Craving a colorful and refreshing salad for your next potluck party or family dinner? Try my Asian Coleslaw recipe with bright and crunchy vegetables. Dressed in a tangy and sweet sesame dressing, this healthy slaw is packed with flavors. It complements BBQ meats, tacos, Ahi tuna steak, and other Asian menus.
Looking for the most versatile side dish to go with your Asian theme menu? Try this Asian Coleslaw with bright, crunchy, colorful vegetables! Dressed in a nutty, sesame oil dressing, the slaw is packed with flavors and makes a much healthier and lighter alternative to the mayo-laden types.
It’s such a fantastic way to eat your colors. Not only it looks refreshing and appetizing, but it is so easy to put together for a weeknight family meal or a big potluck party.
Asian Coleslaw – Perfect Side Dish
From sandwiches, burgers, tacos to grilled meats, this is an excellent coleslaw to go with any Asian theme meals. You can also serve it along with deep-fried foods to balance out the richness and grease, thanks to the crunchy texture and refreshing taste.
Need some inspiration? How about pairing it with some all-star BBQ or summertime dishes such as:
- Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork (so yummy with tacos!)
- Coconut Shrimp
- Corn Dog
- Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Crispy Salmon
- Ebi Katsu Burger
- Lobster Roll
- Miso Salmon
- Teriyaki Burger
Easy Sesame Dressing for Asian Coleslaw
Whisk together apple cider vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, salt & pepper, you’d get a zingy dressing that goes perfectly with the coleslaw. The sugar helps to mellow out the acidity of the vinegar, so don’t skimp on it. You can cut down slightly but have a taste first to see if it achieves the balance you desire. Alternatively, you can also use maple syrup or honey in place of the sugar.
What I love most about this sesame dressing is its light yet aromatic flavor. It’s incredibly versatile that you can even use the dressing for other green salads or noodle salads. There’s no chopping garlic or grating ginger involved. You will want to make it over and over again for your slaws!
Alternative Vegetable Choices
A great thing about this coleslaw recipe is its flexibility. If you don’t like a certain ingredient or don’t have it on hand, feel free to switch it out. For cilantro leaves, people either love or hate it, but I feel like the green herb plays a big role in the coleslaw. Its fresh & citrus-like flavor adds so much more zing to the dish. For those who don’t mind the taste, you don’t want to miss it out.
Here are a few other vegetables that could go well with the coleslaw. Anything fresh will make the slaw even better!
- Green Color: edamame, mint, shredded broccoli stem/stalk, shredded zucchini, snap peas
- Red Color: red bell pepper, red onion, apples
- Yellow Color: yellow bell pepper, corn, peanuts
A little sweet, a little tangy and packed with bright flavors, this Asian Coleslaw is one solid dependable side dish you can show up at any potluck party! And be ready to give out the recipe when asked.
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Asian Coleslaw with Sesame Dressing
For the Coleslaw
- ½ head green cabbage
- ½ head red cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1 bunch cilantro (coriander) (½ cup chopped for 4 servings)
- 1 green onion/scallion
- ½ cup shelled edamame
- ¼ red bell pepper (sliced)
- ¼ cup peanuts (shelled, peeled, toasted, and salted)
- 1 green onion/scallion
For the Dressing
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp sugar (to mellow the vinegar's acidity; if you substitute maple syrup or honey, check for the right balance of flavors)
- 2 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Gather all the ingredients. To make ahead: You can prepare and store the vegetables and dressing separately for up to a day or two in the refrigerator; toss to combine 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve.
To Make the Dressing
- In a bowl large enough to hold the coleslaw, combine the apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, sesame oil, kosher salt, and sesame seeds.
- Add the freshly ground black pepper and whisk well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
To Prepare the Coleslaw
- Peel and julienne the carrot. Cut in half lengthwise if the pieces are very long.
- Chop the cilantro into ½-inch pieces and finely slice the green onions.
- Remove the core of the red cabbage and slice the cabbage thinly.
- Remove the core of the green cabbage and slice the cabbage thinly. Add all the sliced cabbage to a bowl or a salad spinner, as I do here. Wash under cold water and drain and dry completely. Tip: Try your best to remove the moisture, which could dilute the dressing.
- Add all the vegetables (and any optional ingredients) to the bowl with the dressing in it. Toss everything and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
- You can keep the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Enjoy it soon while it's crunchy and fresh!
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on February 23, 2011. The images are updated with new step-by-step pictures in October 2017. The post has been updated in June 2020.