Crunchy Asian Slaw

This quick, easy, and crunchy Asian slaw is cool, creamy, and full of all of the delicious Asian flavors that you love.  It’s a great side for everything from tacos, burgers, and barbecue, to hot and spicy Asian dishes.

Bowl of Crunchy Asian Slaw - crunchy shredded vegetables in a salty/sweet dressing.

Fresh, sweet, and just a bit tangy, this crunchy Asian slaw is a perfect way to get more vegetables into your family.  It works well as a first course as well as a perfect side for almost any main course.

I like to serve this with a Cool Lychee Martini, Green Tea Glazed Chicken Wings, Easy Vegetable Lo Mein, Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans, and Creamy Matcha Lychee Ice cream for an Asian inspired meal that will be a hit with your family.

Why Make A Crunchy Asian Slaw

I think every region or culture has its own version of slaw.  Some have a vinegar base, some have a mayonnaise or sour cream base.

Another regional difference is how the cabbage is cut.  The Northern states like a ‘chunkier’ cut to the cabbage, while down South, a fine dice is what’s most accepted.

The layering of flavors makes this crunchy Asian slaw interesting.  The acidity of the vinegar complements and balances out a fatty or rich entree – such as beef, pork, or chicken.

The cool, creamy elements of this crunchy Asian slaw helps to take the heat out of a spicy dish – like Szechuan chicken or Hunan beef.  

Finally, the crunch of this slaw adds a beautiful and interesting texture to your plate.

Bowl of shredded cabbage, carrots, pear, and cilantro to make Crunchy Asian Slaw.

Ingredients Needed

  • Fresh vegetables – red cabbage, green cabbage or bok choy, celery, daikon radish, pear, scallions, garlic, ginger, and cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Olive oil
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce or Tamari
  • Salt
  • Chili paste – I used Sambal Oelek
  • Toasted, chopped nuts or sesame seeds, as a garnish.


  • Use bagged slaws from your grocery store.  This saves a lot of time chopping vegetables.
  • Alternatively, use your food processor to shred the cabbage, carrots, and pear.
  • Make the dressing ahead of time and store it in your refrigerator.  Just before prepping the rest of your dinner, toss your vegetables with your dressing and allow them to chill until dinnertime.
  • Buy a prepared slaw dressing and just add a few of the Asian flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger.


  1. Swap plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream for a bit of a protein boost.
  2. Try rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or umeboshi plum vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.
  3. Use jarred minced garlic and ginger found in your produce section to save time in chopping or grating fresh.
  4. Add sweetness by tossing in raisins or dried cranberries.  Use minced candied ginger instead of the grated fresh ginger for additional sweetness and a hint of spice.
  5. Make your sauce gluten-free by using Tamari instead of soy sauce.

Difference Between Soy And Tamari

Both soy sauce and tamari are the byproducts of fermented soybeans.  However, soy sauce is derived from soybeans that are roasted with grains, which are then fermented and pressed to expel the soy sauce.

Tamari is formed from the production of miso paste.  No grain is added to the soybeans, so there is no gluten in Tamari.  It’s also higher in protein than soy sauce and usually has fewer additives.

Bowl of Crunchy Asian Slaw - crunchy shredded vegetables in a salty/sweet dressing.

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Crunchy Asian Slaw


An easy to prepare, versatile, crunchy, Asian slaw recipe that’s healthy and tasty. This flavorful slaw is perfect for a quick dinner or lunch.  It’s also the perfect cooling complement to those spicy Asian meals.


  • 67 cups juliened or shredded vegetables and fruit. I like shredded cabbage-both red and green, thinly sliced celery, green pepper, daikon radish and shredded pear for sweetness and texture
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped

For dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½1 teaspoon chili paste- like Sambal Oelek (depending on how much heat you like)

For toppings:

  • Toasted, chopped nuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Roughly torn, fresh cilantro and/or mint leaves


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust for salt, sweetness, and heat. Add additional salt, honey, or chili paste if needed. Set aside.
  2. In a large serving bowl, toss together the julienned or shredded vegetables and fruit (if using), scallions, and cilantro leaves
  3. Pour dressing over the vegetables and use salad tongs to toss well and coat all the vegetables with dressing. Garnish with nuts, seeds, or cilantro/mint. Enjoy.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Starters - Salads
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Serving Size: 6

Keywords: Crunchy Asian Slaw, side dish recipe, salad recipe, vegetable recipes, Asian foods

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