Asian Red Cabbage Salad…Simple and Wow

Salads should be simple and beautiful. This Asian-inspired cabbage salad was developed by my daughter, Leah, and for the past year has been one of the most popular salads in our home.

Red cabbage is such a gorgeous color that it wakes up just about any salad. In this salad, the color and texture contrast between the vibrant red cabbage, the green cucumbers and the white sesame seeds is breathtaking.

I usually try to eliminate or reduce the oil in salad dressings.  I find that the spices and acid components of dressings are essential for flavor and most of the time, the oil is unnecessary or can be greatly reduced.

This salad is unusually versatile and robust.  The vegetables and dressing may be prepared separately in advance. When you are ready to serve, all you need to do is toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. The leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.   This will become one of your favorites, too.asian cabbage salad-up close

It yields 6-8 servings.


2-3 cups of shredded  red cabbage (or one large bag shredded red cabbage)

2-3 small or 1 large seedless cucumber, scrubbed and diced.
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plain or toasted


4-6 tablespoons oil (optional)
3 tablespoons cider or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4-6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic or garlic powder
dash of fresh or ground ginger (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients.

Up to two hours before serving, drizzle the dressing ingredients right on top of salad ingredients.  Toss with the dressing before serving.  Sprinkle some extra sesame seeds on top.


For a sweeter taste, add 1-2 tablespoons Agave syrup, honey or brown sugar

Sprinkle any of the following after dressing.  Toss gently
diced red onion
slivered almonds or pine nuts
sunflower seeds, raw or roasted
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
celery, scrubbed and cut thin
cut baby corn, well drained
canned water chestnuts, well drained
1/2 package ramen noodles (without the flavor packet)

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