Easy Asian Slaw Recipe

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Asian Slaw is one of my favorite side dish recipes to make for summer time potlucks and BBQs. It’s not only delicious, but it’s also gluten free, dairy free and vegan.

Asian Slaw tossed in spicy cilantro dressing in white serving bowl.

If you’re tired of making your classic coleslaw recipe, try something new. This simple Asian Slaw is a nice change from traditional coleslaw and green salads with its unique flavor and zesty dressing.

My easy recipe uses only a handful of simple ingredients to make a refreshing side dish for many meals. Plus, it’s super easy to make and comes together very quickly since this delicious dish is such a simple combination.

It’s always a huge hit whenever I make it, no matter the occasion. I hope your whole family enjoys this crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw as much as mine.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • ½ of a seeded and minced jalapeno
  • 1 head of sliced green cabbage
  • ¼ cup of chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup of diced celery
  • 1 cup of roasted peanuts

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Mason Jar

By the Numbers: How to Make Delicious Asian Slaw

Follow these simple steps to learn how to make the best Asian Slaw as a lighter alternative to traditional mayo-based coleslaw.

Step 1: Prepare Dressing.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar, ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 2 cloves of minced garlic and ½ of a de-seeded and minced jalapeno.

Pour your zesty dressing into a pint-sized mason jar and refrigerate to marinate the flavors for at least 1 hour. Shake a few times if you remember.

It’s best if you can make the Asian slaw dressing the same day you plan to use it as it has a short shelf life compared to some other dressings.

Rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic and jalapeno being whisked together in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 2: Combine Slaw Ingredients.

Add 1 head of chopped green cabbage, ¼ cup of chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, ½ cup of diced celery and 1 cup of roasted peanuts to a large mixing bowl and toss until everything is really well combined.

Raw cabbage, cilantro, parsley, celery and roasted peanuts in a metal mixing bowl.

Step 3: Combine Slaw and Dressing.

To make sure you still have crunchy cabbage, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve your Asian Slaw. When you’re ready, pour the marinated dressing over the slaw mixture, then toss until well combined. Garnish with more fresh herbs or toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Angular white serving bowl filled with Asian Slaw.

Tips for Making Crunchy Asian Slaw

Answers to all of your questions about making this tasty side dish with Asian flavors, including plenty of tips and substitution ideas.

1. Can it be served as a main dish?

If you’re looking for a main course salad to serve for lunch or dinner, add grilled chicken or shrimp before serving. Sometimes I’ll make Instant Pot Chicken Breasts and cube or shred them to serve with this simple Asian salad.

2. Does prepackaged coleslaw mix work?

Yes, the base recipe calls for a lot of cabbage, so if you don’t want to shred it yourself, you can use a prepackaged cole slaw mixture. It’s okay if it has other veggies in it like carrots. Broccoli slaw also tastes great.

3. Are the peanuts required?

While I think the roasted peanuts make the recipe, you can omit them, serve them on the side or replace them with cashews or sunflower seeds.

4. Is it okay to substitute other types of cabbage?

Napa cabbage (sometimes referred to as Chinese Cabbage) is also great in this easy coleslaw recipe (I also use it in my Easy Kimchi Recipe). Red cabbage (aka purple cabbage) works, but I prefer green or Napa as red has too much extra texture for my preference.

If you want to make a more colorful Asian coleslaw, you can mix a bit of red in with the green for its vibrant colors, but I recommend no more than a 25% ratio.

5. Substitute for rice wine vinegar?

You can find rice vinegar in the section of the grocery store with other vinegars. If you don’t have any on hand, or want to try something different, you can substitute lime juice or apple cider vinegar.

6. Substitute for extra virgin olive oil?

While I prefer to use olive oil in my salad dressing recipes (like my Tangy Tahini Salad Dressing), you can also use any cooking oil you like. Some examples include toasted sesame oil for a nutty flavor, or avocado oil and MCT oil for a neutral flavor.

7. Substitute for red onion?

I like to use red onion in this recipe because it adds a pop of color, but you can use any type of onion, including green onions, brown onions, etc.

8. Substitute for white sugar?

The first time you make this recipe, I recommend going with white sugar as it has the most neutral taste in the dressing. Then, if you want, the next time you can try substituting other types of sugar like brown sugar, maple syrup or honey. However, each of these swaps will result in a slightly different flavor to the dressing, so it’s not as simple of a swap as in some recipes.

9. Is Asian Slaw good leftover?

Yes, while it’s best on the first day, it still tastes great the next day. Asian Slaw keeps well for only 1-2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s not as crisp the next day, but the flavor really gets infused into the slaw.

10. What to serve with Asian Slaw?

Asian Slaw is such a versatile side dish! It pairs well as a starter or side salad with:

11. Tips for Making Meal Planning Easier.

There are two tips I can share to help simplify your meal planning. The first is to use a Meal Planner to plan out your meals and shopping trips for the month. I have a great meal planning bundle in my Etsy shop.

The second tip is to do more of your shopping online. Since I know what I need to order for my meal plans, I don’t make impulse purchases at the store, which is so helpful for staying on budget.

If you want to see some of the websites I order groceries from, check out these posts:

Asian slaw with cabbage, red onion, celery, peanuts and fresh herbs.

Asian Slaw Recipe

Learn how to make the best Asian Slaw with fresh ingredients. The list of ingredients in this easy salad recipe are gluten and dairy free as well as vegan.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Recipe Servings: 6

Ingredients

Asian Slaw Dressing Ingredients

Asian Slaw Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage - sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ cup red onion - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped
  • ½ cup celery - diced
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts

Equipment

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic and jalapeno. Pour into a mason jar and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, shaking it a few times if you remember. Make it the same day you plan to use it.
    Rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic and jalapeno being whisked together in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Add the raw cabbage, onion, cilantro, parsley, celery and peanuts to a large bowl and toss until combined.
    Raw cabbage, cilantro, parsley, celery and roasted peanuts in a metal mixing bowl.
  • When you’re ready to serve it, pour the salad dressing over the cabbage slaw mixture, then toss until well combined. Garnish your Asian Slaw with more fresh herbs, if desired.
    Angular white serving bowl filled with Asian Slaw.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

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