This quick, easy and utterly deliciously crunchy Asian salad is my go-to when I want something vibrant, healthy and fresh. Lots of crunchy veggies are tossed with a very gingery, sweet chilli jam based dressing you’ll love.
Get ready for a salad so good, you’ll want to eat it as a meal by itself! It’s perfect with grilled chicken, fish or barbecued meat, on top of a poke bowl, topped with crispy sweet chilli halloumi or piled onto flatbreads.
It’s also fab because you can switch up the ingredients based on what you have to hand – use white or red cabbage, cucumber, carrots, radishes or green beans – anything crunchy works well.
- Shredded crunchy vegetables. I’m using a mix of white and red cabbage as my base to keep things straightforward, but you could throw in anything you like. Diced or ribbons of cucumber, carrots, radishes and broccoli would be great.
- Fresh herbs. I’m going in with lovely fresh cilantro leaves, but you could use mint or flat-leaf parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan.
- Sesame seeds. Toast your sesame seeds! I can’t tell you how much this impacts the flavour.
I’m also using red chilli for some heat, but leave that out if you’re not into spice.
For the dressing
Rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, sweet chilli jam and soy sauce combine to make the most deliciously moreish dressing. I love using my homemade chilli jam in this dressing because it’s an easy shortcut to a real depth of flavour. It’s got loads of garlic, ginger, lime and chilli in it already so it means you don’t have to add those ingredients to the dressing. It’s a one-stop flavour shop.
How to make the salad
Start by shredding all your veggies. I love using a mandoline for this because it’s a lot faster, but if you’re cutting with a knife just be sure to cut them as finely as you can. Then you’ll chop the scallions, cilantro and chilli (if you’re using it) and pop everything into a bowl.
PRO TIP: If you’re making this in advance, you can prep the ingredients to this point, then pop the bowl, covered, into the fridge. You don’t want to add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, because it can go a little soggy.
Mix your dressing, then when you’re ready to serve, toss the dressing through the salad along with a tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds. Transfer to a serving platter and dig in.
Got a question?
You can! I often make this salad for parties, so I’ll get all the vegetables shredded and add the herbs and scallions to a bowl, then cover it and pop it in the fridge until I’m nearly ready to serve. I’ll often make the dressing the day before and then store it in the fridge until I’m ready to toss it through and finish it off. The dressing will keep well for at least 2 weeks, stored in the fridge.
You can use sweet chilli sauce, honey or hot honey sauce, and then just add 2 crushed garlic cloves and grate in an inch-sized piece of ginger (or 1 tablespoon of ginger paste).
You can store the salad for up to 2 days covered in the fridge – it won’t be as crunchy or vibrant in colour after the first day but you can still absolutely eat it. I like it in sandwiches or wraps the next day!
Four ways to use the salad
This salad is a staple for me and I love using it in so many different ways!
- Stuff into steamed bao buns with egg-free aioli and sticky gochujang chicken.
- Pair with miso grilled chicken for the best chicken salad around.
- Pile sweet chilli glazed halloumi on top for a hit of protein.
- Use it as the salad base in sticky pulled pork sliders.
Like this recipe? Here are some more easy salads you might enjoy
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print