Island Cole Slaw

This seems to be another year of cabbage at Duke’s House (Okonomiyaki, Salatet Malfoof, Meltaway Cabbage, Black Bean and Cabbage Burgers, Indian-Style Cabbage). Thank you CSA…I think.

Our first year of cabbage began while we were still at Purdue. Chris had just returned from India and he suggested that we spend a long weekend in Nashville to unwind, catch up, and regroup. The real Nashville, not Nashville, Indiana.

While we were in Nashville, we hit up more than a few barbeque joints. Chris would probably argue about whether the food we ate was barbeque or not. After all, this was brisket and pulled pork slathered in sweet and spicy sauces. There was no Santa Maria Tri-tip to be seen.

Have I mentioned that Chris is against Southern barbeque? Weirdo.

I happen to like it a lot. It reminds me of yearly road trips to Kansas City to visit my grandparents. I distinctly remember a certain pulled pork sandwich from a smoker in a grocery store parking lot. I only ate it because I thought it was chicken. I went through a chicken only phase, but I’m glad I ate the pork because it was amazing.

It was pretty ironic that I only at the pork because I thought it was chicken.

When I was very young, probably three, my mom decided that I was going to start eating tuna sandwiches. She knew that I liked pork chops and didn’t like fish, so she told me it was pork chops and mayo so I would eat it.  

For years I didn’t question it, I just accepted that tuna was made of shredded pork chops. Fortunately, I made the connection early enough in life to avoid any Chicken of the Sea type comments.

Anyway, back to Nashville. It was on this trip that Chris, who was then a mayo hater along with being a Southern barbeque hater, discovered vinegar based cole slaw. It was a huge AHA! moment.

Back home in Indiana, the experimentation began. We made vinegar slaws, Asian-style vinegar slaws, egg rolls, spring rolls, summer rolls, basically anything that you can think of with vinegar and cabbage. I wish that I had written down the recipes, especially for our baked spring rolls. I have tried to recreate them since then, but I can’t remember what we put in them.

A few days ago, when I told Chris that we had more cabbage than I knew what to do with, he suggested this. Well, not exactly this, but something very similar that his Samoan friends make. A perfect side to slow cooked pork. Think island style pork. No pulled barbeque pork with this one.


  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Splenda (sugar, or any sweetener of your choice can be used)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz. can (or two small) mandarin orange slices
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 package ramen noodles (any flavor, the seasoning packet isn’t used)


  • Core and finely chop cabbage.
  • Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in small bowl.
  • Pour dressing over c/xabbage and mix thoroughly.
  • Break apart ramen noodles while still sealed in their bag.
  • Remove the spice pack from the noodles and combine the noodles and almonds into the salad.
  • Drain the mandarin oranges and add them to the salad mixture.

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 185, Fat ~ 9 g, Carbohydrates ~ 23 g, Protein ~ 6 g

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