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Hawaiian Coleslaw

Last Saturday our church youth group had a Hawaiian Luau fundraiser dinner. The teens had a lot of fun decorating the gym with blow up palm trees, grass skirts, flowers and seashells (all leftover from various vacation bible school themes). While the adolescents were working hard on decorating myself and a team of parents were working away in the kitchen. The menu that we came up with had lots of real food recipes, or nearly real food recipes. We served coconut rice, chicken adobo, sweet potatoes with real butter, Hawaiian baked beans (they had spam in them, one of Hawaii’s staples, but obviously not something I would consider a whole food),  sweet and sour pork and Hawaiian coleslaw. Everything was a huge hit, but running around to get dinner out on time, welcoming guests and coordinating the teen talent show, meant that I didn’t take a single picture, never mind a decent one. Fortunately for me, my favorite dish of the evening; the Hawaiian coleslaw had just enough left over to take home and enjoy for lunch the following day (and to get a picture so I could share it here). By the way, I have no idea how authentic this is as far as Hawaiian cuisine goes, I have personally never been to Hawaii, but it served our purpose and tasted fresh and slightly exotic without being overpowering. It made a great side dish for the Luau and then a wonderful light lunch. It was the most requested recipe of the evening (followed by chicken adobo and coconut rice), but I should warn you this recipe makes a bunch; two very large bowls, on second thought I will post the group size and then a family size (FS) to make it easier! (Does that make it easier?) Enjoy.


Hawaiian Coleslaw


For the Sauce                                                                                                                  

     ¼ cup fresh ginger root, chopped  (FS- 1 tbsp)

    12 cloves (about one head) fresh garlic (FS- 3-4 cloves garlic)

   3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (FS- 3 tbsp)

    ½ cup pure pressed olive oil (FS- 2 tbsp)

    1/4 cup sesame seed oil (can replace with additional olive oil) (FS- 1 tbsp)

    1 cup almond butter or tahini*   (FS- ¼ cup)

    ½ cup naturally fermented soy sauce (FS- 2 tbsp)

    ½ cup raw honey  (FS- 2 tbsp)


For the Salad 

    2 medium green cabbages, thinly sliced (FS- ½ a cabbage)

    1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced    (FS- ¼ red cabbage)

    1 small napa cabbage, thinly sliced   (FS- ¼ napa cabbage)

    4 orange or red bell peppers, thinly sliced (FS- 1 bell pepper)

    1 bunch green onions, chopped (FS- 3-4 green onions)

    1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (FS- ½ cup fresh cilantro)

    ½ cup toasted sesame seeds to top (FS- 2 tbsp)


Put the garlic and fresh ginger in a blender and pulse until finely minced. Place the remaining sauce ingredients in a blender and whirl until it is smooth. Set the dressing aside to allow the flavors to mingle. Use a slicing tool on a food processor and slice the cabbages. Slice the peppers into thin julienne strips. Chop the green onions and cilantro. Combine the salad ingredients, add the sauce right before serving and top with sesame seeds (to toast sesame seeds place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven at 350F for 5 or so minutes, keep an eye on them).


*I really wanted to use tahini, but I couldn’t find any in the two stores we did our shopping in. I imagine that peanut butter would be really tasty here too, although you may want to reduce the peanut butter to ¾ cups as it is a much stronger flavor. We have a severe peanut allergy at church so we opted for the almond butter.

This post is linked up to:

Real Food Wednesday

Pennywise Platter

Simple Lives Thursday

Full Plate Thursday

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Reader Comments (1)

Your presentation of Hawaiian Coleslaw is lovely. This is a great recipe that we will really enjoy! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

February 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiz Helen

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