There’s a secret to this cabbage slaw recipe – how the cabbage is shredded!  Select a hard, non-leafy cabbage and cut into quarters. The secret is to shred it into long, thin, fine shreds.  None of this choppy, thick stuff you usually see used in slaw.  Of course, this process takes a little longer.  But, the result is absolutely worth it!   To get long, thin shreds of cabbage; begin with the longest side of the quartered cabbage. Then, finely shred the quartered cabbage with a steel-blade vegetable slicer.  If you do not have one of those “gizmos” then use a long, sharp knife and shred by hand.  This slaw does not taste the same if it is chopped or is thick and coarse.

Follow the steps exactly as written, since tossing too soon may change flavor.
Olive oil makes only a slight flavor change; other vinegars will make a larger flavor change.
Use a large bowl to make the slaw, since you’ll need tossing room; later you can move the slaw to a serving bowl.
After shredding the cabbage, there will be a large mound of shredded cabbage.  After adding ingredients, there will be a greatly diminished mound!  Don’t panic; the prepared slaw packs down but still produces more servings than you realize.
A difficult recipe to measure cabbage-wise; I use cups of cabbage rather than whole cabbage size.
After making this slaw several times you’ll become a “pro”, which is great since it is often requested, then you can make it for one or two very quickly for a fresh vegetable dish.
If you have a request for a large amount, buy your cabbages at your supermarket and ask the deli or produce department to shred it for you – in long, thin shreds!  Complete the recipe at home by measuring cabbage by the cup and following the original recipe for the serving for 4.  Then, combine all makings and toss again.

Don’t volunteer to make a large amount, but if it is “requested” then go for it.  My darling cousin, Mardie, recently “requested” that I make it for 100 people.  I did and arrived at the event with cabbage shreds in my hair!  But, the guys said that it was the best slaw they had ever tasted, and obviously, I love culinary compliments!


4 cups thinly shredded cabbage, packed firmly in the cup
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (can be omitted, tastes better with it, not very hot just adds zip!)
½ tsp. celery seed (do not omit)
2 to 2 ½ T. canola or vegetable oil
1 T. white vinegar
Sugar, maybe


Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl with room to toss.  Sprinkle salt, garlic salt, black pepper, red pepper, and celery seed evenly on top of the cabbage; then pour oil over the spices and shredded cabbage.  Toss many times to distribute spices, oil and cabbage.  Finally, sprinkle vinegar evenly, and toss several times again.  Taste the slaw; if it is too tart, I often add a pinch of sugar to “tone-down” the vinegar.  Cover and refrigerate for a short while. Then taste again; if it needs additional salt , garlic salt, sugar, oil or vinegar to make it “pop” ,then add any needed ingredients sparingly while testing for taste. Serves 4.

Tom, my father, concocted this slaw recipe years ago.  He was a great cook and always seemed to gravitate to the more exotic recipes, although I certainly wouldn’t call this exotic!  He was “expected” to make it for all our casual parties.  I love this freshly made, and if there is any leftover, we will put on sandwiches the next day for lunch.  On the other hand, we have a friend, Mike, who prefers it marinated overnight…...  That’s what makes the world of food go ‘round.


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