crunchy apple & red cabbage coleslaw with honey-sesame dressing

If it’s true that people eat with their eyes first, then this dish should already get those taste buds salivating, as our crunchy apple & red cabbage coleslaw with honey sesame dressing is sure to be love at first sight! Besides looking pretty all by itself, it’s perfectly crunchy, slightly tangy and sweet and not drenched in dressing, which is exactly what a good coleslaw should be in our opinion ;)

I first tested out this recipe a couple years ago when I was planning a Fourth of July picnic at Burton Chace Park, and completely forgot about it until earlier this week when I proposed fish taco night to Anthony. Fish tacos are usually dressed with just plain shredded white cabbage and dollops of creamy tartar sauce or sour cream, but how boring is that? As I was trying to come up with a clever substitute for plain white cabbage, wonderful memories of our delicious Fourth of July picnic two years ago and this crunchy apple & red cabbage coleslaw that I so much enjoyed the first time around suddenly came back to me. I figured this would be the perfect garnish for our fish tacos and made sure to write down the recipe this time =P

READY IN 1 Hr 30 Min



For the Honey-Sesame Dressing:

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt (See the Guide)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the Crunchy Apple & Red Cabbage Coleslaw:

1/2 medium red cabbage (or 1 small red cabbage)
1 large carrot, peeled
2 Fuji or Gala apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 scallions
Honey-Sesame Dressing



Large cutting board
Chef’s knife (See the Guide)
Vegetable peeler
Box grater or food processor
Mixing bowls
Tongs or salad spoons



For the Honey-Sesame Dressing:

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl. Mix together with a spoon and set dressing aside.

For the Crunchy Apple & Red Cabbage Coleslaw:

  • Rinse cabbage and remove outer leaves. Cut out the core with a chef’s knife. Thinly slice or finely shred with a food processor. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  • Grate peeled carrot using a box grater or finely shred with a food processor. Add to the bowl of shredded red cabbage and set aside.
  • Rinse and pat dry apples. Slice each apple into quarters to remove the core. Julienne, or cut into matchsticks, using a chef’s knife. Add to a smaller mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.*
  • Thinly slice scallions and add to the bowl of shredded red cabbage and carrots. Add the julienned apples. Pour in the reserved dressing (trust me, you’ll need all of it) and gently toss with tongs or salad spoons to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for least 1 hour to let the flavors marry. Remember to occasionally toss the coleslaw to bring up the dressing that may have settled on the bottom. Use to garnish fish tacos or as a simple side dish with barbecue ribs or fried chicken ;)


  • I left the apples unpeeled for some added color and julienned the apples rather than shred them in the food processor for the improved texture. That way, you get that extra crunch from the apple in every bite ;) The acid from the lemon juice helps prevent the apples from oxidizing while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients, so go ahead and take your time to thinly slice the scallions. I sliced the scallions last since they will leave their mark on the cutting board and I didn’t want the apples to taste like them =P

Sharing is Caring :
  • Print
  • email
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest recipes and tips from Cookinghow. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, please join our Facebook fan page.

7 comments to crunchy apple & red cabbage coleslaw with honey-sesame dressing

  • I made coleslaw this week too and tried to liven it up a bit with red cabbage instead of all white. I like your additions of apple and scallion, a good flavor bump!

  • Stunning! And I love the ingredients. If we could only smell and taste via the internet (= And I agree cole slaw should not be drenched in dressing.

  • Joy

    That looks wonderful. I like the add of the apple.

  • This salad looks lovely and refreshing! I can’t wait to try. You have a fabulous site!

  • Lilia

    Meg: The apple definitely gives coleslaw some sweetness and a nice crunch, so give it a try next time! Your photos The Red Spoon look good enough to eat! Anthony and I definitely love a good pasta dish and the linguine with clams looks like dinner tomorrow night ;)

    Lisa: I know what you mean! I’ve long awaited for smell-o-vision ever since I started watching food shows on network television =P Someday, perhaps? After all, they’ve already got HD and 3D =)

    Thanks Torviewtoronto & Joy!

    Ann Marie: I think this coleslaw would go great with your recipe for Stephen’s short ribs! I might just give it a try this Labor Day weekend =)

  • Susan@One Less Thing

    Made this salad today and it is delicious. But I had to make twice the dressing for 3/4 head of cabbage :)

leave a comment




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

new reads

Ad Hoc at Home
- Thomas Keller

Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments
- David Lebowitz

Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California
- Giada De Laurentiis

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
- Ree Drummond

Rose's Heavenly Cakes
- Rose Levy Beranbaum