Easy Coleslaw Dressing


My camera lens fogged up in the heat of my kitchen

Every time I get invited to a potluck, a voice in me says, “bring a salad! It’s fun, healthy, non-controversial and best of all, everyone can enjoy it.”

That is the voice of Satan.

Roughly Dice An Onion...

To me, salads have got to be the most troublesome thing to prepare, up to and including a steer. Choice of vegetables have to be fresh; cooked veg have to be cooled sufficiently; fruits have to be peeled, sliced and prepped. Sauces have to be balanced and chilled up to the final moment and you use more utensils, cookware and tools than any other culinary endeavor except baking (and don’t get me started on that).

With all that mise en place, the boiling and the chilling, I find that it takes almost a day to make a good salad. Sure, you can do a slacker Vinaigrette salad featuring rocket and baby spinach but it gets old really fast and, really, bringing a bunch of leaves in a bowl to a potluck is just sad.


But what bugs me the most is the flexibility and versatility of salads; given enough vegetables, anything can be a salad. I was tempted to do a Thai-influenced Mango and Grilled Chicken Salad but it doesn’t travel well. In the end, I decided on a potato salad because I was inspired by Christina Lee’s Potato Salad, which is legendary in many gourmet circles.

Of course, there’s also a desire to experiment on my favorite salad which is the Coleslaw. There are two variations (small differences) but the two Coleslaw I love best are from Tony Romas and KFC. Although I must say that KFC’s has gone down in favor with me as the recipe seems to have changed for the worse.

So in the end, I combined boiled potatoes with Coleslaw dressing; I added peas and carrots mainly because I am not a fan of potatoes so there’s something for me. The result was successful in the sense that I was asked to give the recipe. So here it is.

Easy Coleslaw Dressing

I love Coleslaw. The sweet tangy crunchy ensemble goes superbly with any roast or grill and I am usually the one to finish the whole bowl of ‘slaw at the table.

While this is a Coleslaw dressing, I find that you can use it for a potato salad and any other crunchy veg like carrots, peas and even long beans.

(Pssst! Try it as a dip for chicken wings or Celery stalks; add a little Paprika powder.)

Ingredients: (makes enough dressing for 1kg of boiled potatoes and 600g of mixed veg)

  • 1/4 white onion, grated*
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar (Heinz is commonly used)*
  • 2 tbsp of coarse sugar*
  • 2 tbsp of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp of dry Colman’s Mustard Powder*
  • 3/4 cup of Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp of Celery seeds
  • salt and black pepper to taste

This is cooking, not baking, so you don’t need to be precise with the measurements; just use the Force.

*This is subjective, see my notes below.


  1. Mix the grated onion, vinegar and sugar in a medium or large bowl, grind the sugar into the vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes
  2. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, Celery seeds and Mustard Powder
  3. Whisk until well mixed, adding salt and pepper to taste while whisking
  4. Chill dressing in fridge for at least 1 hour before using


  • The measurements I give are just a guide to get you started. The secret to a good dressing is balance but you can do what you want. Some days you like it sweet, some days you like to pucker up, it’s all good. Besides, your guests will be too polite to say anything negatory. 🙂
  • Grated white onions, not diced onions. Just remember that white onions contain a lot of water and can result in a watery dressing.
  • You can make your own Mayonnaise, but make sure your eggs comes from a trusted source.
  • The sour cream attenuates the Mayonnaise, so how light or heavy (taste-wise) is up to you.
  • Why not just use Celery Salt? Well, you can but personally I prefer to have better control over my individual ingredients.
  • I prefer not to have dressing pooling at the bottom of the bowl, it’s unsightly.
  • Can you add water to lighten the dressing? Well, yes, just a tad (teaspoon by teaspoon) and remember to…
  • Whisk damn you! Whisk! Let it feel your manly hand, no pussy-footed mincing with a spoon. As a guide, you should not see any lumps or bits of onions in the dressing.
  • And finally, Cole and the Voice of Slaw would be a great name for a rock band.

Posted on 5th Jul 2010 in American, Food and Drink, Recipes


There Is Only 1 Comment So Far


food.recentrunes.com | 2010 in review commented on February 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

[…] month also saw the launch of the Singapore Food Festival and this blog was busy as a bee making Coleslaw, Parma Swirls and Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream for […]

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