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This cabbage slaw is a menu planning dream in that not only can it be made ahead, but it is best made ahead. One day is perfect, but I have certainly happily eaten leftovers for a couple of days after that. 

The day of soaking in the dressing allows the crunchy vegetables — napa cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots — to soften slightly and absorb some of the lovely flavors. Sesame, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and honey combine in a dressing that is both nutty and vibrant at the same time.

Vegan Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw on a white plate.

This vegan napa cabbage slaw recipe can be made ahead. Serve with any simple main dish or with any Asian dishes.

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Variations

The colors are terrific, but you can change things up, such as using a different color bell pepper, skipping the shallots in favor of half of a red onion, thinly sliced (or yellow, your choice), or using multicolored carrots. If you don’t have napa cabbage, use whatever cabbage you have.

And while this salad is vegan, you could add some shredded or diced cooked chicken to make it a more robust main course salad. 

Vegan Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw on a table with greens, water glasses, and silverware.

What to Serve Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw With

This goes with anything simple or anything Asian — it’s sort of a medley of Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian inspired.

White bowl of Vegan Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw.

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Vegan Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Sesame, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, honey combine in a slaw dressing that is both nutty and vibrant at the same time.

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup less-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey (some vegans don't eat honey, so choose the best option for you!)
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 4 carrots (peeled and grated)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cored and thinly sliced)
  • 3 shallots (halved and thinly sliced)

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and ginger. Add the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and shallots and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 day. If you didn't plan ahead, let it sit in the fridge or at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving so the vegetables soften slightly and absorb the dressing.

Notes

While this salad is vegan, you could add some shredded or diced cooked chicken to make it a more robust main course salad. 

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 299mg, Potassium: 442mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 5919IU, Vitamin C: 52mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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