What’s in KFC coleslaw?

CHINA - 2022/07/25: In this photo illustration, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), an American fast food chicken restaurant chain logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CHINA - 2022/07/25: In this photo illustration, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), an American fast food chicken restaurant chain logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

The recipes we love at our favored fast food restaurants are perhaps what in fact make them our favorite places to eat in the first place, and the coleslaw at KFC is indeed a reason to go back. Today we’ll be trying to get an answer to the age-old question when it comes to KFC: What’s in KFC Coleslaw?

Oh yeah it’s not just the coleslaw, people are always trying to figure out the secret recipe to their batter as well, but that’s top secret…or is it?

Coleslaw helps balance out a heavy meal. It’s why Italians almost always follow a heavy pasta dish with salad before the main course. After all that fried chicken, a fresh bit of coleslaw is definitely the ying to the heavy breaded chicken’s yang.

As I’ve stated before, I worked at a lot of restaurants when trying to get my writing career going. I ended up working at a few Italian restaurants yes, and made my share of aforementioned heavy pasta dishes, trust me, but I also spent a spell at some local rotisserie restaurants here in Montreal.

They’re as plentiful as Tim Horton’s locations here in Montreal—essentially one on every corner. Anyways, I managed to get employed by one and really I was knee deep in coleslaw pretty much from day one. At this particular rotisserie, they made the coleslaw from scratch. Some have it delivered in containers pre-made, and all they have to do is portion it out in paper or Styrofoam cups.

They used what we called Shredder, as in the villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rusted, huge, and really, it looked sinister, just like the fictional character come to life right there at the back of the restaurant kitchen. When you turned it on, I sounded like the engine of an old Ford truck trying to make it up a hill.

The chef liked to tell us stories about Richard Manquemain…a name that sounds French and is, although soon enough we all realized that it meant ‘missing hand’ in French, and the story he told us that old Richard lost his hand one day because he wasn’t paying attention as he shredded cabbage and carrots for daily coleslaw, was as fictitious as what we named the machine after.

It had to be made fresh (at least every two days), because of the vinaigrette added…more than 48 hours in the fridge and it would go bad, the coleslaw losing its freshness, which is pretty much its greatest attribute, as stated.

KFC coleslaw has that working in its favor yes, but also it’s more than just fresh. The taste is pretty good overall. It isn’t too vinegary, and at the same time not overboard in the creaminess department either. “It’s just right,” Goldilocks would perhaps have said.

KFC of course would know how to make a great coleslaw. Their chicken is certainly banger and spot on. After all how else do you think they survived 70 years and counting? And they’re still going strong.

Coincidentally they also have the fastest drive-thru service as was recently reported, so you don’t have to wait all that long to sample their epic fried chicken, or their fresh and absolutely tasty coleslaw either, which in the end is just splendid.

And what about the nutritional information? Well, USDA states that in a serving of KFC Coleslaw, there is a nice helping of vitamin C…24% to be exact—a definite help in battling viruses, dear readers, so load up on KFC Coleslaw for sure. As it turns out, it’s pretty decent in the fiber department too, which is also beneficial to health, and it’s only about 144 calories to boot.

But just what makes it so great in addition to all of this? What exactly is in there? Turns out a few YouTubers got in on the action of trying to figure it all out, and they came pretty close if you ask me.

Cooking with Shotgun Red on YouTube came up with a recipe that’s definitely easy to whip up and believe it or not, it comes really close to the KFC original recipe.

In the end, finding exactly what goes into a fast food chain that’s as big as KFC’s recipe is the work reserved for the entire cast of Mission: Impossible and one we cannot undertake…or can we?

In the end, the common denominators are definitely there…the cabbage, the carrots. Onion is there too. You can just taste it, but according to topsecretrecipes.com—a recipe by Todd Wilber, minced onion is key…so you get the taste but it essentially disappears in the slaw and isn’t overpowering.

*And what about that top secret batter for KFC Fried Chicken…?

A combination of a white vinegar and citrus: Many go with lemon juice, but I feel lime juice is more tart and gets you there too. And of course the greatest mayonnaise out there: Hellman’s. Of course you’ve got salt and pepper, but according to Wilbur, the secret ingredient for KFC’s slaw is none other than buttermilk!

Next. Which fast food restaurant has got the slowest drive-thru and why. dark

How about you dear readers? Have you ever tried replicating KFC’s coleslaw? How did it go?