Sides, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Cilantro Jicama Slaw

I used to think that coleslaw was an abomination. I’m not sure if it was myold aversion to mayo or the thoughts of cafeterias and dentures that did it in, but coleslaw was on my “no, no won’t eat” list for a long time.

Do you ever feel like your adult food life is spent making up for the mistakes you made in your culinary youth?

Which brings me to this:
Particularly this cilantro jicama slaw.

To be honest, this recipe started out as potato salad, and if you want to Frankenstein one together from the slaw fixings, feel free-it’s delicious. A few years ago I decided (for the 4th of July) that I wanted to make some standard American recipes with an international twist. So, I kicked my potato salad south of the border and looked to Central and South America for flav-inspiration. Jicama was delightful next to purple potato chunks, crisp and juicy to balance the soft starch. I swapped the lemons in my mayo recipe for limes and pureed a handful of cilantro with the olive oil before whipping everything together with egg yolks.

Flash forward to my final dinnergeddon in Boulder. I was making an entire meal inspired by South America. Braised chicken with citrus and tamarind and boiled plantains, it still leaves me salivating. But I needed some veggies in the mix. I thought the potato salad would be great, but I seriously did not need potatoes and plantains (I’m willing to be proven wrong on that account).

Which is how I ended up making slaw and falling in love with a food I had blacklisted as a kid. I sliced a head of jicama into matchsticks, did the same to some red cabbage, rough chopped a bunch of sugar snap peas and sliced some scallions, mixed it all in a giant bowl (I was cooking for ~45) and dressed it with the cilantrayonnaise. It was delicious. Cool, crisp and juicy, it was the ideal side dish. has been undergoing some heavy maintenance to swap out the old video player for something with better usability. I’ve been reluctant to post new recipes and videos while things are in flux, but now I feel so disconnected! So, pardon the dust, the killers over are making this baby slick and fast. The new video player will be here soon, and I’ll christen it with some bangarang new cooking episodes. Dig it.

In other news, my grandfather will be 90 on October 2nd and no matter how many times he tells me how he met my grandmother, or reminds me that he taught me to write songs as a toddler, he will always be my favorite storyteller. Isn’t it always the case that the stories we love the most are the ones we know by heart? I know I’m lucky to have him in my life, who is your favorite storyteller?

This video made me smile and take a breath. I can’t wait to plummet in love like my grandparents. In the meantime, I’ll settle for mediocre blind dates and fantastic dinner parties. The animated short is produced by StoryCorps, a most marvelous organization. I’d give you a big rundown of what they do, but their founder is more eloquent than I can be right now:
“By listening closely to one another, we can help illuminate the true character of this nation, reminding us all just how precious each day can be and how truly great it is to be alive.”
-Dave Isay
Founder, StoryCorps

Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, Tree Nuts and Corn

Cilantro Mayo

  • 1 cup Rough Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil (yes, separately)


  • 1 pound Red Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 pound Jicama, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 pound Snap Peas, roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch Scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 cups Cilantro Mayo (to your taste)
  • Salt to taste

Get Busy

  1. Start with the cilantro mayo. Throw the cilantro in a blender with 1 1/2 cups oil. Puree the heck out of it, you want a green green oil.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the egg yolks, lime juice, brown rice syrup, cumin, salt and pepper. Whip it. Whip it good. Seriously, use a machine to blend these together. Your arms will burn wielding a whisk.
  3. Turn your mixer  on high and pour the separate 1/2 cup of olive oil into the bowl in the thinnest stream possible. Yes, it will dribble down the side of your measuring cup, it will get on your counter, you’ll pour it in cautiously slowly and sometimes too fast. the mayonnaise will survive as long as you try to pour it in slowly. This is how emulsification works. When you’ve run out of the separate oil, switch to the chunky green cilantro oil. Pour all of it in slowly.
  4. When you’ve finished pouring in the oil let it whip for another minute and then turn off the mixer. The mayonnaise should be pale green and thick (but not as thick as it will be after a stay in your fridge to chill). You’re finished. Wasn’t that easy?
  5. Mix the slaw veggies in a large bowl. Stir 1 cup of the mayo into the sliced veggies, give it a taste, then add more if you want it creamier. Got it? 1-2-3 Slaw. GO.

Prep. Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings