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Asian Cabbage Salad: Cookout Food Side Dish

This crunchy Asian cabbage salad is such a treat for potlucks, bbq’s, picnics or even a simple weeknight dinner. Once you make this, everyone will ask you to make it again!!—I mean who doesn’t want to have a guaranteed crowd-pleaser on your table!?!!

asian slaw in a white bowl

Twists on favorite COOKOUT SIDES are one of my favorite things with grilling season— or any food occasion. This ASIAN CABBAGE SALAD is super tasty and after having made it dozens of times by request to bring for our contribution to a potluck I know your family and friends will come to love it too.

Coleslaw is a typical side dish in the summer for BBQ’s but it’s also great to have for picnics, to go with weeknight dinner at home. I love it as a topping for pulled pork sliders or to be able to make a meal out of coconut shrimp by having it as a light and healthy side dish.

all ingredients for asian slaw on the table
Peanut Butter, Lime, Sesame oil and Garlic are the bold flavors in the peanut dressing!

This coleslaw salad has an Asian peanut dressing that has ALL the flavors you want in a dressing.

Tangy, sweet, bright, zesty and refreshing.

Made with peanut butter, fresh ginger, vinegar, sugar, soy garlic and herbs. It’s inspired by the Thai peanut noodles at your local restaurant but on a much lighter base of green cabbage and red cabbage.

cutting board with cut cabbage on it

How to Cut Cabbage for Coleslaw

The hardest part about this recipe for Asian coleslaw is cutting the cabbage. There is nothing worse than coleslaw with ginormous pieces of cabbage in it?

I cut 10 heads of cabbage finding the easiest way to cut the slaw super fine. I have it down for you to do in just a few simple steps.

  1. Cut your cabbage in half from the top to the bottom cutting through the core.
  2. Cut the half you just cut in half again. Now you will have 4 pieces.
  3. Cut the core out of the 4 pieces (throw away the core.)
  4. Lay one piece on its side so it is flat and sturdy to cut without wobbling.
  5. Cut 1/8″ slivers creating a super fine slaw.

Easy Customizable Dressing

The peanut dressing is easily customizable. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients taste it and see what you think.

Want it a little sweeter? Add brown sugar. Need more Asian flavors… add a little more sesame oil. Need a little zing? More grated ginger. Seem a little heavy and you want it to taste a little brighter? Squeeze more lime juice into the peanut dressing!

Be sure and check out our list of the 101+ recipes for all of your BBQ Side dish needs for summer entertaining!

dressing in a beaker being poured onto a salad
Taste the dressing before tossing to be able to customize it to your tastes!

Points of Interest when making Asian Coleslaw Dressing Salad

This cabbage slaw is great for side dishes at dinner, on a BBQ table, for a picnic or for potlucks.

It can also work as a main course entree for vegetarians at your dining table or add a little chicken if you want it for a lighter offering for dinner.

Possible ideas to serve it with are stir fries, curries, a top a burger or a fish taco. The possibilities are endless.

Not only is the dressing itself super customizable but you can add all sorts of other ingredients to it too. Wontons, red peppers, green peppers or yellow peppers, cucumber sticks, red radishes or daikon radish.

Need more ideas? Adding fruits such as mandarine oranges is also a nice twist. You can also add sesame seeds and minced nuts on top for added crunch.

grey oval serving dish with peanut cole slaw

How to make coleslaw stay crisp and still make it ahead of time?

Coleslaw holds up much better than regular lettuce for a longer period of time, but its best and holds the most crunch within the first 2 hours after dressing it.

To make it ahead of time prepare the slaw by slicing it into shreds and place it in a plastic bag with a dampened paper towel for a little moisture. Then make the dressing and place it in the fridge to store.

All you will need to do when its time to serve it is toss it!

Best Travel Tips for taking Thai Peanut Salad (coleslaw)

Cut the slaw and place it in a ziplock back with a paper towel that is moist. Place the dressing in a separate container that seals well. Put both containers in the bowl you will eventually serve it in and mix it when you arrive at your destination.

If you are going somewhere that is far away, use a small cooler to keep the coleslaw and asian dressing chilled during transport. The asian slaw would be fine at room temperature, but it tastes better when chilled!

More Cookout Sides

Other Grill Food Ideas for Summer Cookouts you might enjoy

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Yield: 8 1/2 cup servings

Asian Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Salad Dressing

asian slaw in a white bowl

Crunchy Asian Peanut Coleslaw is the zestiest cookout side dish. Made in less than 20 minutes for a summer bbq or casual weeknight dinner side.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups Green Cabbage, shredded finely
  • 2 cups Purple Cabbage, shredded finely
  • 2 Large Carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro, minced (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds, (Optional)
  • 1/3 cup Salted Peanuts, chopped fine

Asian Peanut Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky will work)
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Ground Ginger
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha (optional)


  1. To make the dressing: add all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Taste the dressing. If you want it sweeter add a little extra brown sugar. If you want it tangier, add a little extra lime juice.
  2. The dressing can be made ahead up to 3 days.
  3. Cut the red cabbage head in half from the top through to the core. Then cut those in half top to the core. You will now have 4 pieces.
  4. Cut out the white core of each piece. Lay the cabbage on the flat side and cut 1/8" slices or as small as you can from top to bottom.
  5. Repeat with the other cabbage. You will need about 2 cups each and if you have a medium size head of cabbage you will use 1/2 head of green cabbage and 1/2 head of red cabbage.
  6. Peel and shred the carrots or cut them into 1" match sticks.
  7. Toss the cabbages and carrots in a bowl.
  8. Add the dressing 2-3 tablespoons at a time until you have the right amount of dressing ratio to cabbage.
  9. At the last minute add cilantro, sesame seeds and peanuts-- or serve them on the side for your guests to add themselves.
  10. Serve.
  11. Cabbage dressed keeps its crunch for 24 hours. After that it will start to break down. It will last 3 days but is best eaten within 24 hours. You can always dress the slaw right before serving for the best crunch.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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