recipes, side dish, vegetarian & plant-based

Asian Red Cabbage Salad

If you’re having a hard time eating enough raw vegetables, cause let’s be honest, they could taste quite boring, this Asian red cabbage salad is for you! It’s light and bright, crunchy and creamy, spicy and sweet as well as salty and tangy. Basically, it combines all those different textures and flavors into one colorful, easy to make salad.

If you love delicious salad recipes, check out my smashed cucumber salad or my grilled cheese salad recipe! 

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Asian red cabbage salad with mango, cilantro and carrots served with a lime wedge on the side.
This Asian red cabbage salad is crunchy, creamy, salty and tangy with hints of sweetness and spiciness.

About this Recipe

Eating raw vegetables remains by far the best way to go when it comes to getting as many nutrients as possible. As unsexy and boring as it can sometimes be to skimp on raw carrot and celery sticks, it is unfortunately the most vitamin- and nutrient-preserving form of preparation.

But if you haven’t been into raw food before, and believe me, I totally get it, this Asian red cabbage salad might change your mind today. It’s basically raw food in its sexiest form.

Even we just combine some different kind of vegetables, fruit, and herbs, the combination of different textures and flavors makes this salad really exiting. And served with a creamy, tangy peanut dressing it will taste just like a bowl of comfort food.

If you want to serve your salad as a main course instead of a side dish, you could top it with some crispy tofu cubes, shrimps, or salmon. But more about that in a minute.

Asian red cabbage salad with mango, cilantro and carrots served with a lime wedge on the side.
Served with some extra proteins on top this salad is also a great and nourishing lunch or dinner.

Ingredients 

The quantities given in the recipe make about two servings of the Asian cabbage salad. But feel free to double, quadruple or halve these amounts, depending on how many servings you want to prepare.

Please note, I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

Salad Ingredients:

  • shredded red cabbage for color and crunch
  • two large carrots for even more color and even more crunch
  • half of a fresh, juicy mango
  • one red chili – This one is optional and should be omitted if you or one of your fellow eaters are sensitive to spiciness.
  • two scallions – Since we only need the green part, you can use the white part otherwise, for example in salads.
  • fresh cilantro or parsley depending on whether you’re team cilantro or not
  • a few squeezes of fresh lime juice for some acidity 
  • if desired, some coarsely chopped peanuts or cashews for even more crunch

For the dressing we’ll go with my creamy Thai inspired peanut sauce, because I’m in love with it and this salad calls for a creamy peanut dressing. Therefore, you’ll also need some peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut blossom sugar or brown sugar, lime juice, a pinch of ground coriander and cumin, a splash of water and a garlic clove or some garlic powder if you like.

Ingredients for a quick red cabbage salad: mango, red cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, chili, carrots, a lime and a bunch of scallions.
Salad Ingredients

Substitutions and Variations 

Especially, if you serve this salad as a main course, I recommend adding some extra proteins. This could be simply some edamame beans, some fried tofu cubes, some salmon or shrimps. 

If you need a great tofu recipe, go check out Pinch of Yum’s guide for making tofu and if you are more in the mood for salmon, I recommend baking it in the oven. So, here’s my guide for how to bake salmon in the oven.

You can also add some Chinese cabbage or another kind of cabbage to the salad. Just as you like and what you have on hand.

To make the salad gluten-free, simply replace the soy sauce in the dressing with tamari or coco aminos. To make it nut-free, omit the chopped nuts and use tahini, a sesame paste, instead of peanut butter.

Thinly sliced red cabbage on a wooden cutting board.
You can easily shred your cabbage with just a kitchen knife but a proper kitchen tool will make the job even easier.

How to Make this Recipe

If you are the proud owner of a mandoline, you can use it for this recipe. But a simple box grater or any kind of grater and a sharp knife will also do the job. 

So, first thing to do, is to shred the cabbage and carrots. Since I just had a knife and grater to work with, I cut the cabbage in half, removed the outermost leaves, and then cut it in very thin slices. But, as already mentioned, if you have a proper kitchen tool for shredding cabbage, go with it.

Next, we peel or wash the carrots and coarsely grate them. Then continue with the spring onions, which you should also rinse thoroughly and then either cut into thin rings or strips.

To keep the salad from getting too spicy, first cut your chili in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, which are responsible for most of the heat, and then cut the pepper into thin strips.

This process shot shows some thinly sliced scallions on a small cutting board.
I like cutting my scallions like this but cutting them into rings is fine, too.

Moving on to the dressing, in a bowl, combine the peanut butter, with soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and spices. Then gradually adding the water until the dressing reaches the desired consistency. Although we serve it as a dressing, I would leave it thicker and creamier. This is because the mango and the fresh squeezes of lime juice add some extra liquid to the salad, which would otherwise make the dressing too runny.

Finally, peel the mango and cut it into cubes or strips. And before I try to explain this to you in detail, I just link this mango tutorial I found on YouTube. So, if you’re having a hard time peeling and cutting mangos, go check out this video. 

Now all what’s left to do is mixing everything together. In a bowl, add the cabbage, carrots, mango, chili, scallions and the dressing and give it a toss. Then season to taste with some lime juice, salt, pepper and add some roughly chopped cilantro leaves. 

If you like, you can now add some chopped nuts and then this super delicious red cabbage salad is ready to serve.

This process shot shows thin mango slices on a cutting board as well as half a mango and a kitchen knife next to it.
I like to cut my mango into thin slices, but little cubes are fine as well.

How to Serve

You can serve this salad either as a side dish or as a main course. As a side dish it goes very well with South Asian recipes. You can also stuff it into summer rolls or sandwiches or mix it into delicious Poke bowls.

If you want to enjoy it as a light main course, I would serve it with some protein. For example, edamame beans, crispy tofu, salmon (check out my recipe for how to bake salmon in the oven) or some warm or cold shrimps.

Here’s How to Save this Recipe or Make It in Advance

If you want to meal prep the recipe and save it for the next few days, I would keep the dressing separate from the salad. That way you can make sure it doesn’t get too watery from the liquid in the mango. 

However, if you unintentionally end up with some leftovers, you can keep the slaw in the fridge for one to three days. Just put it into a sealable container.

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

How to serve red cabbage salad?

The salad goes perfectly with tofu, fish and seafood like shrimp. You can also serve it in summer rolls, poke bowls, or as a side dish.

Can I make the salad without mango?

Sure. Instead of mango, you can use pineapple or just omit the fruit altogether.

How to make the Asian cabbage salad nut free?

As an alternative to peanut butter, you can use tahini for the dressing. In addition, you should also omit the chopped nuts in the salad.

Save for later

Click the pin button and add the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards. This way you can also easily bookmark the recipe for later. The pin button will appear as soon as you hover over the picture. 

Click on the button in the upper left corner to save this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards.
Click on the button in the upper left corner to save this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards.

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I hope you like this Asian red cabbage salad and that you give it a try soon. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes). 

In case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

And if you loved this recipe, you may also link some of my other Asian inspired recipes! 

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

Asian red cabbage salad with mango, cilantro and carrots served with a lime wedge on the side.

Asian Red Cabbage Salad

Julia Schmitt
Red cabbage salad served with shredded carrots, mango, fresh lime juice and a creamy peanut dressing. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 243 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 mandoline or a box grater and sharp knife

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • ¼ to ½ head of red cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 scallions (green part only)
  • 1 red chili pepper (medium to hot)
  • ½ mango
  • fresh cilantro (alternatively parsley)
  • 1 handful of peanut or cashews
  • 1 lime
  • salt, pepper

Dressing

  • 40 g peanut butter (≈2.5 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp coconut blossom sugar
  • 1 pinch of cumin and coriander
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 clove of garlic or garlic powder (optional)

Instructions
 

Vegetables

  • Remove the outermost leaves from the cabbage, cut the cabbage in halve and then cut one of these halves into thin slices.
    Thinly sliced red cabbage on a wooden cutting board.
  • Wash or peel the carrots and grate them coarsely. Rinse the chili, cut it in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and cut the pepper thinly.
    Shredded carrots and a thinly sliced chili on a wooden cutting board.
  • Wash the scallions and cut the green part into rings or thin strips.
    This process shot shows some thinly sliced scallions on a small cutting board.
  • Peel the mango and cut it into thin strips or cubes. Pluck off the cilantro leaves and chop them coarsely as well as the nuts.
    This process shot shows thin mango slices on a cutting board as well as half a mango and a kitchen knife next to it.

Dressing

  • In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, spices, and lime juice. Gradually add the water but make sure the dressing stays nicely creamy and rather thick than runny. Stir in some garlic powder or finely minced garlic, if desired.
    Process shot showing that finely diced garlic, spices and water is mixed into the sauce.

Serve

  • In a salad bowl, add the cabbage, carrots, scallions, mango, cilantro, chili, nuts, and the dressing and give it a toss. Season with a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
    A bowl of shredded vegetables next to a small bowl with a creamy peanut dressing

Notes

Nutritional Values per Serving:
  • calories: 243 kcal
  • fat: 12.3 g
    • unsaturated fatty acids: 2.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 22.9 g
    • sugar: 18.1 g
    • fiber: 6.8 g
  • protein: 8.8 g

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal
Keyword mango, peanut butter, red cabbage, slaw
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