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Thai-Style Coleslaw with Mint and Cilantro

4 to 6 Servings

25 minutes

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Looking for a brighter, fresher, cabbage slaw than the mayonnaise-rich American version, we were inspired by a recipe from San Antonio chef Quealy Watson that featured Southeast Asian flavors. Coconut milk in the dressing—instead of mayonnaise—has just the right amount of richness and body. Fish sauce adds savory pungency, while sugar balances with sweetness. For heat, we like fresh chili “cooked” in lime juice, which mellows the bite and helps disperse the heat more evenly. For vegetables, we use tender yet crunchy napa cabbage along with sliced red radishes and snap peas for vivid color and even more texture.

4 to 6



Don’t use “light” coconut milk or “cream of coconut” for this recipe. The former is too thin, and the latter is too sweet (think piña coladas). For a richer version of this slaw, feel free to use thick coconut cream in place of coconut milk, reducing the volume to 4 tablespoons. And don’t forget to vigorously shake the can before opening to ensure that the fat and liquid are fully emulsified.

25 minutes


  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice

  • 4

    teaspoons sugar


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Deborah R.
July 15, 2023
This recipe was delicious! What a great combination of flavors and texture. I added chopped roasted peanuts on top. Will definitely make it again.
Emelia M.

I made this for a potluck and kept a small version aside for the vegetarian (no fish sauce). Everyone loved it! I'm making it again with the thai pork skewers and thai noodle salad for the family.

Amy F.

So delicious and fresh! Has with grilled chicken, it was amazing!

Diana L.

This was a great salad. I will be making it again. I did not put SERRANO CHILI as my kid would not be able to eat it. I just put a pinch of cayenne pepper and that was plenty for my family,

Donna G.

I love coconut, but didn't care for the coconut background in combination with the other ingredients. Would make it again, with all of the same ingredients, but would substitute a mayonnaise-based or vinegar-sugar based for the dressing.

Sud M.

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Nancy E.

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Sally S.

I was surprised how wonderful this salad was. It is very light and fresh and has a lot of textures. The light dressing adds just the right finishing touch. Will be making this again.