Tropical Coleslaw

This is not your mother’s coleslaw. We’re twistin’ on the tropics here, with papaya, curry and mint, plus a little chili to get your attention. The final product is light, crunchy and full of pucker power. Serves 6 to 8.

Tropical Coleslaw


  • 1 small head green cabbage (about 1˝ pounds), halved, cored and sliced into thin shreds
  • 2 ripe papayas, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into ˝-inch dice

Dressing Ingredients

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and papaya. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients. Imagine some hot rumba beat and shake the ingredients like a wild night on a forbidden beach. (Okay, you can stop now.) Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.
  3. One hour before serving, shake the dressing well and pour over the cabbage-papaya mixture. Toss until thoroughly combined. Serve at room temperature.

From Dressed to Grill by Karen Brooks, Diane Morgan and Reed Darmon. Illustrations by Beth Adams. Copyright © 2001. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco,