This Asian slaw is a blend of cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, almonds and fresh herbs, all tossed in a homemade sesame ginger dressing. A fresh and delicious side dish that pairs well with chicken, seafood and beef.
Almost any meal can benefit from a salad on the side for a boost of nutrition and fresh flavor. This Asian slaw is full of fresh flavors and colors, and can be put together in just minutes.
How do you make Asian slaw?
First, prepare your veggies by placing shredded green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots in a bowl. Add thinly sliced bell peppers, green onions, cilantro and sliced almonds. Make a sesame dressing by whisking together soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, honey and rice vinegar. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to mix thoroughly. Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and more fresh herbs, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect coleslaw
- I use a mandoline to shred my cabbages. If you want to skip this step, feel free to buy a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead. I find that the freshly shredded cabbage has a better flavor and texture than the bagged variety.
- You can use a box grater to shred your own carrots, or just buy a bag of pre-shredded carrots at the store.
- I like to use a mix of both red and yellow bell peppers because it adds a lot of color. Feel free to use just one type of bell pepper if you prefer. The red, orange and yellow bell peppers are the sweet varieties that should be used in this slaw.
- Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savory condiment that can be found in the ethnic foods aisle of most grocery stores.
Asian slaw flavor variations
This salad is delicious as-is, but you can add different ingredients to the mix to customize it to your tastes.
- Protein: Add diced cooked chicken, tofu or shrimp to make it a main course meal.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add different varieties of veggies such as edamame, sliced bok choy, thinly sliced red onions, spinach, daikon radish, celery or chopped broccoli.
- Nuts: Swap out the almonds for cashews or peanuts. You can even add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the dressing for more of a Thai-style slaw.
- Add-Ins: I like to add a little crunch in the form of wonton strips, crushed ramen noodles, crunchy chow mein noodles or crispy rice noodles.
Make Ahead Tips
The great thing about this Asian slaw is that most of the steps can be done in advance.
- The vegetables can be chopped and shredded up to 24 hours before you plan to serve the slaw.
- Prepare the sesame dressing up to 3 days ahead of time.
- Chop the herbs up to one hour before serving time.
- The finished salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before you serve it.
I love to serve this slaw in the warmer weather months with dishes such as grilled chicken or seared salmon. It’s also great as a side to stir fries and noodle dishes. No matter how you decide to serve this slaw, it’s sure to get rave reviews!
More fabulous salad recipes
Asian Slaw Video
For the salad
- 3 cups green cabbage shredded
- 1 cup purple cabbage shredded
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 3/4 cup bell peppers thinly sliced, red, yellow or a combination of colors
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions plus more for garnish if desired
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the green cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, cilantro and almonds in a large bowl.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl; whisk until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the slaw.
- Garnish with additional green onions and cilantro if desired, then serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.