Deli Style Coleslaw

Thursday 11 March 2021

Deli Style Coleslaw. This deli coleslaw recipe with no mayonnaise that I am sharing with you today is an old family favourite which goes back quite a few years in our family.  We are quite simply cabbage lovers and we will eat it any way that we can get it! 

My grandfather use to make his own sauerkraut, as did his father before him, etc. etc.  The family comes from out New Germany way so sauerkraut and cabbage practically runs in our veins.

Deli Style Coleslaw  
The name Coleslaw comes from the Dutch koolsla, cool meaning cabbage and sla, meaning salad. This is a title that definitely fits this delicious cold cabbage salad! 

This tangy cold salad is delicious.  Its quite different than your usual creamy coleslaw in that there is no mayonnaise involved, just a simple oil and vinegar dressing.  It goes great next to deli sandwiches or even on deli sandwiches!  Last night we enjoyed it with a homemade cheese and broccoli quiche!

Sifto Salt 1979

The recipe comes from this leaflet which my sister has had since 1979. Put out by the Sifto Salt company, it is filled with many recipes that are deli centred.  Pickled Pork, Corned Beef, etc.

This tasty salad is one of the recipes included and one which we have both been enjoying for many years. Oh it pains me to think of all the leaflets such as this that I had to leave behind in my recent return to Canada, but I just have to put it out of my mind.

Deli Style Coleslaw  
I know that when it comes to coleslaw recipes there is no end to the choices you have out there and I have more than one version that I love to make right here in The English Kitchen. 

Christmas Coleslaw is a real favourite that you can enjoy any time of the year. It is the mayonnaise type of coleslaw with the addition of dried cranberries.

Deli Style Coleslaw 
Another exceptional recipe for a creamy coleslaw is Creamy Caraway ColeslawThis is nice and creamy and boasts the addition of two kinds of seeds, adding plenty of flavour. Caraway and Celery seed.  I really love this version of slaw.

I absolutely ADORE my Cheese Slaw.  Its amazing. If you have never tried cheese in a coleslaw, you need to. Prepare yourself to fall in love. Rich, creamy and incredibly moreish. You have been warned!

Deli Style Coleslaw 
Chinese Coleslaw is another favorite of mine.  Very popular at potlucks also, it boasts the addition of crunchy ramen noodles.  Yum yum! 

Mom's coleslaw is always a favorite here as well and I can't believe that I haven't put a recipe on here for that! I need to do one soon. My mother made the best coleslaw in the world. (I know, everyone's mother does!)

Deli Style Coleslaw 
 I always loved to watch her stand at the counter making it.  She always shredded her cabbage by hand with a knife, and that is the way I like to do my cabbage also, with a knife.  She was very methodical about it.  All the vegetables would be chopped by hand, with the exception of the carrots, which she would grate.

She put onion in it, cabbage, carrot, celery, sometimes cucumber.  Her dressing was creamy and rich.  We always loved it when she made coleslaw to have with our supper. I am afraid her coleslaw spoilt us for every really being able to enjoy anyone else's! 

Deli Style Coleslaw 
Like my mother, I, too, like to hand shred my vegetables. I don't find it to be a great chore.  And if you are a person who keeps your knives well sharpened and honed, it isn't hard to do at all.

It is the kind of mindless chore you can lose yourself in.  All of the vegetables here today, with the exception of the carrot, were hand shredded.

Deli Style Coleslaw 
I find the easiest way to do the cabbage is to cut it into quarters first.  Once you have done that you can cut out the core (discard it), and then just cut it crosswise into thin strips. No larger than 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick is perfect.

The peppers were cut in half lengthwise, destemmed, deseeded, and then thinly sliced crosswise as well. Did you know that peppers with more lobes contain more seeds?  (It has nothing to do with the gender of the pepper. All peppers are self pollinating and there is no male or female.)

Deli Style Coleslaw 

I have found however that the fewer the lobes, the fewer the seeds and the easier they are to clean/trim. Its as simple as that. If you don't want your pepper in strips you can then cut the strips crosswise into smaller bits. I like to keep a few longer and some in bits.

Its more for a looks thing than anything else. I do mince the onion very fine however. Nobody wants to have a big chunk of raw onion in their mouth. 

Deli Style Coleslaw 
The celery is trimmed and cut crosswise into very thin slices also.  You can de-string your celery if you wish. Just take a sharp knife, find the end of the strings and pull them down the length of the stalk.  

I think the strings can sometimes be a bit bitter and older celery chewier. You don't want it too chew for this, so if you celery is old, I do recommend de-stringing it. I used two large stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced.

Deli Style Coleslaw 
The carrot was simply grated on a box grater. My sister still uses my mother's old box grater. The handle is missing off it and its a bit rusty in places.  I think I need to buy her a new one,

I know I need to get myself one as well. I saw a really nice one in Winners the other day. It was round, Italian with a wooden handle at the top. I was sorely tempted. Maybe I will go back one day and get one.

Deli Style Coleslaw

I used the Sweet & Sour dressing for this one today. It is beautiful. You simply mix together oil, vinegar, sugar, seasoning, some Dijon mustard and celery seed. Bring to the boil and then let it cool before tossing those crisp fresh vegetables together with it. 

You could add some dried fruit, but we enjoy it old school. Just the vegetables and the dressing. It gets better each day that it sits. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week I think. Some people say longer, and it certainly wouldn't go off if you kept it longer.  To be honest, this is never around any longer than a week. We always gobble it right up!


Deli Coleslaw

Deli Coleslaw

Author: Marie Rayner
Makes about six cups of slaw but this will keep for days and days in the refrigerator. If anything it gets better with each day that passes. I have included dressing variations.


For the slaw:
  • 1 medium head of green/white cabbage, cut into thin shreds
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 small onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 small green pepper, trimmed, seeded and finely shredded or chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, trimmed, seeded and finely shredded or chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • a large handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
For the sweet and sour dressing:
  • 1 cup (195g) sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) salad oil
  • 1 tsp celery seed or caraway seed
  • 1 tsp Dijon type mustard
For a vinaigrette:
  • 3 TBS white or wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS salad oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic, crushed
Fruity Cream Dressing:
  • Use equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt
  • Pineapple, orange or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp honey


  1. Toss all of the prepared vegetables together in a bowl along with the dressing of your choice.
  2. To make the Sweet/Sour dressing, mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool before pouring over vegetables. This salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about a week.
  3. To make the Vinaigrette dressing, prepare it ahead of time allowing it to sit with the garlic. Remove the garlic before dressing salad.
  4. To make the fruit dressing, mix together equal parts of the mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt. Thin and flavour with orange, pineapple or lemon juice.  Season to taste and sweeten with honey. This will only keep a day or so.


Chopped apples, dates or raisins may be added to the cabbage mixture or mix in halved seeded grapes or orange sections (membrane removed).

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Deli Style Coleslaw

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  1. So delicious, haven't had any for ages, now the weather is getting nicer it is time to get back to slaws and salads.

    1. OH, I am so looking forward to the warmer weather Linda and plenty of salads and slaws! Salads are one of my favourite foods! I have never met a salad I didn't love!! xoxo


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