Would Onion Spoil Coleslaw?

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Onions will not spoil the taste of coleslaw, actually, it can enhance it. Adding onions to coleslaw comes down to a matter of taste and personal preference.

I know several people like red cabbage in their slaw but some people find it off-putting as it bleeds into the dressing.

It’s pretty much down to what you like and how you feel when making your slaw.


In Barbados, you will find plenty of onions all year round.

You may also find different varieties in Barbados depending on where you shop.

There is no ‘supposed to’ in coleslaw. It’s entirely up to personal taste. Cabbage and carrots are essential. If you like onion add it; if not leave it out.

I’d always add lots of onion finely chopped as I like it that way, but if I were entertaining, I’d probably have some available without it, for those not liking the taste of onion.

Again, my personal preference is to use a mix of mayonnaise and salad cream as I think the flavour is improved that way. But, again, that is my preference.

Delicious and flexible

Onions are one of the most delicious and flexible commodities you use in the kitchen.

I like cabbage, carrot, onion, and apple with a dressing made with apple cider vinegar, honey, grain mustard, and olive oil.

Sometimes I’ll make a dressing with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and grain mustard. Sometimes I’ll add raisins and sunflower seeds.

From savory steaming soups to satisfying homemade salsa, onions play an important part in our daily cooking.

Have a bit of fun and try things out – you could grate some radishes into it as well – which would add colour interest as well as a slightly different flavour, or finely chop some spring onion leaves up. Adding them would again add ‘eye interest’ as well as a slightly different taste.

I would suggest for newbies to either grate or chopped apple and maybe a few raisins for a slightly sweet/sour taste as a better idea.

Flavorful appetizers

Flavorful appetizers from onion dip to salad dressing, main course casseroles, even the onion focaccia bread accompaniment for dinner.

Buying onions

Look for dry, papery skins with no soft spots.

You should also notice the absence of any strong odor. A good dry onion will have very little to no smell to it at all.

If it has a strong onion odor the onion has already begun to turn bad.


Varieties of onion include Vidalia, Texas 1015, Red, Green, the Walla Walla from Washington, and Maui from Hawaii

Sweet onions such as Vidalia and Walla Walla are mellow enough to eat raw, but they are excellent “baked” on the grill and served with grilled steaks or burgers. Try them in the oven too.

Caramelizing onions during cooking will give a rich sweetness to recipes, enhancing kitchen aromas, and have everyone asking, “What’s for dinner?” Followed shortly by “fabulous, superb and perfection.”

The smell

Kosher salt is one of the best things to use to remove the smell of the onion from your hands. Wash your hands using a little dishwashing soap, water, and about a teaspoon full of salt.

Any salt will do, I just like the course texture of the kosher salt. Rinse your hands and repeat if necessary.

Tears when you chop those onions?

How do you get rid of the tears? Here are a few simple suggestions to “ease your pain.”

You can place the onion in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes before chopping or if you are in a hurry toss them in the freezer for about four to five minutes.

The cold will tone down the sulfur compound in the juice of the onion. Also, be sure to use the sharpest knife possible to expedite your chopping chores.

Here is a recipe for your coleslaw

Green Cabbage, shredded 1 small
Carrots, shredded 2 each

Mayonnaise 3/8 cup
Light Sour Cream 1/4 cup
Green Onion, finely chopped 1 ea
Vinegar 2 tablespoons
Mustard Seed, ground 1 tablespoons
Celery Seed, ground 2 teaspoons
Sea Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
Make Sure everything is very fresh if you can.

Chop up a small head of cabbage into strips and chunks. Then Shred the Carrots. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients and stir with a whisk. If it’s not tangy enough, add more vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

About Joyce Walcott 43 Articles
I had the opportunity of working and learning alongside the best chefs in Barbados many years ago until I became an Executive Chef, I still cook and write on all things cooking.