Mom’s Coleslaw


I just got back from a gorgeous weekend with my family in Miami. It was extra special since my cousin had flown in from San Francisco and my grandfather was also down in in the sunshine state so we all got to spend some much overdue time together. Naturally, with any family time comes lots and lots of food- especially when your mother is a gourmet chef.
The first night after everyone had arrived, we had a big barbecue complete with a huge filet roast, tuna steaks, sweet white corn on the cob, my brussels sprouts and my mom’s famous coleslaw.

Homemade Dinner

This coleslaw is not your average slaw. It was actually my grandmother’s recipe, passed down to my mom and now to me and now to you. I generally dislike coleslaw that I get at restaurants. There’s something about the sweet taste with the mayonnaise that leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I think I also associate it with sugary, bad for you, barbecue fast food. The coleslaw I grew up with kicks the sweet aside for a much more favorable and healthier tang. Sadly, I never had the chance to meet my grandmother, but through the years, I have tasted many of her delicious creations that my mom still prepares. I like to think of preparing these dishes myself as some kind of connection to the woman I never knew. Here’s the recipe for Martha’s (my grandmother) Coleslaw…

Cabbage slaw (always best to buy fresh and shred yourself)
Shredded carrots
2 shallots – chop well in food processor
Apple Cider vinegar – start with ½ cup-add more at the end if necessary
1 cup mayonnaise
Celery Seed – to taste (1tsp. or more)
Adobo seasoning – Goya-with Pepper (works better than salt and pepper)

Mix 1st 4 ingredients, then add mayo and mix. Add celery seed and Adobo and mix. Let sit covered in refrigerator
for at least ½ hour. Slaw will deflate and flavors will come out. Mix again, taste and adjust vinegar, mayo, Adobo to taste.


  1. Jenny says:

    Mardi –I’m making chili and was looking for a coleslaw recipe and I saw this. can this be made in advance or do you recommend making right before?

  2. Mardi says:

    Hey Jenny!
    You can make it beforehand – it should last a few days in the fridge. If you do make it right before, let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes – it helps bring all of the flavors out.

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