A Vegetable Peeler Is Key To Making Stress-Free Homemade Coleslaw

classic coleslaw on picnic table
classic coleslaw on picnic table - Foodio/Shutterstock

Making coleslaw seems straightforward, you simply slice up cabbage and perhaps some carrots and onions and add a creamy dressing. However, the execution of this beloved side is of the utmost importance. If you have poor knife skills or use the wrong kitchen tool you'll end up with a dish full of haphazardly chopped vegetables -- nothing like the side at your favorite diner or the best cole slaw at your local fast food spots. The solution is to use a tool that's probably inside your kitchen drawer right now: a vegetable peeler.

Once you use your vegetable peeler to make coleslaw you'll never go back. This little tool is sharper than it looks and it can make quick work of even a large head of cabbage, slicing perfect thin ribbons of nearly equal shape. The best part is there are no mandolin or food processor blades to adjust and clean. Plus, it can slice up carrots and other veggie additions easily as well.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Tips For Making Coleslaw With A Peeler

hands peeling a carrot with a peeler over cutting board
hands peeling a carrot with a peeler over cutting board - New Africa/Shutterstock

If you suspect there's a catch to this easy technique, you're right. While a typical peeler, one that has a handle that continues into a long blade, could work, there's a better tool for the job. The type of peeler that will work the best has its blade perpendicular to the handle. It's called a Y-peeler. This type of peeler will allow you to get a better hold of the cabbage and to pull more easily across the surface.

The trick for making this technique work is to cut your cabbage into even halves or quarters, being sure to remove the core, so that the peeler will be able to easily glide across the cut side of the vegetable. Leaving the cabbage round will not give you uniform pieces. A cabbage is already well segmented inside, so essentially you're shaving down the interior with each scrape until the whole cabbage is shredded. You'll be left with thin strips of cabbage that are uniform in size.

If you get serious about this technique, you could buy a large Y-peeler made for slicing vegetables like cabbage. However, the standard size will work just fine if you cut the cabbage into manageable portions. Be sure to test your peeler on a study vegetable like a carrot to make sure the blade is sharp.

Tips For Making The Best Homemade Coleslaw

colorful coleslaw in a bowl
colorful coleslaw in a bowl - Haoliang/Getty Images

A few other tricks can give you delicious coleslaw that will rival a restaurant version. Once the cabbage is sliced -- and before you add the dressing -- salt it, and let it sit for at least an hour. Pre-salting will bring water to the surface making the cabbage easier to chew. Also, give it a massage as you would with kale, this breaks down the cell walls, making it more tender.

Be sure to slice the additional vegetables as close in size to the cabbage, the main event, for a consistent bite. You can do this by cutting all your carrots to a similar length as the cabbage before shredding them with your peeler. Onions are also perfectly shaved with the vegetable peeler, just be sure to watch your fingers and chill onions before cutting if you're reduced to tears. Another way to get consistency throughout the slaw is to whisk your dressing ingredients before tossing them with the veggies. Be sure to refrigerate the dressed slaw for at least an hour to let the flavors meld together. Like chili, slaw is even better the next day!

Don't be afraid to experiment with different vegetables, flavors, seasonings, and other ingredients for tasty spins on traditional coleslaw. Instead of using mayo as the dressing base, consider swapping in ripe avocado or Mexican crema. You don't have to keep it cold either, warm bacon dressing can transform traditional coleslaw.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.