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. 

colorful Asian coleslaw in a white bowl on slate board with a glass of white wine

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

Why You’ll Love This Asian Coleslaw with Sesame and Ginger

This Asian-inspired coleslaw is mayo-free and made with an oil and vinegar dressing, loosely inspired by my Asian Sesame Dressing. We’ve added crunchy colorful red and green cabbage, a necessity in traditional coleslaw, but we have also added in more colorful crunchy veggies for color, texture and flavor!

Serve it with Maple Teriyaki marinated chicken, Sesame Noodles or pair with our Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Short Ribs.

Ingredients For This Asian Coleslaw

For the Dressing:

  • White vinegar: You can also use cider vinegar learn more about vinegars here.
  • Maple syrup: You can sub in white sugar if you like. 
  • Tamari: This is a type of gluten-free soy sauce. If you are following a paleo diet you can use Coconut Aminos instead. 
  • Oil: I use a blend of toasted sesame oil, avocado oil and flax seed oil (for a nutritional boost because it is a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.)
  • Seasoning: You’ll need ginger, salt and pepper. I recommend grating the ginger for the best flavor and so that it blends into the dressing well.

For The Slaw:

  • Cabbage: You can use green, a mix of green and red (or purple) or even savoy or Napa cabbage if you prefer. Here’s how to cut the cabbage for the slaw.
  • 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: for garnish
the coleslaw before being tossed

How To Make Asian Coleslaw

To make the dressing whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, ginger, flax oil, avocado oil, toasted sesame oil and salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Once the dressing is made add in the veggies and sesame seeds and toss the coleslaw combine.

two bowls of the asian coleslaw with a spoon and cilantro leaves

FAQs and Expert Tips For Asian Coleslaw

Make Ahead Instructions

  • You can make the dressing ahead. Do so up to a week in advance.
  • The cabbage and other veggies can be cut one day ahead. Keep in a resealable container, or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  • If the oils in the dressing become solid, set the jar in a bowl of warm tap water to warm up to room temperature. Shake the dressing well before pouring over the salad.  


This Asian Coleslaw sits well for a picnic or barbecue. Serve with a slotted spoon or tongs as it will get watery in the bottom of the bowl. It can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Leftovers will last up to three days. 

What To Serve with this Asian Coleslaw

the coleslaw in two bowls from overhead

More Healthy Coleslaw Recipes

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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asian coleslaw in a bowl overhead closeup

Asian Coleslaw

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


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.


Units Scale

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

1/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

8 cups finely chopped cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup sliced bell peppers

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1/4 cup radishes

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


  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.


**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.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 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

Keywords: Sesame Coleslaw,Asian Coleslaw