It doesn’t get more crisp, fresh, and delicious than this Easy Asian Cabbage Salad. Dressed in a tangy lime and sesame dressing, every bite is bright, vibrant, colorful, and perfectly paired with all of your favorite proteins.
Fresh and crisp Asian cabbage salad recipe
This Easy Asian Cabbage Salad is the perfect go-to when you want to add fresh flavors to weeknight dinners, tacos, grain bowls, and more! You can forget about the oily, mayo-dressed cabbage you’d normally find in coleslaw. Instead, I dressed the mix of cabbage, cilantro, fresno chili peppers, and green onions in lime, soy, and sesame dressing for endless tangy and bright flavors.
Cabbage slaw has this great ability to add crunch, fresh flavors, and tang to tons of recipes. This purple cabbage slaw is the secret to great shrimp tacos, while this apple cabbage slaw complements protein perfectly. It’s a necessity for your weekly meals!
You can always count on an Asian-inspired cabbage slaw when you need a refreshing side for crispy chicken, Asian pork lettuce cups, salmon rice bowls, and more. It pairs well with almost everything! The crisp vegetables help tone down spice while the layers of flavors dance on your tongue.
Asian cabbage salad ingredients
- Green cabbage – Half of a small shredded green cabbage is all you need for this recipe. You can get creative with the colors by swapping half of the green cabbage for red cabbage, add in broccoli slaw or matchstick carrots, or save time by using a pre-chopped slaw mix instead.
- Fresh cilantro – This leafy herb adds freshness to the salad. Feel free to omit it or replace it with another leafy green.
- Green onions – For tart savory bites.
- Fresno chili pepper – This red chili pepper is about as spicy as a jalapeno with 2,500-10,000 Scoville heat units. Make sure to remove the seeds and veins before adding it to the salad to help tone down the spice. If fresno peppers are too spicy for you, use a jalapeno or red bell pepper instead.
- Cabbage salad dressing – This easy Asian-inspired dressing is made from lime juice, soy sauce (or gluten free tamari), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt.
How to make an easy Asian cabbage salad
You can whip up this cabbage slaw recipe in just 5 minutes! It’s the quickest solution when you’re running late or just need something fresh with Asian-inspired flavors to pair with dinner. It’s so easy to make:
- Shred the cabbage.
Using a sharp knife, cut the cabbage in half and chop it into thin strips.
- Make the slaw dressing.
Whisk the lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt together in a large salad bowl.
- Assemble the salad.
Add the chopped cabbage, green onions, cilantro, and chili peppers to the bowl with the salad dressing. Toss to coat fully and taste to adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Change the dressing – While I love the soy sesame dressing, this slaw would also pair well with spicy peanut sauce, ginger lime dressing, or a simple lemon vinaigrette.
- Toss it with noodles or grains – Want to serve it on its own as a meal? Add cooked ramen noodles, buckwheat noodles, quinoa, farro, rice, or cauliflower rice to make each serving more substantial.
- Add more vegetables – Like edamame, purple cabbage, golden or red beets, carrots, broccoli, radicchio, pickled radishes, beansprouts, daikon, mint, parsley, bell peppers, or any other veggies you love or need to use up.
- Don’t forget the toppings – Like sesame seeds, more green onions or cilantro, pickled red onions, chopped almonds, peanuts, or cashews, or crispy wontons.
How to serve Asian cabbage slaw
This crunchy cabbage slaw can freshen up almost anything! Serve it as a side dish or use it in all kinds of meals, such as:
- Tacos: Specifically in fish, shrimp, salmon, or chicken tacos.
- Grain bowls: Use this salad as a topping on rice, grain, or noodle bowls.
- Salads: Serve a salad on salad! Top a scoop of slaw on a loaded salad with extra dressing for layers of flavor.
- With meat: Toss chopped chicken, baked salmon, or shrimp in with the salad to make it more filling.
- As a side dish: A scoop will add a burst of freshness next to your weeknight baked chicken breast, salmon patties, baked cauliflower, or pan fried salmon.
Making ahead and storing
To make ahead, chop the salad vegetables and store them together in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing can be put together and stored in a sealed jar in the fridge.
To store, keep the assembled Asian salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 or 3 days.
Looking for more Asian-inspired recipes?
Did you try this Easy Asian Cabbage Salad? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
Easy Asian Cabbage Salad
- 4 cups green cabbage shredded (half a small cabbage head)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 3 green onions chopped
- ½ fresno chili pepper seeded and sliced, optional
- 1 small lime juiced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium preferred or tamari
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- Using a sharp knife cut the cabbage in half and shred the cabbage.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add the cabbage, green onions, cilantro, chilies and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning of salt if needed. Serve and enjoy.