage and carrot to the dressing and mix well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate to serve later.

Notes/Results: Yum! This recipe may have turned me into a coleslaw lover--so fresh, tangy, and crisp with great flavor. Just one teaspoon of curry seemed light to me, so I doubled it and found it brought the flavor forward, but without overpowering the rest of the plate. Because of the flavorful coleslaw, I kept the opah simple--seasoning it with salt, pepper and just a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning, and adding some steamed sugar snap peas for a bit of green on the plate. A fast and simple meal. I will make it again.  

You can see what salads and dressings caught the other IHCC participants fancy by checking out the picture links on the post here.


  1. I'll try coleslaw with curry next time! this sounds very flavorful.

  2. Deb, I have the same book but I must have missed this superb coleslaw. For me, I'm not a fan of coleslaw unless it's really good. Yours look so good. I'm going to make it this weekend!! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. LOVE the idea of the curry in the slaw. What a great adaptation!

  4. I almost made this salad. I can't find really nice fresh red cabbage from the market! Looks really good and fresh! I can see that this would be good served alongside roasted chicken too!

  5. Your adaptations make this dish sing. Love the color, crunches and taste of it all.

  6. I'm a big time lover of coleslaw (with lots of celery seed). However, I love this version with the green and purple cabbage and addition of curry. Also love the idea of using yogurt. I don't like gloppy coleslaw either...yuck!


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