Don't miss another issue…      Subscribe

How to prevent watery coleslaw


All too often, coleslaw dressing turns thin and watery. Preventing watery slaw isn't hard, it just requires application of this preparation technique.



It starts with the shredding. The fresh, squeaky leaves of the cabbage require a sharp knife or the slicing blade of a food processor for best results. Generally it is best to quarter and core the cabbage.

Shredded cabbage

When slicing by hand with a sharp knife, take apart each quarter and assemble into layers or stacks of leaves. Then with a rocking motion and a sharp chef's knife you can achieve fine shreds of cabbage with some rustic personality.

Using a food processer

Use the slicing blade, NOT the shredding blade of a food processor

Chunks of cabbage head

Alternatively, trim the cabbage into chunks that will fit into the hopper of a food processor fitted with the slicing, not the shredding, blade. The shredding blade create bits of cabbage too fine, reminiscent of KFC coleslaw, while the slicing blade creates beautifully even shreds with much more personality.

Preventing watery slaw

After shredding, most coleslaw recipes simply toss the freshly shredded cabbage with a quickly prepared home made dressing. Within an hour the cabbage will begin weeping liquid which begins to dilute the dressing and the cabbage ends up sitting in a puddle of watery dressing that won't cling to the leaves.

To prevent this tear-jerking weeping effect, a little salt goes a long way.

Salt the coleslaw

Place your shredded cabbage into a colander or a large mesh strainer over a large bowl. Sprinkle one teaspoon per pound of cabbage over the shreds and toss to evenly distribute the salt throughout the cabbage.

Draining the coleslaw

Let stand for at a minimum one hour, preferably 4 hours in total. When you check, 4 hours later, you will be amazed at how much liquid has exuded from the slaw while retaining a pickle-crisp texture.

Press out as much liquid as possible (don't squeeze or wring) and then pat dry with paper toweling.

Prepare your dressing as directed by your favorite coleslaw recipe and it will remain perfectly tender-crisp and puddle free!

One of our favorites for an All-American style coleslaw is Creamy Lemon Buttermilk Coleslaw.

Properly prepared, the humble and inexpensive cabbage is worthy of a all sorts of tastebud tingling flavor enhancments such as Asian Coleslaw.

 Check out all of our coleslaw recipes here.




Fredericksburg, VA
 almost 5 years ago

Thank you! Am taking Cole slaw to a friend's family reunion and I wanted to make it the night before. But I was dreading it becoming watery and soggy! Now I know the trick to avoiding it. Kudos!

, United Kingdom
 over 4 years ago

Vile!!!!! You can't rid the taste of salt... especially for those that detest salt

That's exactly what I was thinking as I read this.....but maybe I'll try rinsing it, then drying as much as possible? Might defeat the object though :-s

Home chef

Leicester, United Kingdom
 22 days ago
Clinton Township, United States
 over 2 years ago

Thanks for this great info!

London, United Kingdom
 about 2 years ago

Sounds worth a try

Peterborough, Canada
 over 1 year ago

How much time do you generally gain with the salt?

, Spain
 10 months ago

Isn't the cabbage really salty though, if you don't rinse it?

, United States
 7 months ago

I tried this and it made it more watery and no water came out in the collender.

Leicester, United Kingdom
 22 days ago

That's exactly what I was thinking as I read this.....but maybe I'll try rinsing it, then drying as much as possible? Might defeat the object though :-s


Founded in 1996.

© 2021 Sean Wenzel & Infinite Networks Inc. All rights reserved.
171A Rink Street, Suite 148, Peterborough, ON, CA K9J 2J6 +1.888.959.4335