In the summer of 2020 a new coleslaw came into our life with some takeout al pastor tacos. This cabbage coleslaw featured lots of fresh yellow corn kernels, some still attached to their neighbors. A few radish bits and parsley and carrots added color, and the dressing set off the vegetables perfectly. The takeout coleslaw from the Mexican restaurant instantly captured my personal coleslaw sweepstakes.
Of course I had to do more research on the delicious coleslaw. Several days later we ordered more takeout tacos from the same place, this time also including a side order of coleslaw. To my disappointment, the coleslaw from the second takeout order had no fresh corn. It was perfectly acceptable but not memorable.
All I had to go on was a blurry photo of the original coleslaw plus our delectable memory of the taste.
We set to work to create coleslaw to remind us of the Coleslaw with Corn from the Mexican restaurant, using elements of Sam Sifton’s New York Times recipe for Spicy Coleslaw plus our longtime favorite Coleslaw from Peter Reinhart’s 1994 book, Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Café.
You may think there is too much corn in this recipe. But I tried using just one ear of corn. The kernels got lost amidst the cabbage. Corn from a second ear made it better, and with the third ear of corn, we had success.
1 pound of green cabbage, thinly shredded (about a third of a large head)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 small carrot, grated
2 radishes, sliced very thinly, slices cut in half
kernels from 3 ears of fresh young corn
1 tablespoon diced Italian parsley
1/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pickle relish
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a bowl, combine vegetables and other ingredients. Allow the coleslaw to sit for at least 1 hour before serving. It will taste even better the second day.