This quick, easy and utterly delicious crunchy Asian salad recipe is my go-to when I want something vibrant, healthy and fresh. Lots of crunchy veggies are tossed with a salty, sweet, spicy and sour dressing you’ll love.
Get ready for a salad so good, you’ll want to just 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 golden halloumi or stuffed into wraps and sandwiches. Plus, it’s super versatile and something I make every week. This one will convert even the most ardent salad hater!
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…anything crunchy and you’ll be good!
- 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, thank me later.
I’m also using red chilli for a heat hit, but leave that out if you’re not into spice.
For the dressing
Rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, chilli jam and soy sauce combine to make the most deliciously addictive dressing ever. 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. 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.
It’s time to make the delicious dressing. Add rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, chilli jam, soy sauce and half a teaspoon of salt into a small bowl then give that a good mix to combine. If you don’t have chilli jam, use sweet chilli sauce or honey, and add 2 crushed garlic cloves and a 2cm piece of grated ginger. Once 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 or honey, and then just add 2 crushed garlic cloves and a 2cm piece of grated 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 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.
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Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you went in the comments below! I love hearing about how you get on with my creations.Print
Crunchy Asian salad with Sweet Chilli Dressing
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
This quick, easy and utterly delicious crunchy Asian salad recipe is my go-to when I want something vibrant, healthy and fresh. Lots of crunchy veggies are tossed with a salty, sweet and sour dressing you’ll love.
Remember, if you’re looking for US measurements, just use the ‘Units’ section below and click on ‘US’.
- 500g crunchy vegetables of your choice (I’m using 250g white cabbage and 250g red cabbage)
- 4 scallions (spring onions)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 red chilli (optional)
For the dressing –
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chilli jam (try making my easy chilli jam recipe) or use sweet chilli sauce/honey and add 2 crushed garlic cloves and a 2cm piece of ginger, grated)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free or vegan version)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Shred the vegetables. I like using a mandoline because it makes it a lot easier, but you can use a knife. I find the easiest way to cut cabbage is to cut a portion off the head, and then chop that into fine slices. It’s a lot easier than trying to chop a round cabbage! Get the shredded vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the spring onion, chilli and coriander. Cut 3 scallions finely, and slice the other into long thin strips. Add the finely chopped scallions into the mixing bowl with the shredded vegetables, fill a mug with cold water, and then pop the long thin strips into the water. This will make them curl up and give you a lovely curly garnish to top your salad with. Chop the cilantro leaves roughly, and chop the red chilli finely (if you’re using it). Pop those into the mixing bowl with the shredded vegetables, along with 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons chilli jam, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a good mix with a fork or small whisk, until combined well.
- Mix and serve. When you’re ready to serve, pour the dressing into the bowl with the salad, and give everything a really good toss with tongs, to make sure everything is well coated in the dressing. Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl, top it with the curly scallions and dig in!
INGREDIENT NOTES: This recipe is super flexible based on what you have in your kitchen – I’ve used red and white cabbage but you could use cucumber, carrots, radishes or even broccoli. Likewise with the dressing, if you don’t have chilli jam (though I highly recommend you try making my easy sweet chilli jam because it’s just super delicious and will last for ages) you can use sweet chilli sauce or honey, and then just add in garlic and ginger for extra flavour.
MAKE AHEAD: If you want to make the salad in advance, do everything until step 5 when you’re mixing it with the dressing, then cover and store both the shredded vegetables and the dressing separately in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. You can make the dressing up to 2 weeks in advance, and the vegetables 3 days before you want to serve them.
- Prep Time: 10
- Category: salads
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: asian
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
Keywords: asian salad, crunchy asian slaw, easy asian slaw, coleslaw