Easy Asian Slaw

by Caroline
Published: Last Updated on

This no-fuss easy asian slaw comes together in minutes, and can be made with simple on-hand ingredients. It’s savory, sweet, and pairs well with asian-inspired dishes or as a side at your next barbecue. 

A few weeks ago I had some coleslaw that was a couple of days away from expiring and I was looking for a way to use it up. 

That’s where this recipe came to be. 

I typically keep a few basic asian-inspired staples on hand, like rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. If you like asian style dishes, I highly recommend you adding these items to your pantry, as well. 

All you need to do to make this easy Asian slaw is mix the dressing ingredients, toss it with coleslaw, and enjoy! 

What’s in Asian Slaw:

  • Coleslaw. Regular or tricolor work. 
  • Rice Vinegar (white). Seasoned or mild rice vinegar both work. Marukan is one of my go-to brands. 
  • Canola Oil. 
  • Sesame Oil. I also highly recommend using this for asian-inspired sautés and stir fries. 
  • Soy Sauce. I typically use reduced sodium – this allows me to control the level of salt easier. 
  • Chili Paste. My favorite is Huy Fong Sambek Oelek
  • Honey. 
  • Ground ginger. 
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt. 
  • Pepper. 
  • Optional Mix-Ins (mix and match): Cilantro, scallions, red pepper, shredded carrot, toasted sesame seeds. 
*You may not have all of these ingredients on hand, but they are worth purchasing because they can be used for so many different recipes.

Why You’ll Love Asian Slaw:

  • It pairs well with a lot of dishes – not just Asian recipes, but barbecue, or simple grilled meat. 
  • It can be made in advance. I don’t recommend making this TOO far in advance (it’s good for about 3 days), but it gets better after marinading for a few hours. 
  • It’s perfect for potlucks. Everyone loves coleslaw, and this is a fun twist on the classic!
  • It can be made in minutes. 
  • It’s healthy and an easy way to get your veggies (cabbage) in. 

Modifications & Substitutions:

  • If you don’t have honey, use maple. If you don’t have maple, use a tablespoon of brown sugar. 
  • You can swap canola oil for vegetable oil (or another neutral oil like peanut oil or safflower oil). 
  •  I typically use ground ginger because I always have it on hand. I highly recommend using fresh ginger (finely minced). You’d need a tablespoon of fresh. 
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic, the stuff in a jar is fine. If you don’t have the stuff in a jar, use about 1/4 teaspoon of ground garlic (or more to taste).
  • If you don’t have chili paste, feel free to use sriracha or chili flakes.

Optional Add-Ins:

What I love about this recipe is how EASY it is. But, if you really want to elevate the recipe, I recommend using a few of these add-ins: 

  • Toasted sesame seeds: Toast 3-4 tablespoons of sesame seeds until they are golden brown and fragrant. 
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Chopped cilantro. 
  • Thinly sliced red pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • Shredded carrots (bagged kind works fine!).

How to Store Easy Asian Slaw

  • This dish will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 
  • No, you sadly cannot freeze this – I don’t think you’ll need to! 

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Easy Asian Slaw

This super easy side dish recipe will be your new favorite summer side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6
Calories 210 kcal


  • 1 bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (I use seasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon honey, sub real maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, sub 1 tablespoon fresh minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce, sub red pepper flakes or Sriracha

Optional Add-Ins

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced and in bite size pieces


  • In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients besides the coleslaw mix together.
  • Toss the coleslaw mix with the mixture. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This is best served the day-of, but it will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Keyword Healthy, Meal Prep, Side salad, Slaw

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