The Best Chinese Coleslaw

This healthy twist on Chinese coleslaw will be your new favorite side dish. The tangy yet sweet dressing mixed with the crispy texture will make it disappear fast at any gathering. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese coleslaw made with purple cabbage and carrots

Have you ever tried Chinese coleslaw? If you’re not into the kind of coleslaw that’s slathered in mayonnaise, my Chinese coleslaw will definitely change your mind. It’s crispy and refreshing, brilliantly bright with color, plus if you’re going to a potluck or a backyard barbecue, it won’t go soggy on the way there. You can also use it to top on rice bowls or pulled pork sandwiches, like in my Instant Pot pulled pork recipe.

So it’s healthier than other coleslaws as well as other Chinese coleslaw recipes. It has an amazing taste, and it’s easy to make. You can also make it in advance to serve later. It keeps for up to 2 days. It checks all the boxes for a perfect side for any time. Why not make it tonight?

Chinese coleslaw served with peanuts and chopped cilantro

What makes the taste so special is my secret ingredient… Chinkiang vinegar. It truly gives it that authentic Chinese flavor. Chinkiang vinegar is a type of Chinese vinegar made from different grains that’s aged until it becomes dark brown or even a deep black. The taste is malty, fermented, and a bit woody. It helps to think of it like a Chinese version of balsamic vinegar. It really adds that extra special taste to Chinese recipes.

However, if you are gluten-free, you’ll need to replace it with rice vinegar instead. It will change the taste of the dish, but not in an unpleasant way. Gluten-free eaters will also want to use tamari or coconut amino to replace the soy sauce. Again, the taste will not be the same but it’s not going to make it taste horrible or anything. You’ll still get compliments on it wherever you serve it from your dinner table to your neighbor’s backyard bash.

Chinese coleslaw close up

And of course, it’s super simple to make. Just a few ingredients together with the sauce. It helps to organize everything into bowls to combine together for a better workflow. You can also make this even faster by opting for a bag of coleslaw mix from your produce section and then adding in the other ingredients. You’ll save yourself time from chopping and be able to taste this delicious Chinese coleslaw even faster!

Chinese coleslaw cooking process

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If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

The Best Chinese Coleslaw - This healthy twist on Chinese coleslaw will be your new favorite side dish. The tangy yet sweet dressing mixed with the crispy texture will make it disappear fast at any gathering. #easy #recipes #soysauce #glutenfree

The Best Chinese Coleslaw

This healthy twist on Chinese coleslaw will be your new favorite side dish. The tangy yet sweet dressing mixed with the crispy texture will make it disappear fast at any gathering. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced purple cabbage (about 1/4 head, or 4 cups coleslaw mix)
  • 1 carrot , sliced into strips
  • 1 green onion , sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted peanuts , coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro , minced

Dressing

Instructions

  • Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Combine the purple cabbage, carrot, green onion, peanuts, and cilantro in a big bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss with a pair of tongs to mix well. You can serve it now or store it covered in the fridge until serving time, up to 2 days.

Notes

  1. For a gluten-free dish, use rice vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar, and tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.9g | Protein: 4.8g | Fat: 11.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 3.6g | Sugar: 5.7g | Calcium: 290mg | Iron: 0.7mg
The Best Chinese Coleslaw - This healthy twist on Chinese coleslaw will be your new favorite side dish. The tangy yet sweet dressing mixed with the crispy texture will make it disappear fast at any gathering. #easy #recipes #soysauce #glutenfree

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




10 thoughts on “The Best Chinese Coleslaw

  1. Theresa Y

    5 stars
    It really is the best Chinese coleslaw…. quick and easy to prepare. I have made it several times already, the most recent as a side with crumbed sardine fillets as an entree. Thanks Maggie!

    Reply
  2. Eddie M

    Great recipe! due to lack of ingredients I switched the Chinkiang Vinegar for Balsamic clear vinegar and it had a great result, as well I used Cashew nuts aaandd…. OMG it was incredible!! I have already gone shopping on my local Asian supermarket and got all the ingredients I was missing… next time… you bet!!!

    Reply
  3. Susan

    5 stars
    Wow. This wonderfully flavored coleslaw and the Hot and Sour soup….I only want to cook things from this site. JUST what I needed!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      It’s totally OK to make the dish a day ahead. For two days ahead, I would keep the dressing in a separate container and mix them together the day you serve it. Happy cooking!

      Reply
  4. Giselle

    4 stars
    I made this for dinner last night. Since I combined all the ingredients just before we sat down at the table, it wasn’t that flavorful. We ate it again tonight and it was much better left over after having soaked in the dressing for 24 hours.

    Reply
  5. Peter Beckles

    The coleslaw was a side for pork with black bean sauce.
    I used sliced toasted almonds instead of peanuts.
    My only problem was that the dressing was too thin.
    How can I thicken it?
    However, the flavourvwas good and I realize now that salads aren’t that bad!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Peter, I’m glad to hear you like this dish! Re dressing – I think you can use a hand blender to mix it to emulsify the oil, so it will become a thicker dressing. The oil will separate if you let the dressing sit a long time (like regular vinaigrette dressing) but shouldn’t be a problem if you blend it before serving.

      Reply
  6. Aj

    What a fantastic recipe! I’m always on the lookout for more ways to get more cabbage in! This looks great and so easy! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply