Asian Cabbage Slaw

Most people’s go-to dish using cabbage? Cole slaw.  My family’s go-to cabbage dish? Asian slaw.  Every year when the garden cabbages begin to form into tightly-bound, edible bowling balls, one of my parents is sure to whip up some Asian slaw.  The flavorful spin on cole slaw is lighter and seemingly fresher than your typical mayonnaise-laden slaw.  Plus, it will save you a lot of saturated fat, and add some healthier fats in their too.

We make this dish different nearly every time, depending on the family member that’s doing the slicing and dicing and on what fresh ingredients we have available.  But below you’ll find a recipe for our latest cabbage creation.  We’ve infused it with fresh cilantro and topped it off with salty peanuts to create a bowl of slaw that’s worth more than just a pretty picture.  Go for a red cabbage, if available, for an extra eye-pleasing element.  Plus, as I mentioned in this post, red cabbage has special phytonutrients shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that may do a bunch of other cool things for your body too.

But if green cabbage is what’s growing near you, than it will work too.  It will still bring a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber to the table.  So pick your cabbage and get chopping.  Enjoy as a generous side, or serve atop a burger of your choice.

Also, just two days left to enter my giveaway for some summery treats from Stonyfield’s.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Yield: Serves 6, as a side


  • 1/2 med. purple cabbage, very thinly sliced, or shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, minced
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. salsa (or other salty, mildly spicy mechanism)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, minced, or 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • Garnish:
  • 2/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Toasted sesame oil, to drizzle (optional)


  1. In large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and red onion.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Stir into slaw ingredients. Garnish with peanuts and scallions, and serve, or allow a couple hours for flavors to marinade before garnishing.
  3. Before serving, taste, and determine if you'd wish to drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on top.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Simply Life
    July 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

    oh this looks fabulous- I love that you added peanuts!

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    July 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Definitely looks way better than the typically heavy, overly-rich coleslaw to me!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    It not only looks great but sounds so delicious. I love red cabbage for the vibrant color it adds to a plate.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I choose this over coleslaw any day! Asian flavors top mayo. Constantly.

  • Reply
    Weighting For 50@weightingfor50
    July 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    What a beautiful looking salad! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    July 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    tightly-bound, edible bowling balls…I love it! That’s what cabbage is, for sure! I love this mayo-free option…save! Looks amazing!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Grace, this looks so fantastic – love the purple cabbage! Slaw is one of those foods that I could literally eat all day and with these ingredients, I may have to!

  • Reply
    Low Fat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins + Weekly Menu | Prevention RD
    July 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    […] Wednesday: Ultimate Sriracha Burgers and Asian Cabbage Slaw […]

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    July 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    This was delicious…had it tonight with dinner. Hubby loved it, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Asian Cabbage Slaw | Prevention RD
    August 4, 2011 at 6:11 am

    […] Asian Cabbage Slaw slightly adapted from Food, Fitness, Fresh Air […]

  • Reply
    April 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Sounds delicious. I like cabbage slaw so much more with an asian dressing instead of with mayo!

  • Reply
    Summer Favorites « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    August 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

    […] Asian Cabbage Slaw: A vibrant and refreshing take on cole slaw, infused with Asian flavor and topped with a salty crunch of peanuts. A picnic pleaser and mayo-free! […]

  • Reply
    Asian Cabbage Slaw
    September 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    […] fridge, I figured I might as well use it up and make a nice crisp slaw of some sort.  I found this asian cabbage slaw and was immediately smitten.  It looked so […]

  • Leave a Reply