Friday, October 12, 2012

Pickled Ginger & Asian Pear Coleslaw – "Holiday Slaw" 2012 Edition

I’m not sure when this relatively new tradition started, but for whatever reason, I like to come up with a new and interesting coleslaw to serve at Thanksgiving. With all the rich, heavy foods that the holiday table brings, I really enjoy the contrast these cold, crisp, bracing salads provide.

I’ve been doing this for five or so years now, and this may be my favorite version. Just adding the always interesting Asian pear to a standard coleslaw would’ve been a nice enough touch, but what made this so special was the subtle heat from the pickled ginger.

I can just imagine how great that piquant punch is going to work with roasted turkey, and while I still have weeks to wait for official verification, I’m pretty confident. I’m also confident you’ll be able to find some pickled ginger, especially if you have any sushi bars near you.

By the way, this is not one of those “make the day before” coleslaws. You want everything fresh and crisp, and if you leave it overnight, not only will it get soggy, but it will be way over-marinated. You can make the dressing beforehand, as well as slice up the ginger and cabbage, but wait until an hour before the dinner to cut the pear and toss everything together.

Anyway, if you’ve never considered a coleslaw for one of your holiday side dish selections, I hope this unusual, but very delicious variation inspires you to give it a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 servings:
1/2 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large Asian pear, thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely sliced pickled ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp yellow miso paste, or to taste
hot sauce to taste (I used sriracha)
*Best if tossed together no more than an hour or two before service.

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

Über Chef John...nice recipe but how many of your finger tips remained outside of the slaw?

cookinmom said...

Awww man...where were you when I had a five gallon bucket of asian pears!??!? Gonna try and scrounge one up cause I love alllll these ingred. Love it!!!

Steven K. said...

That looks like it's crying out for something crispy, like fresh fried wonton noodles. Not the crappy stuff from a can

Capri Primerano said...

I now want to go out and buy a asian pear, miso and ginger so I can make this with my BBQ chicken tonight! lol! Looks Delish Chef John!

gigi said...

Ever since you published this, there has been a run on miso paste... what would be a passable substitute?


Chef John said...

soy sauce would work I think.

gigi said...

This was absolutely fabulous. Couldn't find miso so went w/ a splash of soy. Next time I might even throw in an apple. Amazing how so few ingredients can make such flavor! Used quite a bit of hot sauce... thanks Chef!

Hem Joo said...

Can I sub seasoned rice vinegar with cider vinegar? Chinese do have their own picked ginger that's different from the Jap ones. It's a pale yellow color but I confess I love the pink Jap ones!

Hem Joo said...

Hi to my fav chef
Since I don't have seasoned vinegar could I sub with cider vinegar? Chinese have a different picked ginger that's a pale yellow in color but I so love the jap pink ones!

Sara Zahiri said...

Hi Chef John,

I am writing you this letter because I want to share my experience and feedback on this site with you. I first found your website as a link from another site, and the first time I watched your videos, not only was I amazed at how delicious your food looked, but I was fully entertained by your quick wit and banter.

This let me to try and make your recipes because the way you described them, I felt as though you must be a culinary chef who graduated from a very high esteemed cooking school.

I can honestly say, I was so confident that your recipes would taste good, that I made them for the first time in front of guests instead of trying them myself first to make sure they were not crap.

Well, it just so happens I was wrong. This does not happen very often, as I am a very calculating person, who often takes precautions to imagine and rule out senarios that could end in disaster.

Chef John, your food was gross. I have no other way of describing it, and honestly, I am not even saying this to be mean. I didnt like your first recipe I tried, and because I was such a loyal fan and believer, I actually tried your recipe again. And yes, it was for the first time in front of guests... and again, the same results.

I mean, I didnt even have one of those julienne dicers, and I went out to buy it just so I could get my asian pears to look like yours cut in a matchstick form. And yes, Chef John, I was saddly slapped twice in the face for my trust in you.

Now, Chef John. I am willing to try one more recipe from you. I will wait for your next post, and I hope that you will work exceptionally hard at making something delicious that I can be proud of you for. I will look for a sign that this message has reached you. If you could perhaps name your next recipe after my name, I would know that you read this and care. My name is Sara. Your number one Loyal Fan For Now.

Steve Kennedy said...

You are the boss of your own coleslaw. I have heard him say it 27 times. Tweak it, nudge it to what you enjoy.

Alice Lau said...

Hi Chef John,
I have made this dish for many times. Both my colleagues and friends love this dish so much that I have to make it again and again. Of course, I use my own homemade miso. It is delicious and refreshing for Brisbane summer weather. Sorry Sarah that you didn't have good experience in this. Perhaps, it is the ginger or the miso that is out of date. I can't think of other ingredients going off.