Spicy Asian Slaw

Spicy Asian Slaw

If you’ve been a fan of Monday’s Menu here at An Oregon Cottage, you’ve probably noticed that I put Asian slaw on it a lot. But without a link, because I’ve never posted a recipe. I would sometimes link to Simple Summer Salads because I talk about it in general terms, or the Basic Vinaigrette recipe where I mention making one with Asian flavors (adding a splash of soy, sesame oil, and ginger).

But never did poor Asian slaw get it’s own recipe. Until now.

Whew. I know you’ll all be sleeping better tonight!

Like all slaws, this is pretty simple (hmmm, could be one of the reasons it’s often on the menu…). I always use mainly green cabbage, throw in a little purple cabbage if I have it, and add sweet onions and either shredded carrots or chopped red peppers for extra color, flavor, and nutrition.

And guess what is special about these ingredients? They all came from my garden- I just love it when that happens!

I want to share with you the latest technique I learned from Cook’s Illustrated. Even though I’ve made a lot of slaws, I’ve always struggled with chopping the cabbage. It would either be too big or too small (food processor, anyone?)- or worse, so cumbersome that I felt I might cut a finger (which I actually did once…).

So I loved this simple tip: quarter and core the head of cabbage as usual and then remove the smaller inside portion from one of the quarters (you can see the small part I removed in the picture above). Then lay the larger outer leaves on a cutting board and push them down flat to finely slice. The smaller portion is now easier to cut as well. Love it!

Whip up a quick vinaigrette with rice vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger- plus some sriracha sauce (or red pepper flakes, but the sriracha is sooo good) and pour it over the salad.

Garnish with sesame seeds and parsley, if desired.

Simple, good food. I really like to serve this with Asian flavored chicken and noodle salad, or curry with rice, or Teriyaki chicken, or…you get the idea- there’s a lot of things that benefit from an easy slaw!


Spicy Asian Slaw

  • 1/2 of a medium head of green cabbage (about 4 cups shredded/chopped)
  • 2 cups shredded/chopped purple cabbage (or use 6 cups green)
  • 1 small onion, preferably sweet, sliced thinly or chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated OR 1 red bell pepper, chopped


  • 2 Tb. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tb. soy sauce
  • 1 Tb. sesame oil
  • 1 Tb. minced garlic
  • 1 Tb. honey
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 2-3 tsp. sriracha sauce (or 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes) or more to taste
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 Tb. mayonnaise (preferably homemade)- optional for a creamier dressing
  • sesame seeds
  • parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine the cabbage(s), onion, and carrots (or pepper) in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients in a 2-cup measure and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss well.
  3. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a sprig of parsley.

Thai Slaw: Omit Soy Sauce and sesame oil; add 1 Tb. fish sauce and the juice of one lime. Increase the oil to 1/3 cup. This is especially good made with Napa (Chinese) Cabbage.

Makes 8 servings


  1. says

    Sounds delicious! I would probably add some chicken right into to the slaw and have an entire meal in one bowl. Well, that’s the way I fly around here in the AZ summer heat! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Anonymous says

    Whoa. I had most of this on hand so gave it a try, with a few substitutions. Red wine vinegar in place of rice vinegar. Few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot(probably not even close to Srirachi). Despite the subs, it was pretty darn yummy. I’m getting the real stuff and doing it proper next time. Yippee!

    brenda from arkansa

  3. says

    I have been buying the Asian slaw mix at Fred Meyers and it is very good. I do add diced red and green peppers and green onions. But I certainly must try this. I also finally stopped at the Corner Market on River Road and they have great locally grown veggies. First visit gift is garlic whips or scapes. I will try them tonight.
    Thanks for a great site, Bonnie from Eugene

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