Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (2024)

4.96 from 71 votes

Total 20 minutes minutes

Jump To Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Mouthwatering Asian slaw recipe with red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, and quinoa in a sweet and savory sesame dressing. It always disappears fast!

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (1)

Asian cabbage slaw salad

Whether it’s a summer cookout, a potluck, or meal prepped lunches, Asian cabbage salad is as delicious as it is nutritious and loved by everyone. No one can resist tender crisp cabbage in a sesame ginger slaw dressing.

Just like my classic homemade coleslaw recipe, Asian coleslaw is made with simple, everyday produce, which makes it accessible, customizable, and super budget-friendly.

Enjoy Chinese coleslaw as an entree for lunch or dinner – or as a side dish for any occasion. It travels well and can be dressed moments before serving.

Ingredients you'll need

Ingredient amounts are listed in the full printable recipe below.

  • shredded red cabbage - Also called purple cabbage. This adds so much color to Asian slaw.
  • shredded green cabbage - Use green cabbage for a firmer texture or Napa cabbage for softer textured Asian slaw.
  • cooked quinoa - Here’s an unexpected but welcome ingredient that adds nutrients, texture, and volume to Asian slaw. I enjoy making Instant Pot quinoa because it makes itself while I make the slaw.
  • carrots - Any color and variety will work for this recipe to add color, texture, flavor, and nutrients.
  • cilantro - Use chopped fresh parsley or Thai basil, if desired.
  • cashews - Adds a nutty flavor and hearty texture to cabbage slaw.
  • sesame seeds - Use black or white sesame seeds.
  • green onions - Use the stalk and tops of green onions.

Asian slaw dressing ingredients

You'll love how easy it is to make restaurant quality dressing out of a few simple pantry ingredients. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savory you expect from a dressing for Asian slaw.

  • rice vinegar - I recommend unseasoned rice vinegar because it's sodium free and sugar free. You can always adjust salt and sugar later.
  • soy sauce - This adds so much savory flavor and the salt adds the perfect balanced flavor.
  • fresh ginger root - Freshly grated ginger is best for ginger dressing, but ginger powder would work if used in very small amounts.
  • fresh garlic - A microplane grater is my favorite way of finely grating garlic for dressing.
  • maple syrup - Or honey, or agave nectar, or preferred sweetener.
  • sesame oil - I prefer toasted sesame oil for its flavor depth.
  • extra virgin olive oil - Or olive oil blend will work just fine.
  • black pepper and salt - to taste

If you like your Asian slaw to have a little kick, feel free to add a little heat like Sriracha, or chili paste, or cayenne pepper in small amounts once the dressing is blended.

How to make this recipe

Ingredient amounts are listed in the full printable recipe below.

Toast the cashews and sesame seeds in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 minutes, then cool completely. Whisk or blend sesame ginger dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (2)
Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (3)

Combine Asian slaw ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, pour dressing over slaw ingredients and toss to coat.

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (4)
Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (5)

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (6)

Recipe tips

Save time by using pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix. Or shred whole cabbage a day or two in advance using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.

If adding cooked quinoa, allow it to cool completely before adding it to the slaw because it allows the moisture to evaporate and won't stick together. Even better if you can make it a day ahead.

If you like crispy cabbage slaw, serve immediately after dressing. For softer slaw, add the dressing, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate 2-24 hours before serving.

Recipe variations

Turn Chinese coleslaw into a Thai-inspired recipe by substituting the sesame ginger dressing with a mild spicy peanut sauce.

Add proteins like Instant pot shredded chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or edamame beans and make a meal out of cabbage coleslaw.

Swap the quinoa with other grains like Instant Pot brown rice, barley, or farro.

Add other vegetables to Asian slaw like snow peas, snap peas, bell peppers, daikon, and any other crunchy veggies you'd like to add.

What to serve with Asian slaw

  • Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
  • Instant Pot Pulled Pork
  • Air Fryer Whole Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  • Zucchini Quinoa Fritters
  • Fish Tacos
Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (7)

More Asian recipes we love

  • Thai Cucumber Salad
  • Vegan Lo Mein Noodles
  • Vegan Thai Coconut Chickpea Curry
  • Sesame Kale Noodles
  • Vegan Thai Lentil Chickpea Curry

📖 Recipe

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (8)

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Mouthwatering coleslaw with red cabbage, carrots, and quinoa in a sweet and savory Asian slaw dressing. This salad always disappears fast!

Prep TimePrep Time: 20 minutes mins

Total timeTotal Time: 20 minutes mins

Yield 8 1-cup servings

Author Traci Antonovich

4.96 from 71 votes

Print Pin

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox.Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from The Kitchen Girl.


Slaw ingredients

  • cup Cashews chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds black or white
  • 3 cups Red Cabbage ⅓ pound shredded
  • 3 cups Napa Cabbage or Green Cabbage ⅓ pound shredded
  • 1 cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 cup Carrots ¼ pound shredded
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
  • 2 Green Onions thinly sliced

Sesame ginger dressing ingredients (yield ⅔ cup)

  • ¼ cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup or preferred sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger finely grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoons Sesame Oil light or dark
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste


  • To toast CASHEWS and SESAME SEEDS via oven or stovetop:

    OVEN: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place nuts and seeds on a baking sheet and bake 3-5 minutes until toasted.

    STOVETOP: Place nuts and seeds in a small skillet over medium heat and heat about 3 minutes until toasted, stirring as needed

    Transfer to a plate to cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature until ready to serve.

  • To make the slaw, combine CABBAGE, cooked QUINOA, CARROTS, CILANTRO, and GREEN ONIONS in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to dress and serve.

  • To make the dressing, combine RICE VINEGAR, MAPLE SYRUP, SOY SAUCE, GINGER, and GARLIC in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in OLIVE OIL and SESAME OIL, and whisk or blend until well-combined. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.

  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to dress and serve.

  • To serve, add toasted nuts and seeds to the salad. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

  • Store dressed slaw in an airtight container up to 24 hours. Non-dressed slaw can be stored up to 5 days.

Final step

Click stars to vote. Please visit 'Comments' below for reviews.

4.96 from 71 votes


Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see it!Follow @thekitchengirl on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag #thekitchengirl. This always makes my day!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3201IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine Asian

Diet Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy FREE recipes to your inbox weeklyJoin The Kitchen Girl community!

Easy Asian Slaw Recipe (Asian Cabbage Salad) - The Kitchen Girl (2024)


What is the origin of the Asian slaw? ›

Asian slaw does have its roots in diasporic Chinese foodways, with sources saying it was popularised at Madame Wu's Garden in Santa Monica, 'a trendy Chinese restaurant that added the salad to the menu per Cary Grant's request'.

What's the difference between vegetable slaw and coleslaw? ›

The real difference is that the raw, chopped vegetables in coleslaw are primarily cabbage: Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy. Slaw without the cole can feature any crunchy veggie in place of cabbage, including chopped or shredded broccoli, carrots, snow peas, jicama, and more.

What salad is made from shredded raw cabbage with mayonnaise as a dressing? ›

Most people refer to sliced or shredded raw cabbage coated with mayo- or vinegar-based dressing as coleslaw (or just slaw).

Why is cabbage salad called coleslaw? ›

The term "coleslaw" arose in the 18th century as an anglicisation of the Dutch term "koolsla" ("kool" in Dutch sounds like "cole") meaning "cabbage salad". The "cole" part of the word ultimately derives from the Latin caulis, meaning cabbage.

What is the difference between cabbage slaw and coleslaw? ›

Or coleslaws — what's the difference? Really nothing. Technically, coleslaw involves cabbage, whether green, red or napa, while the category of slaws can include all kinds of chopped or shredded crunchy vegetables. The two words are used interchangeably for the most part however.

What's the difference between coleslaw and cabbage salad? ›

While cabbage salad often consists only of one vegetable seasoned and dressed, coleslaw can include a few other ingredients like shredded veggies, fruits, or seasonings to give some variety to the dish. While both feature cabbage as the star of the show, the different dressings set the two apart.

Why is KFC coleslaw so good? ›

Mayonnaise/Miracle Whip

Considering that most coleslaw recipes use mayonnaise, it's safe to assume that KFC does it as well. With its fat, its salt, and its slightly acidic taste, mayo is exactly what's needed to balance and enhance the vinegar, salt, and sugar found in coleslaw.

Which is healthier salad or coleslaw? ›

Classic coleslaw is full of shredded cabbage and carrots. The dressing, however, is made with mayonnaise and sugar. There is usually about ½ a cup of mayonnaise and usually a couple tablespoons of sugar. That adds up to more calories and more fat than you're probably looking for in a salad.

Which is healthier baked beans or coleslaw? ›

Cole slaw is usually loaded with mayonnaise - and that means a lot of calories. There's not much nutrition in the cabbage. The sauce in the baked beans has calories, but you're getting more nutrients with baked beans than you are with coleslaw. When eating coleslaw, you are taking in more calories with fewer nutrients.

Why do you soak shredded cabbage? ›

Crisp it up: Shredded cabbage stays perky if it's soaked in cold water. This also helps cut the pungent edge. Drain well before combining with other ingredients.

What is KFC's coleslaw made of? ›

KFC coleslaw has a sweet and tangy taste with a creamy texture. The coleslaw is made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and onions, and is dressed with a sweet and tangy dressing that includes vinegar, sugar, and a blend of spices.

Do you grate or chop cabbage for coleslaw? ›

It is all about what you like as any cut of cabbage makes good cole slaw. Shredded cabbage is the finest cut you can make either by very very finely slicing the leaves or by using a grater, like a box graters largest holes. You could also use a mandolin on a very fine setting.

What is coleslaw called in America? ›

US. noun. a salad made of shredded raw cabbage, often mixed with salad dressing and seasoning. : also cole slaw.

What country invented coleslaw? ›

The dish was initially created in the Netherlands. In fact, the term coleslaw originates from the Dutch expression koosla, which means “cabbage salad.” Recipes similar to coleslaw have been found and used in American homes from as early as 1770.

Who invented slaw? ›

Its origins can be traced back as far as the ancient Romans, who served a dish of cabbage, vinegar, eggs and spices. The Dutch who founded New York state grew cabbage around the Hudson River that they used in a shredded cabbage salad they called koosla (kool means cabbage and sla is salad).

Who founded coleslaw? ›

Food historians trace the origins of coleslaw all the way back to ancient Rome. But it was the Dutch who are credited with giving the dish its unusual name in the late 1700s when they referred to it as “koolsla”—a melding of the words “kool” (cabbage) and “sla” (salad).

Is cabbage from Asia? ›

The cabbage is the result of centuries of natural cross-breeding between two popular vegetables: the small green bok choy of southern China and the turnip of northern China. It made its way to Korea in the 13th century, Southeast Asia in the 15th century, and finally to Japan in the 19th century.

What is the folk etymology of coleslaw? ›

The name is from Dutch koolsla, a combining of kool (meaning "cabbage") with sla ("salad") that results in a word that means "cabbage salad."

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6002

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.