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 the 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 the 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 stove-top.
- 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
Like 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 the 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 stove top 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 meal time.
Since cabbage is a strong vegetable, it doesn’t wilt easily and will hold up to the dressing for awhile. 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!
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.