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Jamaican Slaw

30 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 75

Introducing a unique twist on Coleslaw – this is Jamaican-style Slaw! A delightfully tangy side salad with a burst of tropical flavors, thanks to the vibrant yellow dressing and juicy bursts of pineapple. The perfect accompaniment to complement the bold and flavorful Jamaican mains! Welcome to Jamaican week!

Jamaican Slaw Jamaican Slaw

Here on RecipeTin Eats, it’s Jamaican week, where I’ll be sharing a collection of recipes to help you enjoy a Jamaican-themed dinner in the comfort of your home. Let’s take a look at the menu:

Today, we have Jamaican Slaw and Jamaican Coconut Rice and Peas, which are perfect side dishes to pair with the Jamaican Jerk Fish recipe I shared over the weekend.

Have you seen that irresistible Jerk seasoning crust on the Jerk Fish? It’s unbelievably delicious, and the best part is how easy it is to make!

But, let’s focus on today’s recipe – Jamaican Slaw!

Jamaican Slaw

Leave it to Jamaicans to give the classic coleslaw a delightful tropical twist, making it even healthier! This tangy and vibrant side salad features the creamy goodness of traditional coleslaw, but with a tropical flair, thanks to the bursts of juicy sweetness from pineapple and the chewy goodness of raisins.

While finely sliced cabbage and shredded carrots are familiar coleslaw ingredients, Jamaican slaw takes it up a notch with its unique dressing. Unlike the traditional mayo-laden dressing, this one is mayo-free and boasts a hint of warmth from jalapeño, a burst of freshness from finely chopped green onions, and a bright yellow color (along with some tang) from a magical ingredient:

You guessed it right! Basic yellow mustard, which is your hot dogs’ best friend, serves as the secret ingredient in Jamaican Slaw. And trust us, we absolutely love it!

What goes in Jamaican Slaw

Well, I’ve already revealed the secret ingredient, so this section is going to be rather dull, isn’t it???  Nevertheless, I shall plough on.


Yellow mustard – the secret ingredient that brings flavor, tang, and a vibrant yellow color while also thickening the dressing. Opt for mild American yellow mustard, as other varieties like Hot English Mustard can be too spicy for this recipe. Dijon Mustard is a suitable alternative, although it tends to be pricier.

  • Apple cider vinegar – a versatile and smooth vinegar that adds a well-rounded taste to the dressing.
  • Olive oil – use extra virgin olive oil if available, or regular olive oil as a substitute.
  • Green onions – finely chopped to infuse the slaw with a fresh, oniony flavor.
  • Jalapeño – adds an authentic Jamaican warmth to the slaw. Feel free to adjust or omit the jalapeño if you prefer milder flavors.


  • Cabbage – Use regular green cabbage, the everyday variety.
  • Carrot – Peel the carrot and shred it using a standard box grater.
  • Pineapple – Fresh pineapple works wonderfully if it’s ripe. If not, canned pineapple is a suitable alternative.
  • Raisins – Embrace the traditional touch of Jamaican slaw with raisins or sultanas. They add a delightful sweetness that enhances the overall flavor.

How to make Jamaican Slaw

An essential step for any slaw is to let it sit, allowing the cabbage to wilt and become floppy and juicy. This is how slaw is meant to be! Nobody wants slaw with stiff pieces of cabbage sticking out everywhere!

  • To prepare the dressing, simply shake the dressing ingredients in a jar until well combined, and admire the vibrant yellow color.
  • Next, toss the slaw salad ingredients with the dressing, ensuring everything is well coated.
  • Now, set the slaw aside for at least 1 hour to let the cabbage wilt and achieve that perfect floppy texture.
  • After the resting period, toss the slaw again for even distribution, and then transfer it into a bowl for serving.

Notice how the cabbage is now flopping and sagging, rather than sticking out like twigs in all directions? This is exactly what we want for a delightful slaw experience!

The side salad for our Jamaican feast to accompany the Jerk Fish is now ready!

If you haven’t already, don’t miss out on the Jamaican Coconut Rice and Peas recipe. It’s incredibly delicious! I could easily devour a big bowl of that rice for dinner.

And to complete your Jamaican feast, there’s a delightful treat: rum and raisin ice cream without the need for an ice cream maker! This recipe offers a genuine rum flavor that you won’t find in store-bought tubs. It’s one of those special creations that money can’t buy. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Jamaican Slaw

Jamaican Slaw

Introducing a unique twist on Coleslaw - this is Jamaican-style Slaw! A delightfully tangy side salad with a burst of tropical flavors, thanks to the vibrant yellow dressing and juicy bursts of pineapple. The perfect accompaniment to complement the bold and flavorful Jamaican mains! Welcome to Jamaican week!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
30 mins
total time
40 mins




  • 4 heaped cups green cabbage , finely shredded

  • 2 cups shredded carrot (2 – 3 carrots)

  • 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple , 1cm / 1/2" cubes (fresh or canned in juice) (Note 1)

  • 3/4 cup raisins (or sultanas)


  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard , American or other (Note 2)

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp jalapeño , deseeded, finely minced

  • 1/4 cup green onion , finely chopped (Note 3)

  • 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


Dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well mixed.
Wilt: In a large bowl, place all the slaw ingredients and pour the dressing over them. Toss the ingredients together and let the slaw wilt for at least 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
Serve: After the resting period, toss the slaw once again to ensure it's coated in the flavorful juices and dressing that have gathered at the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the slaw to a serving bowl and it's ready to be enjoyed!


Pineapple - Fresh pineapple is delightful if you can find perfectly ripe ones. Otherwise, opt for canned pineapple in juice, not syrup, to avoid excessive sweetness. Mustard - Choose bright yellow American mustard for this recipe as it's not spicy. Avoid using hot English mustard, as it will be overly spicy. Dijon and other smooth mustards can be used as alternatives, but the dressing may not have the same vibrant yellow color. Green onion - To finely chop green onion, first slice it finely and then run your knife through to achieve finely chopped pieces. LEFTOVERS - The slaw keeps well for about a day. After this, the pineapple might soften slightly, but it will still be very tasty. MAKE AHEAD - You can prepare the slaw in advance, leaving out the pineapple. It will stay fresh in the fridge like this for up to 2 days. Simply add the pineapple right before serving. Nutrition per serving.
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