Coleslaw with sesame and charred chillies recipe

Swap the regular mayonnaise-based side for this zingy, bright slaw
Swap the regular mayonnaise-based side for this zingy, bright slaw Credit: Haarala Hamilton

Zingy with lime, balanced with mellow sesame, this is the antithesis of the sad coleslaw of your schooldays.

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus one hour | Cooking time: 5 minutes


Six to eight


  • 750g cabbage (red or a mix of red and white)
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated or spiralised
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 bunches of spring onions
  • 8 mild red chilli peppers
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Leaves from a bunch of coriander


  1. Slice the cabbage finely. Mix with the carrot and the salt, squeezing the mixture with your hands. Leave to drain in a colander for an hour or so.
  2. Trim the spring onions of any tired or damaged leaves, and de-seed the chilli peppers. Rub them all with a tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3.  Cook on a griddle pan or barbecue until tender and streaked with black, then cut the spring onions into 5cm lengths and chop the chillies.
  4. Heat the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they start to jump, turning pale gold and fragrant. Tip them on to a plate to cool.
  5. Tip the cabbage mixture into a tea towel and pat dry, then tumble it into a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil, sesame oil, lime zest and juice, onions, chillies and sesame seeds. Taste and add extra salt if required. Stir in the coriander leaves just before serving.