Looking for something light yet packed with a flavorful punch to serve to your guests? I highly recommend taking a peek at this recipe for Asian slaw! It is made with your classic cabbage and carrot mixture, but the twist comes from the dressing made with sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce. This delicious Asian slaw is a fresh and light salad with a zesty dressing and a flavourful crunch.
Do you love coleslaw? Here is my version using classic Asian ingredients to give this salad a fresh new take- just with delicious Asian flavors!
It’s such a fantastic and versatile dish because it can be eaten as a side dish with nearly anything but also tastes great on its own as a main dish. There are really no downsides; it’s refreshing, delicious, and packed full of flavor.
Asian slaw is also easy and quick to make, not to mention healthy!
Let me show you how to make it.
Why You Will Love This Authentic Asian Slaw
This slaw recipe uses a vinegar-based dressing that showcases a strong umami flavor. If you love the taste of Japanese food, then this is going to be one of your favorite recipes!
The dressing enhances the fresh tastes of cabbage and carrots. In fact, all of the veggies tossed together are so satisfying to eat. Each bite is full of crunchy, salty delight. Plus, this slaw is super healthy for you too! Cabbage and carrots are full of vitamins and antioxidants.
If you aren’t a fan of salad, try this Asian slaw. It’s nothing like any other salad you have ever tried.
What Is Asian Slaw?
Asian slaw or Asian salad is similar to a regular coleslaw. While a regular coleslaw typically uses mayonnaise as the base for the dressing, Asian slaw is made with sesame oil, soy sauce, olive oil, and rice vinegar-based dressing.
The veggies used are also very similar. Just like coleslaw, this Asian slaw recipe uses thinly sliced red cabbage and carrot. However, instead of green cabbage, we use wombok (also known as Chinese or napa cabbage). Wombok, along with green onions and sesame seeds, is used to incorporate the Asian ingredients and flavor.
Ingredients Needed To Make Crunchy Asian Coleslaw
The best thing about this slaw is how many fresh ingredients it has. Even so, there is a lot of room for making substitutions and replacements as well.
To help you make this delicious salad, I’m sharing with you the best Asian slaw sushi recipe!
Note: For the full list of ingredients, scroll down to the bottom of this post and check out the recipe card.
As the base of this slaw, I used the same ingredients in other types of coleslaw. You can add any of your favorite types of veggies, but these are the ones I used:
– Red cabbage
– Wombok (Chinese/napa cabbage)
– Green onion
Besides the cabbage and carrots, I also used sesame seeds, watercress, and fried noodle pieces for an added crunch. I’ve also seen red bell pepper (capsicum) and broccoli slaw used in Asian salad recipes so feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking!
With that being said, I’ve found that cabbage is essential.
There are lots of recipes out there that add coriander/cilantro to their slaw recipes. Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either love or hate- there is no middle ground. If you really enjoy it, add a few leaves on top as a garnish.
I prefer to use watercress instead.
Yes, this slaw is pretty healthy. My recipe has three different types of cabbage in it!
Cabbage is known to reduce inflammation and is really great for the heart and digestive health. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K. Carrots are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, and edamame is high in protein.
Since this recipe uses honey, it is not keto-friendly. If you want to make this slaw low-carb, use a sugar-free honey substitute and omit the fried noodles.
Most Asian slaw recipes use soy sauce, which is not gluten-free. However, nowadays there are gluten-free soy sauce options, like tamari and coconut aminos, so you can adjust it to make it gluten-free. You will also need to take out the fried noodle pieces as they are not gluten-free either.
Helpful Tips On How To Make Fresh Asian Slaw Recipe
This is a very simple recipe to make. Here are some sure-fire tips that will help you make the best slaw the first time.
- Make sure to drain the water after washing the vegetables. The best part of this Asian coleslaw recipe is the freshness and crunchiness of the vegetables. The key tip is to drain water after washing the vegetables. I used a colander to drain water briefly then used a salad spin to remove excess water as much as I can. It also helps to prevent the dressing from becoming watery and also the rich flavor diluted.
- Toss the salad in the dressing right before serving it. If you add the dressing on top and then try to store it for too long, the dressing will soften the veggies and it won’t have the delightful crunch.
- Need to substitute an ingredient? If you don’t have any Japanese ingredients, such as mirin, see substitution options in this post: Japanese food substitutions.
- This slaw is fantastic to use as part of your meal prep. If you want to make this ahead of time, I suggest chopping and mixing the salad ingredients and storing them separately from the dressing. Then, when you are ready to eat it, add the dressing to the slaw last. The dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The salad ingredients will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Where To Buy Asian Slaw
Nowadays, it’s very common (in Australia at least) to find Asian slaw ready-made at the supermarket. It typically comes prepared in a plastic container and includes the dressing and fried noodle pieces as toppings. These are super convenient but Asian slaw uses such simple ingredients and barely takes any time to make so it’s not that hard to do on your own anyway.
What To Serve With Asian Coleslaw
This slaw is so fantastic because it really can go with anything. I think the light and fresh nature of the slaw pairs well with fried foods, like Karaage chicken and Tonkatsu fried pork!
Another great way to use it is to add it into bento boxes and in wraps. I also love to sometimes add some grilled chicken and turn it into a delicious chicken salad and eat it as a main dish.
Here are a few other of my favorite go-to recipes to serve alongside Asian slaw:
If you enjoyed this Asian slaw recipe, here are some more salad and side dish recipes you might want to try next. They are some of my favorites.
- Japanese Sesame Dressing
- Japanese Kabocha Squash Salad
- Authentic Japanese Potato Salad
- Asian Cucumber Salad
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Sesame Soy Dressings
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar *1
- ½ tbsp soy sauce *2
- ½ tbsp mirin *3
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp grated ginger
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp sesame seeds oil
- ½ tbsp sesame seeds
- 50 g red cabbage
- 50 g green cabbage
- 50 g Napa cabbage
- ½ carrot
- 1 scallion
- ¼ cup edamame (frozen) *without pods
- Watercress to garnish *4
- 2 tbsp fried noodle to garnish *5
Sesame soy dressing
- Combine all ingredients and set aside.
- Finely shred red cabbage, green cabbage, napa cabbage, and carrot.
- Chop scallion finely and set aside.
- Wash the shredded vegetables in a large mixing bowl under running water.
- Drain the water with a colander.
- Place the shredded vegetables in a salad spin and remove excess water as much as you can.
- Toss the vegetables into a serving dish.
- Scatter the edamame and garnish with watercress and fried noodle pieces.
- Dress with the sesame and soy dressings to serve.