Leslie's Peanut Slaw

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I lived with my Aunt Leslie and Uncle Doug for a stint after college while starting professional school in Cleveland. Leslie is an incredible cook and a rare woman who still cooks a sit-down family dinner almost every night. I have seen her make this slaw many times, so I can only hope I have recreated it almost as well as she. Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

Food52 Review: This recipe is the perfect marriage—one that is layered, interesting, crunchy, spicy and all-around satisfying. For the love of everything that is holy, chop those peanuts before introducing them into the mix. Let it sit to soak in the flavors. Any less is a disservice. Do the right thing and you will be rewarded.Stephanie Anderson

Serves: 4


For the slaw base:

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage (use half if you have a particularly large cabbage), cored and shredded
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (you can purchase them this way, or toast raw peanuts over medium heat in a dry heavy-bottomed pan until fragrant, about 5 minutes)
  • One 14-ounce can of unseasoned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

For the sweet and spicy dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 pickled jalapeños/green chiles (cans may be found in the International Foods or Mexican Food aisle), finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or other light unflavored oil such as grapeseed or canola
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe


For the slaw base:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

For the sweet and spicy dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, use a whisk to combine all ingredients except for the oil. Slowly drizzle in oil, continuing to whisk the mixture, until slightly thickened, as you would do with a vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste
  2. Pour dressing over slaw mixture and toss to combine. Let chill in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours prior to serving so that the flavors combine and the cabbage just slightly softens.

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Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Reviews

cream C. January 1, 2015
This was fantastic! I made a number of substitutions because of what was available in my pantry: plain sugar instead of brown, cider vinegar instead of rice, and chickpeas instead of black-eyed peas. I chopped the peanuts which I highly recommend for spreading the peanut flavor around more. One thing I was not sure about was the jalapeños: my jar had them sliced already, not whole. So I added a handful of them which made the salad very spicy. I love spicy food but the average person probably should add two slices, not the equivalent of two full peppers. I served this as a potluck and everyone loved it.
Author Comment
Emily |. January 26, 2015
Hi, cream cheese! I am pretty finicky about spicy as well. Sorry for the delayed response, but I just made this slaw again tonight for dinner so I can tell you what I use for the jalapenos: It is a little 7oz can of La Costena (tilde over the N but I don't have that character on my keyboard!) green pickled jalapenos; there are also bits of onion and carrot in the jar. Some are small and whole and other larger/longer ones are sliced into 2 long halves. I use 2 small ones or one small and one large half. Hope that helps!
cream C. January 26, 2015
Hi Emily - thanks! I made this a second time and adjusted the jalapeños to taste. My guests loved it both times!