There is nothing better in the summer than a simple coleslaw with some homemade dressing. There are so many variations to this recipe, but this Asian summer slaw is one I've been making for many years now. And it's always a hit at every BBQ and potluck I bring it to - often the first one that gets totally wiped out! Packed with nutritious but super cheap and simple ingredients, and finished with a delicious peanut slaw dressing. Let's go!
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📋 Ingredients & variations
I love to have a good mixture of nutrition and texture in my coleslaw recipes. And this Asian slaw uses a homemade peanut dressing that's fresh and light to bring all the flavors together!
- Crunchy cabbage: I typically like to slice my own cabbage for coleslaw using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife. However, if you are short on time, you can definitely pick up prepackaged coleslaw mix at the supermarket as well. You can also mix up both red and green cabbage instead of using just one variety here.
- Carrots: I love using carrots in my coleslaw for both the color and the crunch. I tend to use a julienne peeler or sometimes just throw it into the food processor with the julienne attachment as well. I've found using a peeler shreds it into the nice strips that we like to see! You can also just pick up shredded carrots at the grocery store.
- Scallions: I love using scallions in this recipe because they're fresh, and give that "onion" flavor without overpowering the slaw.
- Toasted peanuts: I love adding toasted peanuts since the dressing is also a peanut-based sauce and I like to bring those flavors together! But you can also almost any toasted seeds or nuts - whether that's pine nuts, pepitas, or any other mixed seeds.
- Cilantro: I love to add some cilantro in my coleslaw since it gives a nice boost of freshness. However, if you're one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap (I'm sorry, but I do see you) - you can use almost any herbs in this red cabbage slaw. I have previously used both mint and basil to deliciousness, so that's another place to start.
🍶 Homemade coleslaw dressing
This Asian summer slaw uses a really delicious, peanut-based coleslaw dressing to bring it all together. No mayonnaise, no vinegar. So, the recipe is vegan too! For my peanut-dressing, I use peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and some garlic all whisked together. There are two other variations that I love for this recipe.
- Simple lemony vinaigrette: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and some minced garlic to about ¼ cup of olive oil and then whisk them well together for a super delicious and light vinaigrette
- Miso-ginger vinaigrette: If you have some miso handy, I love to add 2 tablespoons each of white miso paste and lime juice, a tablespoon each of toasted sesame oil and tahini along, along with 1 teaspoon of grated ginger. Whisk this all together for a creamy miso vinaigrette!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
I love to serve this Asian coleslaw with so many things - especially during the summer. It's such a simple, bright and refreshing, and nutritious side that it's hard to NOT serve this with everything. But some of my favorites things to serve this with include anything heavy (like my kimchi mac and cheese) with rice dishes (like my quick fried rice) or even with tacos (like my gochujang cauliflower tacos). Occasionally, I'd just eat this for lunch.
I recommend eating this coleslaw when it's made fresh, but it does stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days, when stored in an airtight container.
If you're looking for vegetarian BBQ sides with a global twist, don't forget to check out these recipes:
Asian Summer Slaw
- 2 cup red cabbage shredded thinly
- 2 cup green cabbage shredded thinly
- 1 cup carrots julienned
- 3 scallions chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup toasted peanuts substitute with any mixed nuts or seeds - you can buy toasted or toast them at home
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (chiffonade)
Homemade coleslaw dressing
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce substitute with tamari as needed
- 3 garlic cloves minced or substitute with 2-3 tsp of minced garlic and adjust to taste
- ½ tsp salt
- Optional: if you're toasting peanuts at home, preheat oven to 350F and roast the peanuts in the oven for about 15 minutes
- Shred the cabbage into fine strips (use a mandoline or a food processor). Julienne the carrots using a peeler or food processor. Alternatively, get pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. Chop up the scallions and cilantro ( setting aside some cilantro for garnish)
- Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and salt to a mason jar and whisk with a fork to combine - add some water to thin the sauce if you'd prefer that
- Assemble the slaw by adding all the chopped ingredients into a mixing bowl, and tossing with the peanut dressing
- Garnish with cilantro and toasted peanuts
- You can either shred the vegetables at home or you can buy pre-shredded vegetables at the store - whatever is easier for you!
- The peanut dressing is one option - but the post also has variations with a lemony vinaigrette and a creamier miso-ginger dressing if either of those appeal to you instead.