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Cole slaw using vegan mayo and onion dressing – perfectly refreshing for hot summer!

I don’t know why but I never really liked cole slaw. Maybe it was the combination of bright orange and green that screamed out “we are vegetables!!!” (Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of vegetables like any other kid.) Or maybe because I felt like it was a dish to mask the vegetableness of vegetables with an excess amount of mayo. Either way, even after I grew up, I didn’t think about making cole slaw at home.

So this cole slaw came kind of spontaneously when I made the vegan mayonnaise and was searching through my fridge to see what I could make with it. I saw carrot’ bright orange and cabbage’s big green then I thought it was time to make cole slaw!

I did some research on cole slaw recipes online and was surprised to find that there is a great variety in how the cole slaw is made (ingredients wise) and how the cole slaw looks. But what they all (well almost all) had in common was the cabbage, mayo, some acidity (vinegar), sweetness (sugar), mustard and “pre-pickling” of vegetables.

For the dressing, I knew what my mayo contained (because I made it!) and thought it contained most of what the cole slaw needed to have. Then I decided to combine it with my onion dressing to add an extra acidity and natural sweetness of the onions and shio-koji.

Also I wanted my cole slaw to be not just a side dish but a salad dish on its own, so I decided to grill up my (or everyone’s?) favorite vegetable – avocado – to add richness in taste and gorgeousness in appearance.

First, I sliced the cabbage (1/4 of a large cabbage) thinly and julienned the carrot (1 small-sized carrot). I didn’t make them too thin because I wanted them to retain the crunchiness at the end.

Then I added some salt to the vegetables and let the salt seek in. This “pre-pickles” the vegetables, which creates a base flavor and encourages the vegetables to release moisture.

While waiting, I pitted, peeled and grilled the avocado.

And chopped up walnuts.

After about 20 min, moisture can be squeezed out of the vegetables. This ensures that the resulting cole slaw does not become soggy.

Dressing is very simple – just vegan mayo (2 Tbsp) and onion dressing (2 Tbsp).

Now ready to assemble! Place the grilled avocado on the bottom, top it with cole slaw and sprinkle some chopped walnuts over it.

It tasted so good that I couldn’t stop eating while I was taking photos! Saltiness, sourness and sweetness are just right, and it’s satisfying but still light and refreshing.

Grilling the avocado is optional if you don’t have a grill pan (or you are too lazy to grill!) but I highly recommend it as it adds an extra smoky flavor and a different texture. Walnut topping is also optional, but it looks great presentation-wise and the combination of mushiness of the avocado, moist crunchiness of the sole slaw and dry crunchiness of the walnuts makes this dish delicious!

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