Tip: For Crisp Coleslaw, Salt and Drain the Cabbage

Tip: For Crisp Coleslaw, Salt and Drain the Cabbage

Anjali Prasertong
May 24, 2011

Salting certain vegetables and letting them sit for an hour or so helps to drain off excess moisture, so the finished dish is a lot less soggy. I already use this technique with cucumbers and zucchini, but only recently did I discover what a huge effect pre-salting has on one of my favorite vegetables: cabbage!

I was introduced to this technique in Mark Bittman's recipe for kimchi-style coleslaw. Bittman recommends tossing a head of shredded cabbage with about one tablespoon of salt and letting it sit in a colander for an hour or two. During that time, the cabbage seems to get soggy and wilted, but after all the moisture is squeezed out, it has a crisp bite that remains even hours after it's dressed. (It might even last days, but this coleslaw was so good, it wasn't around long enough for me to find out.)

I haven't tried this technique yet with a mayonnaise-based coleslaw dressing, but I imagine it would be just as tasty and crisp.

Are there any vegetables you like to salt and drain before using?

Related: Recipe: Classic Southern Coleslaw

(Image: Nealey Dozier)

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