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Korean Pear Coleslaw, Gangnam-Style

Korean pears are like the celebrities of the fruit world, and they live a posh life befitting their status. During the growing process, the trees are carefully trimmed so that only a few pears grow on each branch, which allows each pear to grow bigger and fuller (think Bel-Air estate). On the tree, each pear is fitted with its own protective jacket around its skin (think security detail). And when they’re ready to ship, each fruit is wrapped in its own foam netting (think private jet). Just about the only thing these pears don’t have is a rider on their contract calling for all-white lillies and M & Ms in their dressing rooms. But when it’s time to take the stage, these pears nail their performances every time.  Smooth and blemish-free with a delicate thin skin, they have a consistently clean, fresh, juicy taste.

Want more proof that this fruit is a real diva? Check out this video from Melissa’s about how Korean pears are grown:


We’ve been thinking about posh Korean culture a lot lately because our kids are crazy about the Korean pop mega-hit from PSY called Gangnam Style. (Gangnam is a wealthy district in Seoul; ‘Gangnam Style’ refers to a trendy, hip, and luxurious lifestyle.) After the 1,000th time watching the video, we thought, “We oughta give these Korean pears the Gangnam style treatment.” We sliced them, paired them with some wildly colorful cabbages, and garnished it all with a special Korean-style dressing that is befitting of…well…a true celebrity.

Korean Pear Coleslaw

Two Korean pears

1/2 head red cabbage

1 small head savoy cabbage

1/2 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 T. tahini (sesame paste)

1 tsp. red chile pepper flakes

Juice of one lime

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed

4 green onions

Core the Korean pears and cut them into thin, matchstick-sized pieces. Slice both cabbages into long thin slices, about 2 or 3 inches long. Chop up three of the green onions (white and green portions). Place the pear, cabbage, and onions in a bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, vinegar, tahini, pepper flakes, lime juice, brown sugar, and garlic. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and stir gently to combine. Chop the remaining green onion and garnish the salad with it. Serves 6.

Hungry for more Korean pear coleslaw? Check out this Asian-Style Slaw with Korean Pears from our friend Valentina at Cooking on the Weekends. Want to buy Korean pears for yourself? The season has begun, and they should be appearing in stores by next week. Look for the Melissa’s logo and the posh little white jackets.

Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s provided us with Korean pears to sample; we did not receive compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are our own.

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12 Responses to Korean Pear Coleslaw, Gangnam-Style

  1. Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious November 5, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    That cole slaw looks fantastic! Great idea!

    • Jeanne November 5, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Thanks, Dorothy! It was fun to make!

  2. Nancy Rose Eisman November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Your photo of your recipe is absolutely gorgeous and I know the recipe is delicious. You’ve proven again that if you start with the best, freshest ingredients, go with your instincts, and keep things simple, you can’t go wrong. Love the posh/Gangnam style references too.

  3. Valentina November 5, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Love the intro! So cute!

  4. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator November 6, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    I love your sense of humor!

  5. Jeanette November 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I love how good this fall salad sounds – Korean pears are a favorite – love how sweet and crunchy they are!

    • Jeanne November 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      Thank you so much!


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