Asian coleslaw is filled with raw vegetables and sweet mandarin oranges in a tangy, fresh dressing. Eat it as an entree with grilled tofu or a side dish for your favorite meal.
As you know, I LOVE Asian food. I could probably eat Asian food every day of my life and be perfectly happy. However, since becoming plant-based, I've learned the importance of eating raw vegetables throughout the week for better health and weight loss. For that reason, I think we should all pledge to eat salad at least 3 days a week, and Asian coleslaw is a great way to start.
Although different in many cultures, Coleslaw is shredded cabbage with various other shredded vegetables. Despite its diversity in terms of ingredients, Asian coleslaw is a great entree or side dish.
Types of Cabbage
For example, there are 4 different types of cabbage commonly found in the grocery store.
Green cabbage, for instance, is the most commonly used cabbage for salads and stir-fries. I use it in my grilled Asian sesame tofu with vegetable slaw recipe.
Savory cabbage, however, is denser with ridged leaves. Therefore, I often use a combination of lettuces in salads, which adds to the texture.
Similar to bib lettuce, Napa cabbage is denser and has ridged leaves. Bitter and peppery in taste, this cabbage is generally used to make kimchi.
Purple cabbage, on the other hand, is similar to white cabbage but is a vibrant magenta color. Also perfect for salads, I have chosen this type of cabbage simply because of its beauty.
Benefits of Eating Cabbage
According to Healthline, cabbage has 9 Health benefits:
- Cabbage is packed with nutrients
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Helps improve digestion
- Packed with vitamin C
- Lowers blood pressure
- Contributes to good heart health
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Excellent source of vitamin K
- And is easy to add to any diet
Just 1 cup (89 grams) of raw green cabbage contains:
- Calories: 22
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin K: 85% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 54% of the RDI
- Folate: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
- Calcium: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
In other words, eating cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables is good for our overall health and well-being.
For this Asian coleslaw, one of my new goals is to include different colors of the rainbow. Not only does this add to the aesthetics of the salad, but it also makes for a healthier salad.
- White Cabbage: Slightly bitter, white cabbage is firm and stays fresh even when dressed.
- Red Cabbage: Red cabbage is purple and adds beautiful color to any coleslaw.
- Red Bell Pepper: Red bell peppers are sweet. I like to slice them thin for a similar texture to the other vegetables in the salad.
- Mandarin Oranges: Mandarin oranges have a vanilla and spicy component in their flavor profile. They also have a strong citrus aroma that is fresh and pleasant smelling.
- Carrots: Carrots are sweet, woody, and earthy. I chose to shred the carrots for a similar texture as the other vegetables in the coleslaw.
- Green Onions: The leaves and bulbs of these onions are edible and have a mild, gentle flavor compared to regular onions.
- Savoy cabbage is the sweetest of all cabbages, so if you prefer a sweeter taste.
- I suggest that poblano peppers be your first choice if you're looking for a bell pepper substitute.
- Clementines and tangerines are the closest substitutes for mandarin oranges.
- Choose daikon radishes instead of carrots.
- Instead of green onions, try chives, leeks, ramps, or shallots.
- Add Bok choy for an additional coleslaw ingredient.
- Peapods are also a great addition.
- Bean sprouts are added to many Asian coleslaw recipes.
- For a little crunch, add peanuts or cashews on top.
- If serving as an entree, consider adding lemongrass tofu.
- Instead of shredding your own cabbage, grab a bag of premade coleslaw and add extra veggies and dressing.
Or, try some tofu satay instead. Whether you eat the coleslaw plain or add a little tofu love, you will love this Asian coleslaw recipe.
Asian Dressing Ingredients
The beauty of any coleslaw recipe made with cabbage is it can be dressed before serving and doesn't wilt.
So, any dressing you select will keep your greens fresh. The Asian dressing for this Asian coleslaw recipe is easy to make.
Subsequently, you can make a great marinade and dressing with very few ingredients. All you need is a high-speed blender and common ingredients in your pantry:
- Peanut Butter: I use all-natural sugar-free peanut butter.
- Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is best.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is sweet and adds natural sweetness to the dressing
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce: I chose low-sodium soy sauce because the peanut butter is also salty.
- Pure Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup adds sweetness to the coleslaw dressing.
- Fresh Ginger Root: Fresh ginger root is savory, spicy, and sweet,
- Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes add a touch of spiciness.
- Water: The water thins the dressing and acts as an emulsifier.
- Use almond butter, or for a lower-fat option, choose PBFit.
- If you don't have peanut butter, use peanuts. Just make sure you add 2 times the amount of water.
- Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are substitutes for lime juice. Or, lime zest packs even more flavor.
- Champagne vinegar is a good substitute for rice vinegar.
- Try agave nectar or date syrup instead of maple syrup.
- If you don't like spice, skip the red pepper flakes.
- To substitute fresh ginger, substitute 1 teaspoon ground allspice, cinnamon, ground mace, or ground nutmeg.
Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it is low-calorie and packed in fiber so that you can eat a giant bowl without guilt! My Asian Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Scallions is the perfect balance of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy.
Cut in half lengthwise with a chef's knife, all the way through the core. You need to remove the triangular core if you're making shredded cabbage. To do this, cut into the core at an angle where the stem meets the cabbage leaves, and remove it from each half.
Worms or other insects could be inside the cabbage, so to be safe, remove the thick outer leaves, cut the cabbage into wedges, and rinse them in a colander under running water.
- Shred the cabbage and other vegetables to get a similar texture. It makes sit easier to eat as well as digest.
- Dress the Asian coleslaw in advance so it softens the vegetables and marinates simultaneously.
- Add other vegetables such as shelled edamame, Bok choy, or other favorite vegetables.
- Chill the dressed salad for an hour before serving for the best results.
Asian coleslaw is a great side dish to accompany your favorite Asian dishes or an entree salad with grilled or air-fried tofu.
Other Great Vegan Salad Suggestions
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- 4 cups green cabbage shredded
- ½ cup purple cabbage shredded
- 2 large carrots shredded or julienned
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 4 fresh mandarin oranges, or clementines peeled, sectioned, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
Asian Slaw Dressing
- ¼ cup homemade peanut butter almond butter, or peanut butter of choice
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ⅛ cup water
- Shred, julienne, or cut all vegetables
- Peel, slice and cut mandarin oranges
- Add to a large bowl
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender
- Blend on high until smooth
- Drizzle or our over Asian coleslaw
- Cut and shred the vegetables ahead of time.
- Add additional vegetables such as Bok choy, peapods, bean sprouts, and shelled edamame.
- For an added crunch, add peanuts or cashews.
- For an entree salad, add lemongrass tofu.
- Dress the salad in advance and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
- For a nut-free option, omit the peanut butter from the dressing recipe.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂