Red Miso Slaw


I am obsessed with slaw. Coleslaw, cabbage salad, crunchy salad- whatever you want to call it, any type of slaw in a slight dairy based dressing is my downfall. Spoonfuls stolen from the freshly mixed bowl, bright, vibrant and young; ladled onto the side of pretty much any other dished-up meal, or eaten days later after a slight fermentation in the fridge, however I end up eating it, I’m head over heels for the stuff. Of course, there are many ways to concoct this delight. I have, over the last 30 years, grated and chopped and sliced an mixed, all in search of the nirvana of slaws. This one is pretty close. I mean, it’s not going to stop me changing things about and experimenting even further, but this is one I am currently falling back on each week, especially with this glorious weather we are having.


Serves 6 as a large side


Half a pointed spring cabbage finely sliced or shredded- the large, darker outer leave removed and kept for something else. You want the paler green ones here.

Half a red cabbage (hard heart removed and discarded please) finely sliced or shredded

A quarter white cabbage finally sliced or shredded (again- no room for hard hearts here. Discard)

2 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 large at Jalapeño Chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tsp Maldon salt

Good grinding black pepper

Pinch white pepper

1 large banana shallot, sliced within an inch of its life

1 heaped tbsp red miso paste

Juice of half a lemon

125ml (half a cup) good mayo

125ml sour cream

2 tbsp double cream

About 2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh dill, parsley and basil

2 tbsp or so freshly microplaned parmesan


Mix well- the miso paste will need a particular vigorous hand to ensure it is evenly distributed. You must, must must taste for seasoning and texture. You may need to up the mayo, or adjust the lemon, or pepper, or indeed the miso paste.

Homemade Coleslaw

the plain kitchen gluten free recipes

This is a recipe I make often in the Summer, particularly on weekends. It is inspired by a definite Eighties food memory: being treated to Kentucky Fried Chicken when mum had had a late day “in town” shopping. We lived far away from a town and shops, and she would make one journey every fortnight or so, to buy farm supplies and groceries. She would sometimes stop and buy a bucket of chicken, and all the sides: and, best of all, a giant 2 litres of Coca-Cola. We couldn’t believe our luck: it was like heaven. Weirdly, when you grow up with a mum who makes everything, from Chelsea Buns to Potted Brawn, things like bought biscuits and take-aways are food nirvana. I was always envious of other children who seemed to have these sorts of things a lot more than we did: now, of course, I am exactly the same as my mum was. I think Barnaby has had a take away twice in his six years, poor child.

My favourite take away ever was Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the coleslaw that came as a side. This is my attempt at replicating my take-out heaven from the eighties. Thanks mum, for the take-out, but most importantly for all the home made stuff.

Serves six as a side


3 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 small red onion, halved, and finely sliced to within an inch of its life: it must be fine!

Cup of boiling water

Half a large white cabbage, again, extremely finely sliced, and try to avoid using the hard middle bits.

3/4 cup full fat natural yoghurt, or crème fraiche

3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s- but always check the ingredients as some jarred mayos use a modified starch to thicken it).

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (Again, I use the Maille brand, but always check yours to see if wheat or modified starch is lurking there somewhere.).

½ teaspoon white pepper (this is a very important ingredient)

A slight grinding of black pepper

1 teaspoon Maldon salt


Immerse the sliced red onion briefly in the hot water and drain. This will help to blanch it, and take that sometimes bitter frighteningly oniony taste away. That’s my theory, anyway.

Once it’s drained, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, and taste it: you may think it needs a little more mayo, or even a dash of olive oil to loosen it. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate. Keeps well for up to 2 days but not really after that, as it tends to go a bit fizzy, and you don’t want to be eating fizzy cabbage.