Asian Cabbage Salad

4.84 from 6 votes

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This Asian cabbage salad is the perfect combination of ingredients. From crunchy green and red cabbage to carrots and peppers, this salad doesn’t need any lettuce. It also has chopped almonds, fresh cilantro, scallions and almond ginger dressing.

For another salad with similar flavors, try this napa cabbage salad recipe.

Asian Cabbage Salad

Why You’ll Love This Salad

Cabbage should be your new favorite kind of lettuce. Cut very thinly or shredded, cabbage is incredibly crisp and fresh. You will be amazed at the yield you get from even half a head of cabbage because of the densely packed leaves. It is sturdy enough to stand up to creamy dressings and other additions.

Besides cabbage, the salad has other wonderfully crunchy ingredients. Carrots, red bell peppers, scallions and chopped almonds all contribute to the texture of the salad.

This nutty salad dressing is incredible. Made with almond butter, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh lime juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar, you will adore this creamy vinaigrette.

How To Cut Cabbage

You’ll notice in this cabbage salad recipe that I use both red cabbage and green cabbage—a half head of each. I love the color mix. To cut cabbage:

  1. Slice the head in half.
  2. Cut the halves in half, so you end up with quarters.
  3. Trim the stems at the bottoms of each section.
  4. Thinly slice the cabbage perpendicular to the stem.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients including cabbage, carrots, peppers, cilantro, almonds, olive oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger and garlic.

This is what you need:

  • Cabbage: As a lover of colorful vibrant salads, I use both red and green cabbage. But you can use all of one or the other. If you substitute with Napa cabbage, the salad will not have as much crunch because it has softer leaves.
  • Carrots: To go with the shredded cabbage, I peel and cut the carrots in matchsticks. Of course, you can buy shredded carrots to save time.
  • Red bell peppers: I also slice a red pepper into long slender matchsticks. You can substitute with another bell pepper color.
  • Scallions add light, crisp green onion flavor to the salad.
  • Cilantro is the best choice for fresh herbs to pair with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Almonds add nutty crunch. You can use peanuts instead. If you do that swap, I recommend switching from almond butter to peanut butter in the vinaigrette.
  • Sesame seeds are that last (but very important) addition to the salad.
  • Ginger almond vinaigrette: Usually, I am an oil and vinegar without much else kind of dressing person, but cabbage leaves can handle something more. So I add almond butter, which makes the dressing ingredients creamier. It also has minced garlic, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and no surprise, fresh ginger. The dressing is citrusy and a touch salty and sweet bringing everything together.

Optional Additions

If you want even more variety in this salad, you can add:

  • Shelled edamame
  • Snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Mandarin oranges

How To Make This Asian Cabbage Salad

1. Cut and prep the cabbage and the rest of the ingredients.

2. Combine the cabbage, carrots, peppers, scallions, cilantro, almonds and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Shredded cabbage on a cutting board. Salad ingredients assembled in a bowl.

3. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the almond butter, minced ginger and garlic, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.

4. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad mixture and toss everything around.

Ginger almond vinaigrette whisked in a bowl. Dressing drizzled into salad in a large bowl.

How to Serve this Cabbage Salad

You can serve this salad as a side dish, even like Asian cabbage slaw, or as a main dish. If you want to make it more filling, add baked tofu or rotisserie chicken. Pair the salad with honey garlic tofu, soba noodles with mushrooms & bok choy or sesame tofu asparagus. For proteins, the salad works with salmon, pork, shrimp or chicken dishes.

Leftovers & Storage

Since the base of the salad is cabbage, carrots and peppers, they will retain their bite for 3 days if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. If you are going to save some of the salad, only toss what you are planning to eat at a time in the vinaigrette, which should be stored in a separate jar.

Recipe Tips

Pre-cut veggies are a great shortcut. I like this exact balance of cabbage, carrots and peppers as the recipe is written, but I know not everyone is confident in their knife skills. You can use a pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix that includes carrots. Then stir in the scallions, cilantro and chopped almonds before drizzling in the dressing.

The salad can be made ahead of time. You can prep the dressing a couple days in advance. If is hardens in the chilly temperature of the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature until it liquefies again. You can also run the container or jar it’s in under warm water at the kitchen sink.

Soy sauce is not gluten-free because it contains wheat. Substitute with tamari-style soy sauce with a label that says gluten-free.

More Salad Recipes

Kale Brussels Sprout Pear Salad
Apple Cabbage Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad
Carrot Salad with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette
Jicama Salad with Cabbage

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Asian Cabbage Salad

4.84 from 6 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Crunchy and nutty, this Asian cabbage salad is a mix of purple and green cabbage, carrots, peppers and cilantro with an irresistible almond ginger vinaigrette.


For salad

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded or julienned carrots, matchstick size
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For dressing

  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Combine the cabbage, carrots, peppers, scallions, cilantro, almonds and sesame seeds in a large bowl.
  • For the dressing, whisk together the almond butter, ginger, garlic, lime juice, oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle the dressing into the salad tossing to coat.


You can use a pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix for a shortcut for the cabbage, carrots and peppers.
The almonds and almond butter can be substituted with peanuts and peanut butter.
The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Keep the dressing in a separate jar. If you are planning to have leftovers, try to not toss that portion in the dressing.


Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7742IU | Vitamin C: 145mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
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Originally published February 22, 2021. Updated April 3, 2023.

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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. As not to have to go to the corner shop and to just use my ‘last ingredients’ :), I used only pointed cabbage and green bell pepper; but with the coriander and the dressing it was divine. Oh, I did not put in almond butter (didn’t have), but with heaps of chopped skinned almonds it got both the crunch and some creaminess anyway. I put a little more ginger, as I loooove ginger; the ratio of the dressing is so good!