Load up on cabbage nutrients with this delicious Thai Cabbage Salad. It’s made with coleslaw, green onion, and mint, and flavored with spices, sugar, and vinegar! It’s a peanut free Asian slaw recipe that is great for feeding a crowd and prepping in advance.
Sometimes our body is craving a salad, but greens won’t cut it! When that’s the case, swapping the greens with cabbage could be just the thing that satisfies your taste buds. This salad checks all the boxes: it’s filling, satisfying, flavorful, and there isn’t a piece of lettuce, kale, or spinach in sight!
Instead, Thai cabbage salad uses a base of coleslaw combined with bell pepper and green onion. Then, we add additional flavor with a bit of mint and cilantro. The mix of those two herbs adds an earthy tanginess that tastes delish when paired with the rice vinegar and sesame oil dressing!
“Love this! Also added lots of Thai basil!” —Laurie
Ingredients in Thai Cabbage Salad
This salad calls for two mini ingredient lists. Everything can be found at your local grocery store, and you should be able to spot the rice vinegar and sesame oil with other condiments or on the baking aisle.
- Rice Vinegar: First up is ½ cup of rice vinegar. This adds a potent bite to the mix and makes a great base for the dressing.
- Sugar: Add a bit of sweet flavor by including ¼ cup of sugar. This is crucial for adding flavor while also offsetting the sourness of the vinegar.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Then, include 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil. This is going to add a rich nutty taste!
- Salt: Include ½ teaspoon of salt, because a bland dressing is a bad dressing.
- Red Pepper Flakes: ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes will add just a slight amount of heat. You can add more if you prefer things extra spicy.
- Garlic: Last up for the dressing will be 4 cloves of minced garlic. If preferred, you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (but fresh is usually best!).
- Coleslaw: 1 14-oz bag of coleslaw will serve as the base of the salad. Be sure to grab a variety with shredded carrots for extra flavor and crunch!
- Green Onions: Next up, you will need 6 green onions, which adds a subtle onion flavor (without the sharp bite of white onions).
- Red Bell Pepper: 1 red pepper pepper adds crunch, color, and even a bit of sweetness to the salad.
- Cilantro: Add even more flavor by including 1 bunch of cilantro. That should be about 1 cup of loose herbs or ½ cup chopped.
- Mint: Finally, complete the salad by including a few mint leaves torn into pieces.
Bonus ingredient: Avocado! If you’d like to add another layer to your dish, avocado is a great option. This will add flavor and texture while also supplying some healthy fats.
How to make Thai Red Cabbage Salad
This recipe is great for beginners and experienced cooks alike. Both parts (the dressing and the salad) involve simply mixing ingredients together, making it a quick recipe to whip togther! You’ll need only 15 minutes of prep time total.
Step 1: Create the dressing
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. They should be well combined and the sugar should dissolve. To help it along, you can pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm the vinegar, which should help dissolve the sugar faster.
Step 2: Prepare the salad
In a separate bowl, toss together all of the salad ingredients.
Step 3: Assemble
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly combine the ingredients. For the best results, chill the salad in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
Storing leftover salad
Thai cabbage salad is one of *those* recipes that is simply better with time. That’s why we recommend letting it chill for at least an hour before serving! When you let it sit, all of the ingredients are able to sit and mix together, and the flavor becomes that much better.
For this reason, it makes a great prep-ahead salad that stores exceptionally well! It’s great for including in vegetarian meal prep a few days ahead. To store, simply place in an airtight container and refrigerate. It should say delicious and fresh for up to 1 week.
Plays well with…
Whether you’re enjoying this salad as a side or as a main course, here are some delicious pairing ideas!
- Kimchi Tempeh Tacos: Spoon this salad on top of the tacos, or serve it alongside!
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup: Go the classic soup and salad route with this cauliflower option!
- Easy Chana Dal Recipe: Load up on nutrients with delicious chana dal.
- Kimchi Fries: Splurge and have French fries for dinner! This salad would be great heaped on top of the fries, or served alongside.
- ½ cup rice vinegar 120 mL
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 30 mL
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14-oz bag coleslaw with shredded carrots 397 g
- 6 green onions sliced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 bunch cilantro about 1 cup loose, ½ cup chopped
- A few mint leaves torn into a few pieces
- Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients to dissolve the sugar.
- Salad: In a separate bowl, toss together all salad ingredients.
- Assemble: Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to evenly combine. For best results, chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.