Before I even realised, I have been repeating things that I did in New Jersey last year end especially in cooking. It’s like I am replicating the cold breezy fall last year in a tropical city now, reading-cooking-writing-thinking-spending time with L and basically nothing else in a tiny apartment. When I flipped through my stacks of cooking log scribble and spotted the familiar dishes, I really wondered why.
Maybe it was because of the haze season, when the sky was always grey and the warm bright sunlight was transient during daytime so I had to read beside the windows under the filtered, dim yet precious sunlight. Maybe it was also because I had been living in a rather isolated life (in a good way) in a closed house, talking mainly and only to L everyday. Everything is a mimicry of our 1-month-life in New Jersey last year, except for the cold and snowy weather. And I subconsciously making the same food we had over that one month, almost like a sincere revision to my memories. Coleslaw is one of them.
I never know L actually likes coleslaw until that fall. Making coleslaw back in United States was so easy, I just grabbed some beautiful cabbages and carrots from the market and took a bottle of coleslaw dressing off the shelf. The only part that took me some time was to pick a preferred coleslaw dressing out of so many choices in the supermarket. I thought things will be the same in Singapore until we get choked by the overpowering sour taste from the vinegar in the dressing. After I failed to get a coleslaw dressing without containing spirit vinegar from a few supermarket locally, I decided to make my own dressing, which turned out to be very easy as well:
Coleslaw dressing (Mayonnaise-based)
1/3 cup of mayonnaise without spirit vinegar
1/2 – 1 tps of mustard
Generous amount of freshly grounded black pepper
When I first arrived New Jersey last year, after my favourite Mexican food, L eagerly took me to a Korean fried chicken fast-food chain, Bonchon for their kimchi slaw, a coleslaw with a touch of kimchi. He likes it so much. With the leftover mayonnaise, I went on to experiment some kimchi slaws in the kitchen. I don’t quite remember the taste of it besides the spiciness so I started by making a version of unfermented kimchi using shredded cabbages and carrots. It took me several rounds to pass L’s tasting test although he didn’t really remember the taste of Bonchon kimchi slaw as well. Towards the end, I think it doesn’t matter how similar is this version of kimchi slaw to Bonchon’s, because it is good on its own. My family who tried it turned out like it and I would add this into my sandwiches or taco next time for a twist of flavour.
I settled down with the recipe at last, before we get sick of seeing another tub of coleslaw every two weeks.