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.
The Perfect Cabbage Salad
Additive only begins to describe this easy cabbage salad recipe!
Cabbage is a super popular recipe lately. It’s a very nutritious vegetable, and is very economical! Basing meals around cabbage is a great idea because it’s delicious, but also low in calories, high in fiber, and a great source of Vitamin K and C.
I’ve been making this healthy Asian Cabbage Salad for years. It’s something I love to serve for guests, because it compliments BBQs so well. 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, so it is perfect for meal prep.
If you’re looking for an Asian style cabbage salad that is a complete meal, try this Roasted Broccoli Asian Cabbage Salad (it’s vegan!) or this Whole30 Chinese Chicken Salad (this includes chicken breast for added protein).
For this salad, you’ll need:
- Green cabbage – I chop this in chunks (think squares) instead of shredding the cabbage. It’s easier to eat and softens as it soaks in the dressing.
- Romaine lettuce (optional)
- Carrots (cut in matchsticks, or save time by buying pre-shredded carrots)
- Red Peppers
- Mandarin Oranges (fresh or canned in juice)
- Toasted Almonds & sesame seeds (optional, but highly recommended!)
- Asian cabbage salad dressing (described below – don’t skip this! It’s what takes this salad from good to addictive.)
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:
- Toasty sesame oil
- Tangy rice vinegar (unsweetened)
- Honey (or date syrup)
- Spicy chili sauce (I like sriracha)
- Sea salt
Add the ingredients to a jar and shake. 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!
How to Make an Asian Cabbage Salad:
Step 1: Add the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake up to mix.
Step 2: Add the cabbage, lettuce, carrots, red peppers, mandarin oranges, and cilantro to a bowl.
NOTE: Keep the lettuce, red peppers, and cilantro separate if you’re making this salad ahead of time. Mix them in right before serving. If I meal prep this salad, I keep two containers and mix the two when ready to eat.
Step 3: Toss the salad with about half of the dressing. Add more to taste, or serve the salad with additional dressing on the side.
Step 4: Garnish the salad with toasted almonds and sesame seeds.
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 salad, there is never anything left in the bowl! It’s something I 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.
Make Ahead & Storage Tips
I love making this salad on a Sunday and eating it for days. When I do this, I store the lettuce & peppers 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 Sugar Free or Low Carb: I often make this salad with my favorite monk fruit sweetener from ZenSweet rather than honey or date syrup. The dressing tastes the same (I promise your family won’t know!) but lowers the sugar content.
- Make it Vegan: Use date syrup in the dressing to keep this salad vegan.
Other Cabbage Salad Recipes:
- Roasted Broccoli Cabbage Salad, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Whole30 Chinese Chicken Salad, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Vibrant Winter Kale Brussels Sprouts Salad, by Sunkissed Kitchen
Other Fabulous Healthy Salad Recipes:
- Kale Blueberry Salad with Quinoa, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Summer Greek Quinoa Salad, by Sunkissed Kitchen
Addictive Asian Cabbage Salad
- 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
- 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.
- Make it Sugar Free: I often make this salad with my favorite monk fruit sweetener from ZenSweet rather than honey or date syrup. The dressing tastes the same (I promise your family won’t know!) but lowers the sugar content
- 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.