You’ll be totally addicted after just one bite of this crunchy and refreshing Asian Style Slaw that is bursting with layers of flavor! Made with crispy napa cabbage, carrots, and red bell pepper, this slaw is tossed with a sesame dressing that’s loaded with garlicky ginger goodness! It’s the perfect quick and easy side dish for your next Asian-inspired meal, potluck, or backyard BBQ!
Easy Asian Style Slaw Recipe
Get ready to unleash your taste buds and dive into the world of flavor-packed slaws! This Asian style slaw recipe is the perfect twist on traditional coleslaw to liven up your meals. Made with crispy napa cabbage, sweet carrots, and vibrant red bell pepper all tossed together in a garlicky ginger sesame dressing with just a hint of honey for that perfect touch of sweetness. It’s like a party in your mouth!
Yet, this slaw is not only delicious and easy to make, but just like my Avocado Tomato Salad, it’s also a healthy plant-based recipe too! Cabbage is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which is good for your eyesight. And red bell peppers, ginger, and garlic are all rich in antioxidants.
So get yourself some cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and a handful of easy to find Asian ingredients, and get to tossing! You can serve this dish as a side with Baked Salmon Teriyaki or as a main when topped with some Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. You can even use it to top a juicy burger! This amazing Asian style slaw does not disappoint!
Why You’ll Love This Asian Style Slaw
- Simple Slaw! This easy peasy slaw takes just about 15 minutes to whip together! And it doesn’t require any fancy international ingredients. It’s the perfect recipe for beginners or those who don’t like to spend much time in the kitchen!
- Addictively Good! The crispy cabbage gets this slaw off on the right foot, but the star of the show here is the garlicky ginger sesame dressing! It’s got an incredible zingy kick and is so flavorful that you’ll want to put it on everything!
- Party Perfect! Not your average boring Asian cabbage salad! This Asian style slaw makes an amazing side dish or meal that is sure to impress. It’s a crowd-pleasing dish that is perfect for potlucks, BBQs, and family gatherings.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Napa Cabbage – This is a type of Chinese green cabbage that has a more delicate texture. But you can use any type of green cabbage you like and red cabbage works as well.
- Carrots – They add a little more crunch. The recipe calls for grated carrots, but store-bought julienned carrots will do the trick too.
- Red Bell Pepper – Adds some more vibrant color and sweetness to the Asian slaw.
- Green Onions – This popular Asian ingredient adds the perfect amount of onion flavor to the salad without taking over.
- Cilantro – Also called Chinese parsley or coriander in some parts of the world, cilantro gives the slaw a layer of fresh herby goodness that blends perfectly with the dressing.
- Rice Vinegar – A little sweeter than regular vinegar it adds just the right touch of acid to the slaw. Apple cider vinegar is a good substitute.
- Soy Sauce – The most popular Asian ingredient that provides loads of umami flavor! I often use low-sodium soy sauce to control the amount of added salt. If you’re gluten-free, just use tamari.
- Honey – Makes the dressing sweet! Agave is a good substitute if you’re serving vegans.
- Sesame Oil – You want to use toasted sesame oil. It’s full of amazing flavor and is a key ingredient in this recipe.
- Ginger – A fresh knob of ginger is a must! Ground ginger nor store-bought already grated ginger will not produce the same results.
- Garlic – Always use fresh minced garlic cloves for the most garlicky goodness.
- Vegetable Oil – Used to meld all the dressing ingredients together. Keep in mind you want to use a flavorless oil.
- Seasonings – Salt and black pepper are needed to season the dressing and the slaw.
How To Make Asian Style Slaw
Making homemade Asian coleslaw is so easy you’ll wonder why you ever bought it pre-made at the store! Once the veggies are chopped, which takes a mere 15 minutes or so of prep time, this slaw comes together quickly! You can even use a food processor or mandolin to help you shred the veggies.
Mix The Veggies
To begin, you need to toss the veggies! Put the shredded cabbage, grated carrots, sliced red bell pepper, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro into a large bowl. Then toss all the veggies together until they are well combined. But be gentle, you don’t want to smush them.
Make The Dressing
Next, begin making the sesame dressing by whisking the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, and minced garlic together in a medium bowl. Now, slowly start whisking in the vegetable oil. You want to add the oil in a slow and steady steam and keep whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Then taste the dressing and season it with salt and pepper to your liking.
Assemble The Salad
To complete this Asian slaw recipe, just pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss everything together until it is evenly coated. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put the slaw in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes so that all the flavors can meld together.
Garnish And Serve
After the slaw has had some time to chill in the fridge it’s ready to eat! But first, toss it once more to redistribute the dressing. Then garnish it with some additional chopped cilantro and sesame seeds if you like and serve!
Can I Make This Slaw Spicy?
Yes, of course! There are a few different ways to add some heat to this Asian style slaw recipe. You can finely dice some red chili peppers or jalapenos and then add them to the cabbage mixture. However, I do suggest removing the seeds from the peppers or the slaw will be crazy hot! And another way to add spice is by whisking some red chili flakes or sriracha into the sesame dressing.
How Can I Keep The Cabbage Crispy?
If you have time for an extra step there is a way to keep the slaw from getting soggy. Once your cabbage has been shredded, put it in a colander in the sink. Then toss the cabbage with about 1 tablespoon of salt for every head of cabbage. Now, just let it sit for about 1 to 2 hours. During that time the salt will draw out the excess water from the cabbage. Then after about an hour, squeeze the cabbage to remove all the moisture. When you’re done you should be left with crisp cabbage that will remain crunchy for a longer amount of time even after it’s been dressed. This is a great trick anytime you’re making a slaw or coleslaw recipe.
- Use a mandoline for shredding. You can buy pre-shredded cabbage, but I highly suggest investing in a mandolin. It does a much better job of quickly shredding cabbage into uniform pieces than a knife. Just watch your fingers!
- Slowly add the vegetable oil. To achieve the proper consistency of the sesame dressing it’s essential that you add the vegetable oil very slowly. The dressing will not emulsify if you just dump it in.
- Let it chill. You must give the Asian style slaw at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving. Slaw is the one type of salad that truly benefits by giving the dressing time to infuse the veggies with even more flavor.
The good news is that Asian style slaw will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. In fact, it’s pretty fantastic for the first 1 to 2 days because all the flavors have had plenty of time to meld. However, slaw does not tend to freeze well. The veggies just become way too watery when the slaw thaws out.
Other Delicious Salad Recipes To Try
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe
- BLT Salad
- Kale Salad
- Easy Panzanella Salad
- Watermelon Feta Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Salad
Craving More? Follow Along:
Asian Style Slaw
- 1 head Nappa cabbage finely shredded
- 2 medium carrots peeled and grated
- 1 medium red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ½ cup green onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded Napa cabbage, grated carrots, sliced red bell pepper, scallions, and chopped cilantro leaves. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, and minced garlic. Gradually whisk in the neutral oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sesame dressing over the slaw and toss until well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Before serving, give the slaw a good toss to redistribute the dressing. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro leaves and sesame seeds, if desired.
Tips & Notes:
- Use a Mandoline Slicer: For even and thinly sliced vegetables, use a mandoline slicer. This will ensure uniform pieces and a better texture in the slaw.
- Customize Your Slaw: Feel free to add other veggies like thinly sliced red cabbage, snap peas, or julienned cucumber for additional crunch and color.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds: For added flavor and texture, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the slaw before serving.
- Adjust the Sweetness: Modify the amount of honey in the dressing to suit your taste. For a sugar-free option, use a sugar substitute or leave it out altogether.
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the slaw and dressing separately and store in the refrigerator. Toss together about 30 minutes before serving to keep the vegetables crisp and fresh.
- Spice it Up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the dressing for an extra kick.