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.
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.
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.
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
Peel the ginger then grate it with a microplane grater. If you do not like ginger you can omit it.
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.
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!
Salt, pepper and garlic powder finish the dressing off and add seasoning.
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.
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.
Steps To Make This Recipe
What To Serve with this Asian Coleslaw
- I love these Peanut Noodles. They have plenty of ginger! The flavors in these Sesame Noodles are more subtle if you’re looking for a kid friendly dish.
- You could make these Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs and rice for a nice meal.
- I adore this Maple Tahini Roasted Salmon, and this coleslaw would be a great side dish.
- This Thai Coconut Lime Grilled Skirt Steak is always very popular and would make a nice compliment to these Asian flavors.
- Or try it with short grain brown rice and these uber delicious Korean BBQ Meatballs.
Thanks so much for reading. If you make this Asian Sesame Coleslaw let me know by leaving a review and star rating below.
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.
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
- Whisk vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, flax oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, ginger, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl.
- Add cabbage, carrots, peppers, scallions, radishes and sesame seeds and toss to coat.
**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.
- 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