Is There A Difference Between Cabbage Salad And Coleslaw?

Bowl of coleslaw
Bowl of coleslaw - Maliflower73/Shutterstock

When you're shredding a head of cabbage for a side dish, there are a few ways you can dress it up. Cabbage salad and coleslaw may look similar at first glance since the main component of both dishes is the same. While both can be used in much the same way (either as a condiment or a standalone salad), there are a few important distinctions between them.

The biggest difference between coleslaw and cabbage salad is the dressing. While a cabbage salad typically features a lighter vinaigrette made with an oil base, coleslaw is typically coated in a heavier, creamy dressing.

While cabbage salad often consists only of one vegetable seasoned and dressed, coleslaw can include a few other ingredients like shredded veggies, fruits, or seasonings to give some variety to the dish. While both feature cabbage as the star of the show, the different dressings set the two apart.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

The Dressing Makes All The Difference

Shredded cabbage
Shredded cabbage - Yelenayemchuk/Getty Images

The dressing for a cabbage salad is fairly light, starting with your choice of oil. It can then be seasoned and flavored with additions like lemon juice, salt, or honey. The cabbage is then tossed in the dressing and served either on its own or as a condiment to other dishes.

However, coleslaw requires a creamy base. While mayonnaise is the standard ingredient used for this, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream can provide a similar consistency. This base is thinned out a little with some vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or white vinegar can all add a little bit of acidity while remaining neutrally flavored. Then, other seasonings can be mixed in, and the dressing can coat the shredded vegetables to make coleslaw.

The creaminess of the mayonnaise-based coleslaw makes it the perfect companion to contrast the saltiness of savory dishes like pulled pork sandwiches or hamburgers. Cabbage salad, on the other hand, makes for a little bit of a lighter bite.

You Can Add Additional Ingredients To Both Dishes

Asian cabbage coleslaw with peanuts
Asian cabbage coleslaw with peanuts - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

The ingredients that go into each dish can differ, as well. Cabbage salad needs only its namesake, although added ingredients can make the dish much more versatile. Coleslaw, however, often incorporates carrots, fruits, nuts, and onions alongside the cabbage. You can even mix some dried, crushed-up ramen noodles into the mix to make a ramen noodle salad.

Although the type of dressing used is an important distinction between the two dishes, the dressings can also be altered to fit particular tastes. While both have a specified base component (oil for cabbage salad and mayonnaise for coleslaw), various seasonings and flavors can be added to enhance the taste of the dressing. If you like a sweet and salty flavor, try adding honey, salt, and pepper, but if you want it to be a little more acidic, you could squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.