Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
Looking for a go-to slaw recipe for this summer? Then check out this Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw. It is a yummy, refreshing, vegan and low carb recipe that will be the star of all your summer cookouts. And it’s ready in just 20 minutes!
I originally shared this recipe on June 9, 2011. I have updated the images and some of the text today.
Why We Love This Recipe
This easy raw salad made with Napa Cabbage and Cucumber Noodles is a unique combination with Asian inspired flavors including peanuts, cilantro and lime.
Cutting the cucumbers with a spiralizer or mandoline transforms them into thin spaghetti-like strands which blend in with the shredded cabbage so well. The texture of this slaw is amazing!
Serve this Cucumber and Napa Slaw with this Thai Coconut Lime Skirt Steak or add on grilled chicken marinated in the Best Chicken Marinade. This salad also is a great one to bring to a potluck party or event because it is so unique and creative! It’s a real standout!
- Napa Cabbage: Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese Cabbage and has wide flat white ribs that run noticeably up the sides of the head. Both Chinese Cabbage and Regular cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked (my favorite way to cook is is to sautee it with ginger) but Napa cabbage breaks down more easily when cooked. The texture of napa cabbage is tender and less dense, while regular cabbage is crunchy and more dense.
- Cucumbers: Look for thin cucumbers for those without too many seeds. The European Burpless cucumbers work really well for this recipe. Leave the skins on for pretty green color in your slaw.
- Peanut Oil: Look for unrefined peanut oil for full flavored dressing. If you cannot find it you can use avocado oil with a little toasted sesame oil added in for a similar effect.
How To Make This Cucumber Noodle and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
Step 1: Cut the Cucumbers and Napa Cabbage
I used my spiralizer to make the cucumber noodles for this recipe. It was perfect for the cucumber in this coleslaw and bonus that it removed the seeds too! Also, I leave the skin on because it looks so pretty.
You could also use a mandoline to cut the cucumbers into long skinny matchsticks, a.k.a. julienne-cut. I run the cucumbers down the mandoline blade lengthwise to make julienne strips about 4-inches long. Some cukes have a lot of seeds, so you can omit that part if you want. I have cut European cucumbers this way before and it works really well. Just cut them into four-inch lengths first.
To cut the cabbage follow the instructions in this guide to cabbage.
Step 2: Make The Peanut Oil and Lime Juice Dressing
Next whisk together the dressing. Combine the lime juice, oil, garlic powder, salt and chili (if using) in a jar or whisk in a bowl.
Step 3: Toss the Slaw with the Dressing
Drizzle the dressing over the cabbage and cucumber mixture and add in peanuts and cilantro. The roasted and salted peanuts really compliment the tangy slightly sweet dressing and then the bright pop of cilantro rounds everything out to make one gorgeous and delicious salad!
The cucumber noodles do not hold very well once tossed with the other ingredients. I find that cucumber noodles cut with a mandoline keep better than those cut with a spiralizer. To make this ahead, store the dressing in a jar separately. Keep the cucumbers separate from the other ingredients. Toss at the last minute.
The tender texture of the napa is what makes it ideal for this slaw. It really melds with the cucumber noodles well. Very thinly sliced Savoy cabbage or Chinese cabbage would also work. Regular green or red cabbage can also be used, but should be very thinly sliced and soaked first.
If you can eat sesame, toasted sesame oil blended with avocado oil, and toasted sesame seeds work as a great alternative. If not, try using avocado oil and skip the peanuts on top all-together. It will still be delicious!
More Recipes To Try
- This Simple Cucumber Salad has only a few ingredients and takes just a few minutes to make.
- My Chopped Greek Cucumber Salad is ready in 15 minutes and is delicious topped with grilled chicken or seafood.
- For coleslaw lovers, don’t miss these favorites from the archives: skinny classic coleslaw, Asian coleslaw and creamy blue cheese and walnut coleslaw.
- For another way to incorporate Napa Cabbage into your diet, try this Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad or add it to soup, like this Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup.
- And if you want to know everything there is to know about cabbage, including how to cut it make sure to read The Ultimate Guide to Cabbage. And then don’t miss this Ultimate Guide to Cucumbers!
- If you like these flavors, try this Mizuna Salad with peanuts, my Peanut Salad Dressing and this recipe for Asian Sesame Vinaigrette.
- You’ll love the flavors in this Asian Cucumber Salad with peanuts and toasted sesame oil.
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Check out this Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw. It is a yummy, refreshing, vegan and low carb recipe that will be the star of all your summer cookouts. And it’s ready in just 20 minutes!
- 4 small cucumbers (1 ½ pounds), julienne cut with a spiralizer or mandoline (6 cups)
- 1 small head Napa Cabbage, finely sliced (about 8 cups)
- ½ cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup peanut oil or organic canola oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Red chili flake to taste, optional
- Cut cucumber noodles if long into shorter lengths. Combine cucumber, cabbage, peanuts and cilantro in a large bowl.
- Whisk oil, lime juice, sugar, salt, garlic powder and red chili flake if using in a small bowl.
- Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat.
To cut the cucumber into “noodles” use a spiralizer with the 1/8th-inch “spaghetti” cut blade. Alternatively, cut the cucumbers into 3-4-inch lengths and then julienne cut with mandoline.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 7.5 g
- Sodium: 414 mg
- Fat: 15 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 14.5 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 5 g