December 10, 2023

I’m just speculating, but there are a few reasons why I think Coleslaw Salad is so  popular in Jamaica today.

1. Jamaicans love KFC! Fast food chicken was definitely not around was I was growing up in Jamaica, but today KFC is very popular and may be the inspiration behind why coleslaw salad is almost always served with take-out Jamaican food there and abroad.

2. Cabbage is a lot cheaper than lettuce. You can make A LOT of coleslaw salad with one cabbage and one or two carrots.

3. It lasts. The vinaigrette dressing will preserve this salad for several days. In fact, I think it gets tastier. 

You can expect Jamaican coleslaw to be on the sweet side.  Some people also like to use mayonnaise, but my recipe is traditional and easy. I prefer the clean flavour of a vinaigrette dressing with zing!


Make-ahead tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to a week


  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) shredded green cabbage
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  1. In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, black pepper and garlic
  2. Add cabbage, carrot and green onions; toss to coat
  3. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving


I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.


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