The first time Brian’s parents cooked for me at their house was at the end of a Fourth of July weekend several years ago. Brian’s dad had just assembled an impressive new grill and was showing it off for us, making a long slab of ridiculously fresh teriyaki-glazed salmon, grilled atop a cedar board.
While that was going on, Brian’s mom slipped away to pull together a cole slaw that I’d heard Brian and his sister Lindsay talk about no less than a thousand times before. On the list of Favorite Family Recipes, this is the one I associate first with Brian’s family, right up there with his dad’s salmon and BBQ chicken, and his mom’s noodle pudding and baked ziti.
I’m not entirely sure what the actual name of the recipe is, and no one seems to know exactly where it came from. It doesn’t really matter though, because everyone knows it as “crack slaw”.
On Wednesday, while scowling at the gorgeous weather outside from behind the glow my my computer screen, I was thinking about quick, outdoor dining options, and this popped into my head.
I emailed Lindsay for this recipe, which I’ve copied in her own words below. I made a few modifications, one by accident, one on purpose. I accidentally used brown sugar, in my cross-wired brain I must have done a free association thing: Asian cole slaw -> Asian ->Thai -> brown sugar. I thought the brown sugar was good. I also added the juice of one lime for some balance, which I would consider doing again (you can take it or leave it, I didn’t include it in the recipe below). The recipe leaves measurements “to taste”, and like so many things that moms make, I just couldn’t get mine to be as “crack-like” as I remember hers being, the dozen-or-so times that I’ve had this at Brian’s parents’ house. That’s why those family recipes are just so freaking good – when you remove the family member who makes them best, other attempts never measure up.
Crack Slaw (Asian Cole Slaw)
Adapted from Brian’s Mom’s recipe, as told by Brian’s sister Lindsay
1 bag cole slaw mix (14oz, or just shy of 400 grams of shredded cabbage and carrots, mixed)
5 scallions, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1 package ramen noodles (minus the flavor packs)
1/2 cup veg oil
1/4 cup sugar.. i would not add all of that at once.. try half then add to taste.. when it’s too sweet it’s not as crack-like
2 tablespoons soy sauce
throw the sesame, almonds, crunched up ramen noodles and into a pan with butter.. cook till golden
let cool… add mixture and scallions to coleslaw .. dress and get cracked out.