I promise this Asian Coleslaw will be your go-to side dish salad this summer. You can whip it up in minutes and the super yummy sesame flavored dressing turns the crunchy cabbage and carrots into a mouth-watering bite. 

Close-up of coleslaw in a bowl from overhead. Garnished with cilantro.

I originally shared this recipe on February 11, 2014. I have updated the images and some of the text today.

 

Ingredients For This Asian Coleslaw

White vinegar, or cider vinegar:

This dressing needs a big bright acidic element, so I reach for plain white vinegar. If you do not have that you can substitute apple cider vinegar. You can read more about the difference between vinegars here.

Maple syrup:

To balance the flavors in the dressing I use maple syrup. I wrote a cookbook about maple syrup so I happen to be partial to it! I like that it adds flavor in addition to the sweetness. You can sub in white sugar if you like. 

Tamari:

This is a type of gluten-free soy sauce. I wrote about how it is made and different from soy sauce in these Tamari Meatballs. If you are following a paleo diet you can use Coconut Aminos instead. 

Flax seed oil:

Flax seed oil, or Flax Oil is a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Flax oil can be found in the refrigerated section of health food stores and large supermarkets.

It is heat sensitive, so don’t cook with it and be sure to store it in the refrigerator. It has a slight nutty/fishy flavor, so it is best when paired with bold flavors like those in this dressing.

You can sub avocado oil or organic canola oil for the flax if you don’t have it.

Avocado oil or organic canola oil:

These are my recommended neutral cooking oils. If you prefer another neutral oil, use that instead. 

Toasted sesame oil:

Toasted sesame oil gives this coleslaw lots of delicious flavor. Don’t skip it! 

Salt ground black or white pepper

Ginger:

Peel the ginger then grate it with a microplane grater. If you do not like ginger you can omit it. 

Cabbage:

You can use green, a mix of green and red (or purple) or even savoy or Napa cabbage if you prefer. You can learn more about the different kinds of cabbage here.

Vegetables:

These add contrasting color and crunch. Shred the carrots on a box grater, and julienne cut the peppers and radishes. Then simply slice the scallions finely.  

Toasted sesame seeds:

The toasted sesame seeds help amp up the sesame flavor! 

Seasonings

Salt, pepper and garlic powder finish the dressing off and add seasoning. 

Coleslaw before it is tossed

How To Make Asian Coleslaw

Cut the Cabbage

For this Asian coleslaw I cut the cabbage into slabs, and then I chopped the slabs. I wasn’t really that concerned about the perfectness of the pieces, or the uniformity.

For the most part I ended up with strips and squares. The pieces are uneven but all small enough that they can get scooped up by the delicious forkful. For instructions on how to cut cabbage head over to my Guide to Cabbage

Cut The Vegetables

To contrast with the rustic cabbage cuts, I shredded the carrots and julienne cut the peppers and radishes. Whatever cut you use, make sure you cut the vegetables into fine pieces so they blend in with the cabbage.

two bowls of asian coleslaw

Make The Asian Coleslaw Dressing

To make the dressing whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, ginger, flax oil, avocado oil, toasted sesame oil and salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix it right in the salad bowl before adding in the coleslaw veggies.

To Make the Dressing Ahead

  • You can make this ahead up to a week in advance.
  • If the oils become solid, set the jar in a bowl of warm tap water to warm up to room temperature.
  • Shake well before pouring over the salad.  

Once the dressing is made add in the veggies and sesame seeds and toss to combine. This sits well and can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Left-overs will last up to three days. 

two bowls of coleslaw

Steps To Make This Recipe

What To Serve with this Asian Coleslaw

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this Asian Sesame Coleslaw let me know by leaving a review and star rating below. 

Happy Cooking!

~Katie

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asian coleslaw in a bowl overhead closeup

Asian Coleslaw

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

I promise this Asian Coleslaw will be your go-to side dish salad this summer. You can whip it up in just minutes and the sesame dressing goes well with so many dishes.


Scale

Ingredients

3 tablespoons white vinegar, or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari, see **ingredient note

1 tablespoon flax seed oil, see *ingredient note

1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black or white pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

8 cups finely chopped cabbage

½ cup grated carrots

1/2 cup sliced bell peppers

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1/4 cup radishes

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds


Instructions

  1. Whisk vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, flax oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, ginger, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add cabbage, carrots, peppers, scallions, radishes and sesame seeds and toss to coat.

Notes

**Ingredient note: to make this PALEO, substitute coconut aminos for the tamari.
*Ingredient note: Flax seed oil, or FLAX OIL is a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Flax oil can be found in the refrigerated section of health food stores and large supermarkets. It is heat sensitive, so don’t cook with it and be sure to store it in the refrigerator. It has a slight nutty/fishy flavor, so it is best when paired with bold flavors like those in this dressing. You can sub avocado oil or organic canola oil for the flax if you don’t have it.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 95
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 322 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 2 g

 

Asian Coleslaw from overhead

asian coleslaw