coleslaw with green onions

Creamy American-style coleslaw is a picnic staple and is something frequently used to top sandwiches, as well. This Asian-style coleslaw, however, makes for a fresher, more flavorful, and even healthier change of pace. Recipe developer Catherine Brookes describes the dish as "full of color, goodness, and crunch." She goes on to say that it is also pretty easy to put together, as well. Brookes likes to add some chopped chili peppers to the dish, saying that this "gives it a slight spicy kick that you don’t often get with traditional coleslaw recipes."

Brookes suggests using this Asian-style slaw "as a side to a stir fry or noodle/rice dish, or even with sushi," but you don’t have to limit it to being served with Asian dishes alone. Why not use it on tacos or chicken sandwiches, or as a side dish for barbecued chicken, seafood, or steak? It could even work as a hot dog or burger topping, or you could top it with canned tuna for a quick, healthy meal.

Assemble the ingredients for this Asian-inspired coleslaw

ingredients for coleslaw and dressing

For this coleslaw, you’ll need carrots, cabbage, and bell peppers. Brookes, concerned with color contrast, likes to use both red and green cabbage, but it you don’t really have a use for the leftovers, you can just go monochromatic with a single cabbage of either color. You could also opt for a green or yellow bell pepper instead of a red one if that’s what’s available. You’ll also need some green onions for a salad topper.

You’ll also, of course, need a dressing for this coleslaw, and this is made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, honey, olive oil, and chopped chilis. Serranos, Thai chiles, or even jalapeños will all work here — basically any small, hot peppers. If you can find red ones like Brookes uses, it will make for more of a color contrast, but the important thing is the flavor so green chilis are okay to use.

Prepare the produce

shredded and chopped vegetables

Begin by peeling the carrots, then shred them, along with the cabbage, using a box grater or the shredding blade on your food processor. Chop the bell peppers and the chili peppers (the latter in a finer dice, of course), peel and crush or mince the garlic, chop the scallions and juice the lime.

Make the dressing

salad dressing with chopped chiles

Combine the oil with the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and lime juice. Stir in the chopped peppers and the garlic.

Toss everything together and serve

cabbage carrot coleslaw in bowl

Mix all the chopped vegetables together in a big bowl, then drizzle them with the dressing. Toss the coleslaw so all of the vegetables are evenly coated with dressing. Sprinkle the scallions over the salad. If you like, you can also add some sesame seeds and/or some chopped cilantro.

  • ½ red cabbage head
  • ½ green cabbage head
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped Serrano pepper (or other hot chili)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish
  1. Shred the cabbage and carrots using a box grater.
  2. Dice the bell peppers.
  3. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, honey, olive oil and chopped chilis.
  4. Combine the chopped vegetables.
  5. Toss the vegetables with the dressing.
  6. Garnish the salad with scallions, adding sesame seeds and/or cilantro if desired.