Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poblano Cabbage Slaw

...a mini post for a dish that's closely related to a recent favorite, Poblano Potato Salad.  

It's true, the same zesty, creamy sauce that was such a hit with potatoes has managed to transform cabbage slaw into a new taste treat. We like this flavor combination so much it could find its way into many more familiar recipes. Why was that such a surprise? Probably because I didn't think of it. This recipe was all RL's idea, inspired when he ran across a head of green cabbage sharing storage space with baskets of apples, oranges, clementines and a few avocadoes on a shelf in the cool room. The cool room, aka the garage, keeps produce in tip-top condition, stored on high shelving during our cool Seattle winters. That's a good thing, slowing the ripening process between shopping trips. It can also be a problem when an item hides out of sight and out of mind, like that one lone head of cabbage.

Cilantro, garlic, poblanos and raw cabbage should work well together, and the refrigerator still held several already-roasted peppers. The slaw was an immediate solid-gold hit as a stand-alone side salad, but it went to platinum status when added to pulled pork tacos. OMG, those tacos were delicious beyond description. So good they disappeared before I could set aside a plate to photoraph 

Just imagine the layers of flavor and textures. Cool, creamy sauce mellowed the poblano's bite. Crunchy cabbage shreds were the perfect contrast to the smooth creaminess of the dressing. Lemon zest and juice balanced any potential heaviness from the mayonnaise. 

Pile some tangy coleslaw on top of saucy pulled pork with pepper jack cheese inside a crispy taco shell. Oh my! that's one good taco! And you know can't eat just one.

Distressingly bad iPhoto of amazingly good slaw and BBQ pork

Poblano and Cilantro Cabbage Slaw


1 or more poblano chiles - roasted, peeled, deseeded and diced
1/2 small to medium-sized green cabbage, shredded thinly
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

dash or two of of Cajun Sunshine or green Tabasco (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus more to taste 
2 TBS seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cotija cheese, optional topping 

  1. Prepare the poblanos, using more or less according to heat tolerance.
  2. Shred the cabbage and place in a medium bowl. Add the cilantro and toss.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except Cotija cheese) for a sauce, adjusting seasonings to taste.
  4. Add the poblanos and sauce, a bit at a time, and blend thoroughly. Add remaining chiles and dressing as needed to desired consistency and level of chile heat.
  5. Top with a sprinkling of crumbled cheese when serving.


  1. I wonder if the Poblano peppers could just be halved, seeded and then then thinly sliced? This to be done without roasting them or peeling them. I've had it that way at Taco Mac in Atlanta and it is delicious.

    1. Raw poblanos would work beautifully and give the slaw some extra crunch.

  2. I made this slaw recipe last night exactly as written and it was delicious! We smoked some rubbed chicken on the grill, grilled some corn tortillas and used this slaw for the topping on our tacos. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Yum, your tacos do sound delicious! Delighted this recipe worked for you.


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