Asian Coleslaw: the quick, easy recipe for a healthy versatile salad

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist
for the salad
green cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 head
purple cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 head
carrot, julienned
cilantro, chopped
1 bunch
green onion, diced
other vegetables such as bell peppers or edamame
for the dressing
Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup
3 tbsp
toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp
toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste

If Asian coleslaw isn't one of the salads you make on rotation, now is the time to change that. This delicious, boldly colored salad is healthy, simple to prepare, and goes with so many dishes. Asian slaw is crunchy thanks to ingredients like cabbage carrots, and bell peppers, with a wonderful tangy sesame dressing that makes it a perfect side for everything from burgers to tacos, barbecues, and more. Serve it at picnics, potlucks, barbecues, or as a light refreshing salad with your weeknight dinner. There are plenty of ways to customize Asian coleslaw, so you can tailor it to your menu with ease.

Asian Dressing for Slaw

When it comes to great-tasting Asian coleslaw, the secret is in the sauce, or in this case, the dressing. To make the irresistible sesame dressing, pour the apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds into a large bowl. Whisk them well, then add a dash or two of freshly ground black pepper and keep whisking until all the sugar is dissolved into the vinegar. That's it! Now you're ready to assemble your salad and pour the dressing over your veggies.

Tips for the Best Asian Coleslaw

– If you want to make a keto version of Asian coleslaw, swap out sugar for your favorite sweetener. Stevia and erythritol are two options you can use.

– To save time, you can pick up pre-shredded veggies from the grocery store.

– If you don't want to use sugar, honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup are delicious substitutions you can mix into the dressing.


Asian Coleslaw Variations to Try

– There are loads of amazing Asian slaw variations to make. Turn up the heat by adding some chopped chilies or red chili flakes to the dressing to make it spicy.

– Mix different types of veggies into your Asian slaw. Bell peppers, edamame, corn, broccoli, and snap peas are a few to try. You can even add in some sliced apple or chopped herbs like mint for an even more refreshing salad!

– Add a little peanut butter to make a sesame-peanut dressing.

– While we love the subtly apple flavor imparted by the apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar is another excellent alternative.

Toast the sesame seeds before mixing them into the dressing for a more intense flavor.

– Add a little garlic or ginger for an even tastier salad.

What to Serve with Asian Slaw

With its tasty veggies tossed in a tangy, savory, lightly sweet dressing, Asian slaw is a killer side dish you can serve with a variety of meals. Of course, it goes great with other Asian flavors like a teriyaki salmon or coconut-lime shrimp, but you can pair Asian coleslaw with just about anything. Serve it with burgers, sandwiches, tacos, or as a zesty colorful side salad to your favorite barbecued meats.

How to Store Asian Coleslaw

Cover and store Asian slaw in the fridge for up to 1 day. It loses crunch and flavor if it's kept any longer than that.

How to Make Asian Coleslaw

Place apple cider vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and sesame seeds in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Season with freshly ground pepper. Continue whisking until sugar dissolves.

Place cabbage, carrots, cilantro, green onion, and other vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.


Make the dressing up to 1 week in advance then prepare your slaw up to 24 hours ahead of when you plan on serving it.

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