This Asian Cabbage Salad is absolutely addictive! Greens and shredded cabbage are tossed in a magical cabbage salad dressing that is sweet, spicy, sour, and a bit salty. Oranges, fresh veggies, and crunchy toasted almonds take this easy Asian cabbage slaw over the top! The perfect compliment to grilled meats at a summer BBQ.
*This post was originally published in June 2014, but has been updated with new photos and enhanced recipe instructions.
Additive only begins to describe this easy cabbage salad recipe!
I’ve been making this Asian Cabbage Salad for much longer than I’ve been blogging. It’s something I love to serve for guests, compliments BBQs so well, and also is perfect for meal prep. The cabbage and carrots in this recipe soak in the dressing, making this salad even better after sitting in the fridge for a few days.
Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing
What really makes this cabbage salad amazing is the rice wine vinegar dressing! If you’ve never used rice wine vinegar in salad dressings, it’s what gives this recipe a really authentic Asian flavor.
Asian soups and dressings are so addictive because of the melding of flavors — spicy, sweet, sour, and salty.
This dressing combines all of those flavor profiles! It’s only 5 ingredients, just add to a jar and shake. The Asian cabbage salad dressing gets warmth from the sesame oil, acidity from rice wine vinegar, then just add some salt, some honey, and a spicy chili sauce to bring it together. Since you’re making it at home, you can add more sweetness, or make it more or less spicy depending on your preference. We love it with a pretty spicy kick!
Healthy Asian Cabbage Slaw
While I love to serve this alongside grilled meats, it’s a light meal on it’s own thanks to the toasted almonds and sesame seeds on top. If I’m eating this for lunch and not adding chicken, I like to add quinoa or extra almonds to boost the protein.
When I serve this healthy salad, there is never anything left in the bowl! It’s something I always make when I want to add more greens to my diet but feel myself needing motivation. This salad is something I literally eat for “dessert.” I crave all the flavors and the crunch from the nuts.
Meal Prep this Asian Cabbage Salad Recipe:
I love making this salad on a Sunday and eating it for days. When I do this, I either omit the lettuce & peppers, or I store them separately. The cabbage and carrots soak in the dressing, and it just gets better and better each day.
- Make this Ahead: Add the dressing to the cabbage, carrots and oranges, and store separately. Either keep the lettuce and peppers in a separate container (they will get soggy if left soaking in the dressing), or just omit them for a meal prep option. Keep the toasted almonds and sesame seeds in a separate container also, and add when ready to serve!
- Make it a Meal: I love to pack this salad on a bed of quinoa for the perfect lunch. It would also be great with rice or another grain. To keep things low carb, just add chicken or grilled steak.
- Make it Vegan: I make this recipe with honey, but also with date syrup. Use date syrup in the dressing to keep this salad vegan.
Addictive Asian Cabbage Salad
This easy asian cabbage slaw is absolutely addictive! The perfect recipe to serve alongside grilled meats, but also a great meal prep option. The magic of this salad is the sweet-spicy-sour-salty dressing.
- 6 cups cabbage roughly 1/2 head
- 1 carrot cut into matchsticks
- 1 can mandarin oranges drained
- 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
- 1/4 cup almonds toasted
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
Asian Cabbage Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar plain (if using seasoned, omit honey & salt)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons raw honey or sub date syrupe
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha or other chili sauceAfter chopping the veggies, add the cabbage, carrots, and mandarin oranges to a bowl or storage container.
After chopping the veggies, add the cabbage, carrots, and mandarin oranges to a bowl or storage container.
Add all the dressing ingredients together in a jar, and shake well until the honey is combined.
Pour about ½-3/4 of the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and put in the fridge until ready to serve. You can also serve it immediately.
Keep the romaine and red bell peppers stored separately until right before serving.
- Toast the sliced almonds and sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the nuts are lightly browned. Be careful not to burn (I've done that many times!).
Mix the romaine and peppers with the cabbage mixture, and top with almonds and sesame seeds, right before serving.
Add more dressing if desired, or serve the extra dressing on the side.
Other Cabbage Salad Recipes:
- I’Vietnamese Inspired Cabbage and Chicken Salad, from The Urban Poser
- Crispy Red Cabbage Salad, by Green Kitchen Stories
- Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing, by Scaling Back
- Toasted Almond Cabbage Salad, by Thrifty Mom
- Red Cabbage Salad with Jicama and Peppers, by The First Year