Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad
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Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad is a classic potluck dish that I’ve made a hundred times. I tweaked the recipe slightly, by adding shelled edamame and adjusting the salad dressing to up the health factor. Still SO good and an easy recipe I keep coming back to again and again!
Cabbage is one vegetable that holds up so well to dressings, which is awesome for prepping ahead. Be sure to try my Cruciferous Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette or my Creamy Coleslaw Recipe next!
Asian Salad Recipe
I may be dating myself, but how many of you recognize this cabbage salad? You know the one with ramen in it? Well, if your hand is up, stay tuned because I’ve made this one HEALTHIER. It’s still awesomely tasty, but it has zero refined sugar and skips that nasty salt bomb in the tiny little packet of the ramen noodles. Is this ringing a bell yet?
My mother made this salad for SO many potlucks back in the day, and I have too. I’ve made a lot of salads over the last couple of years, and love playing with ingredients to make it both tasty and healthy. Gone are the days of eating boring lifeless salads. Bring on all of the flavor, the crunch, and the familiarity.
If you want to add some protein to this salad, a simple rotisserie chicken would be great.
For some other mains, I’ve got ideas! Try one of the best burgers ever – my Juicy Lucy Burgers (with goat cheese) or a big old stuffed steak, like my Stuffed Flank Steak. The Juiciest Grilled Chicken Skewers are also a perfect main dish to pair with this cabbage salad.
Ingredients Used for Asian Cabbage Salad
- Packaged Cabbage Slaw – It’s so easy to buy a package of coleslaw mix. I especially like the one with the shredded carrots. Alternatively, you could chop your own green cabbage if desired.
- Red Cabbage – I love the color and flavor of red cabbage in this salad. But you could also use an equivalent amount of extra packaged slaw.
- Matchstick Carrots – I like to make my own matchstick carrots which is super easy. You’ll need about two large carrots. You can also buy pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store.
- Shelled Edamame – These are found in the frozen vegetable section of your grocery store. Make sure you buy the SHELLED version for ease. After cooking these in the microwave, I like to add a sprinkle of kosher salt.
- Green Onions – You’ll want some green onions for added flavor.
- Package of Ramen Noodles – Make sure you toss that seasoning packet! Just break up the noodles and toast them on the stovetop.
- Slivered Almonds – Add them to the pan of ramen noodles and toast them up. You’ll know they’re ready to go once you can smell them. Be careful to avoid burning though!
- Shelled Sunflower Seeds – This is an optional salad topping, but one I keep on hand because we use them in so many recipes.
Ingredients needed for the Salad Dressing
As I mentioned, I tweaked this recipe to make it healthier, and the majority of the adjustments were in the salad dressing. Who needs a ton of sugar in A SALAD?! Not me.
- Oil – I almost always use sesame oil (not pure!) but you could also use canola or even olive oil if desired.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The apple cider vinegar adds a nice tang to the dressing.
- Honey – I love using honey to sweeten dressings instead of sugar. The original recipe had way too much sugar, so this is an easy way to up the health factor.
- Soy Sauce – Helps to provide an Asian flavor. Soy Sauce also contains a strong Unami flavor.
- Chili Paste or Sriracha – These ingredients add some additional flavor (and color!). They won’t make it super spicy. Try it, you’ll like it!
- Salt and Pepper – Add to taste.
How to make Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad
- Make dressing. Mix the salad dressing together by combining the oil, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste (or sriracha), and salt & pepper. Shake vigorously. Set aside, or in the refrigerator, if you are prepping in advance.
- Prep edamame. Microwave the frozen edamame. Add a pinch of salt, and let cool.
- Toast ramen. Break up the ramen noodles, and toast on the stovetop until fragrant and slightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- Toast almonds. Toast the slivered almonds as well. Set aside to cool.
- Combine. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. To serve, drizzle salad dressing on top, and mix well. Add some shelled sunflower seeds and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
Three options for adding the dressing:
- Add all the salad dressing when you make it, or well in advance of your meal.
- Before adding the ramen or nuts, add the dressing, and then add ramen and nuts right before serving.
- Apply dressing to individual salads at mealtime.
Since cabbage is a strong vegetable, it doesn’t wilt easily and will hold up to the dressing for a while. I tend to like it better when the salad has time to soak up some of the flavors from the dressing, but you do you. 😀
Other Potluck Salad Ideas
What do they call potlucks now? Share-a-dish? Bring-a-plate? Hmmm. Do tell. What do YOU call it?
- Creamy Potato Salad – My beautiful mother’s recipe that she made at all the potlucks. SO good.
- Summer Pasta Salad – One of my more recent salads that is OH SO GOOD too. 😀
- Mexican Quinoa Salad – This is the salad that kept us alive during our kitchen remodel, friends! Still one of my favs.
- Creamy Coleslaw Recipe – A coleslaw that goes great on a pulled pork sandwich!
Kitchen Tools Used (affiliate links)
Make this salad next: Healthy Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing
Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad
For the salad:
- 16 oz package cabbage slaw
- 1 1/2 cups red cabbage – chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup green onions – diced
- 8 oz. shelled edamame
- 3 oz. package ramen noodles – broken into pieces, and toasted
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds -toasted
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds – optional topping
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup regular sesame oil – or canola oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce – or a few dashes more
- 2 teaspoons chili paste or sriracha – for a little spice and taste (optional)
- salt and pepper – to taste
- Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and refrigerate.
- Microwave the shelled edamame according to package directions. Remove from package to cool.
- Spread the ramen noodle pieces and slivered almonds in a large saucepan. Toast on medium heat, just until you can smell them and they are slightly browned. Remove from heat to a paper towel to cool.
- Combine the cabbage slaw, red cabbage, shredded carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. Add cooled edamame, ramen noodles, and slivered almonds. Stir to combine.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and stir. Serve immediately.
- You can omit the red cabbage, and just add more green cabbage mix, if desired.
- This salad can also be prepared by adding the dressing about an hour before serving. Wait to add the ramen, almonds, and sunflower seeds until serving, for best results.
- You can add dressing to individual servings as well, if you don’t plan to eat the entire salad.
Made this salad for a gathering with friends. People came back for seconds. Always a good sign. It was delicious!
One of our favorites! Thanks Jackie!
My mom used to make this salad, but her recipe called for a full cup of sugar…yikes! The honey is so much better! I made this recipe as one of the salads for our Easter family dinner but with a couple of additions. The shreadded cabbage from my store already has lots of purple cabbage and carrots mixed in it, so I added two small cans of sliced water chestnuts. Instead of sunflower seeds, I toasted about an ounce of pinenuts with the slivered almonds and sesame seeds. I had some toasted sesame seed oil that I added to the regular sesame oil for a little more nutty flavor. Instead of Ramen, I used La Choy Asian-style Crunchy Rice Noodles. Finally, I had about two cups of leftover cooked chicken breast that I cubed, marinated in some soy sauce, and tossed into the salad with the toasted nuts/seeds and noodles just before serving. It was delicious, and I had enough left over to enjoy for a couple of meals after Easter dinner!
Just one ramen noodles?
The recipe calls for one 3-ounce package of ramen noodles. Feel free to use more if you’d like.
Delicious! The only thing I did different was to save the flavor packet from the ramen and added it to season the dressing. Gave a nice kick as opposed to salt/pepper. Also added 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections.
Sounds great Jennifer!
Love it!! Thanks!
I love this healthy salad recipe.
I had this ramen cabbage years ago with sugar and who knows what in the dressing. I love this recipe the best, by far. The dressing is just perfect and the addition of the edamame is great. This is a keeper.
Thank you, Renee! We love this lightened up version too. 🙂
This recipe is very easy to follow. Thank you for sharing this recipe without the dressing loaded with sugar! I love making this salad, which is 100% healthy, but the cup of sugar in the dressing that most recipes call for completely negates the healthy! Yours is a perfectly delicious alternative. I agree with letting the dressing soak into the salad for a few hours before eating. I make a whole head of white and red Cabbage, which yields a tremendous salad that we eat over a few days. We add the ramen and nuts only when we serve, so they don’t get soggy.
Hi Margaret! I’m so glad you enjoy this salad. It’s one of our favorites too! 🙂
Making this salad for at least the 100th time!! It is my favorite right next to your Spinach Salad!! So yummy & filling!
Hi Tiffany! So glad you enjoy the cabbage salad so much. We love it too!
I am excited to try this modified version of an old stand by. Just confirming that the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sesame oil. It’s a strong oil and I have never used more than a few drops or perhaps a tsp.
Make sure you are using regular sesame oil (the clear one), instead of toasted sesame oil (the dark one used for finishing). You can also use regular canola oil if you wish.
I can see myself making this and enjoying it throughout the week. Love how colorful & crunchy it is.
Yes, enjoy Ariella!
Cabbage is my favorite. This slaw is full of flavor and texture. Easy to make and a big hit with the family.
Thanks for your feedback, Eileen! We love this salad too. 🙂
Mmmm, everything I like in a bowl! Love this alongside BBQ meats.
I’m actually making this again today. So glad you like it, Colleen!
Love crunchy salads and this one is definitely on my list now. Lately, I been trying to make more Asian inspired recipes and I will bookmark this recipe.
Oh great. We love this salad, and I think you will too!
Love all the colors and crunch. I’m with you on dressings – I appreciate some sweetener helps in a number, but there really shouldn’t be too much. Honey is definitely my preference for things like this. We’re big edamame fans so love them in there too.
We eat a ton of edamame, and it’s a nice surprise in this salad. Enjoy, Caroline!
I recognize this salad and love that you made it healthier, but still kept the raman!
Thanks Terry! I hope you enjoy the salad!
I love salads like this! Full of flavor and fresh veggies I’m adding this to my list of new salads to try!
Let me know how you like the salad, Anne! 🙂
This is perfect for summer lunch by the pool!
Exactly! Enjoy the salad, Laura!
Healthy and delicious 😋
Thank you so much Laura! 🙂
Easy to make, not a lot of dishes to do after, healthy, and extremely yummy!
Just made this again too. One of our favorites!! ?
How long would the dressing last in the fridge?
Hi Jasmine, I think this dressing would be fine in the refrigerator for a few days. Just shake it up really really well before adding it to the salad.
This is an old family favorite, even the lightened up version is fantastic!!
Yup, the old version was loaded with sugar. This one is just as tasty, and way healthier!
Just made this salad for dinner. I added cooked-then-chilled shrimp and used sesame oil/sunflower oil mix instead of canola. Oh and added some red pepper flakes on top. It was delicious! We ate 2 heaping bowls each, oopsie! I will definitely make this again, thanks for the yummy recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cabbage salad, Tricia! It’s one of my favorites. Thanks so much for your feedback! 🙂
We all know salads are healthy for you, but sometimes they get boring. This salad is awesome and is different than most! It won’t disappoint.
This one is definitely NOT boring. Thanks for the feedback!