This Asian Salad comes together in 15 minutes and requires no cooking! It features a vibrant medley of crisp, colorful veggies and a creamy miso ginger dressing. With the addition of crunchy peanuts, it’s perfect as a refreshing side or a light main course.Jump to Recipe
Why this recipe works
This Asian salad recipe is just the thing to make when you’re looking for a twist on your usual greens. With three types of cabbage, shredded carrots, cucumbers, green onions, and cilantro, it’s ultra-crispy, hydrating, and fresh.
I always add a generous handful of sesame seeds and peanuts for rich flavors and extra crunch. Once tossed with a quick and easy homemade miso ginger dressing, it turns out creamy, zesty, and savory.
No special equipment is needed either, just a bowl for mixing and a jar for the dressing! This recipe is ideal for health-conscious eaters or anyone looking for a refreshing, nutritious meal. It’s great for a quick lunch or as a light main with grilled chicken, baked salmon, or shrimp.
- Purple Cabbage: Offers a slightly peppery flavor and adds a pop of color.
- Green Cabbage: Has a more subtle taste, contributing a crunchy texture and freshness.
- Napa Cabbage: Known for its sweet and mild flavor, it adds a delicate texture.
- Carrots: Bring a hint of sweetness, color, and a satisfying crunch.
- Persian Cucumbers: Known for their crisp texture and mild flavor, they add freshness without overwhelming the salad.
- Green Onions: Offer a delicate onion flavor, adding depth without too much sharpness.
- Cilantro: Provides a bright, citrusy note that pairs well with the ginger dressing.
- Sesame Seeds: Add a subtle nutty flavor and a slight crunch. White or black sesame seeds both work well here.
- Peanuts: Contribute a rich, nutty taste and an additional crunch. I recommend using roasted but unsalted peanuts to prevent an overly salty taste.
Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing
- White Miso: Brings a salty, umami flavor that’s not overpowering.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds a mild acidity, balancing the richness of the oils and miso.
- Lime: Offers a bright, citrusy zing to the dressing.
- Light Soy Sauce: Provides a savory depth, enhancing the overall umami flavor without making the sauce too salty.
- Olive Oil & Sesame Oil: Both oils give the dressing a smooth base, with the sesame oil adding a distinctively toasty flavor. Look for toasted sesame oil in the international aisle of grocery stores or at your local Asian food market.
- Kewpie Mayonnaise: Contributes a creamier texture and sweeter flavor than regular mayo. You should be able to find it at your local Asian food market.
- Ginger Paste: Adds a spicy, warm kick that complements the other dressing ingredients.
- Prep the Veggies: Begin by shredding the purple and green cabbage, thinly slicing the napa cabbage, and shredding the carrots. Then, halve and slice the Persian cucumbers, and finely chop the green onions and cilantro.
- Combine the Dressing: In a mason jar, add the white miso, rice vinegar, lime juice, light soy sauce, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, kewpie mayonnaise, and ginger paste. Secure the lid and shake well until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.
- Assemble the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, layer the shredded vegetables, cucumber slices, chopped green onions, and cilantro. Sprinkle sesame seeds and roasted peanuts on top for an added crunch.
- Dress and Toss: When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the creamy miso ginger dressing over the salad. Toss everything together, ensuring each ingredient is coated with the dressing.
Substitutions & Variations
- Cabbage: Bok choy can be used as an alternative in this Asian salad, offering a similar texture and a slightly different flavor.
- Carrot: Jicama can replace carrots, providing crunch and a mild, sweet taste.
- Cucumber: English cucumbers can be used instead of Persian cucumbers.
- Green Onion: Chives can be used for a similar onion flavor with a more delicate texture.
- Cilantro: If you don’t enjoy cilantro, parsley or basil are other great options.
- Nuts & Seeds: Sunflower seeds can provide a similar crunch and nutty flavor. For a nut-free option, roasted chickpeas offer a crunchy texture and a boost of protein.
- Soy-Free: For a soy-free option, chickpea miso can replace white miso, providing a similar umami flavor without soy.
- Mayonnaise: Regular mayo will also work. Or, Greek yogurt can be used for a lighter, tangier version of the dressing.
Keep your Asian salad fresh and crunchy with these simple storage tips:
- Fridge: Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing the salad as the fresh veggies will become soggy when thawed. Similarly, the dressing will likely separate, so it’s best to keep it in the fridge.
- Dry the Veggies: Make sure your veggies are dry before tossing them in the salad to prevent a watery dressing.
- Herb Handling: Add delicate herbs like cilantro just before serving to maintain their freshness and color.
- Toasted Nuts: Make sure the peanuts are roasted, or toast them yourself for the best flavor.
- Dress Before Serving: Add the dressing right before serving to keep the veggies crisp.
- Chill the Salad: Serve your Asian salad chilled to enhance the flavors and freshness.
This Asian salad is not gluten-free as written because the dressing contains soy sauce. To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
Of course! Some of my favorite veggies to add to this salad include edamame, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and bean sprouts.
Absolutely! You can prep the veggies ahead and store them in the fridge. However, it’s best to dress the salad just before serving to maintain the crispness of the veggies.
If you loved this Asian salad recipe, you have to try some popular salad recipes like these:
If you try this Asian Salad, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please rate and review the recipe in the comments below, and don’t forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Easy Asian Salad (with Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing)
- 2 cups purple cabbage shredded
- 3 cups green cabbage shredded
- 2 cups Napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups carrots shredded
- 4 Persian cucumbers halved then sliced
- 6 green onions finely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ cup peanuts chopped (roasted and unsalted)
- Either shred your own cabbage and carrots or buy a pre-shredded mix at the store. Thinly slice the Napa cabbage and cucumbers, chop the herbs and peanuts.
- Add all the dressing ingredients into a mason jar and whisk to combine.
- Assemble the salad, add dressing and toss. You can also add cooked chicken, salmon, steak, tofu or shrimp, or enjoy on it’s own.