This Tangy Ginger-Almond Asian Slaw is so easy -- the dressing takes only 5 minutes to prep and either whisk together, or whizz up in a food processor. It’s a perfect blend of tart, spicy, sweet, salty and savory. Sriracha sauce gives a kick of heat, and sesame oil, almond butter and mirin add to the complex flavors.
I originally published this recipe in March of 2019 and have updated it as of January of 2020.
The dressing keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator since it contains no eggs or dairy to spoil, and is naturally gluten-free if you use tamari or coconut aminos. It has many of the same ingredients as my Air Fryer Hoisin Salmon, and I often make this slaw to accompany that and other Asian-flavored dishes.
A fun and customizable recipe
This is one of the recipes I developed while living in Honolulu. Over the 30 years I lived there year-round, I'd quiz friends about local dishes they'd bring to potlucks. Sometimes they'd recommend a cookbook -- and sometimes they'd just tell me how grandma made it.
There, every grocery store has at least an entire aisle with the products you need, from azuki beans to rice vinegar! And the island cabbages are fresh and delicious.
I’ve been pleased to find that the larger grocery stores in Denver stock the ingredients for this slaw. There is also a large Asian grocery within walking distance of my house (Pacific Ocean Marketplace) that stocks harder-to-find ingredients, like organic miso. Above is the selection of ingredients I keep on hand for my Asian dishes.
You can vary the ingredients of the slaw according to taste: more red cabbage, or add red onion or shallot, or more carrots. The more color the better to boost your antioxidants! Plus the range of colors gives so much visual appeal it's even more fun to eat.
Change up the dressing according to your taste - and the brand of ingredient. I like LOTS of sesame oil, and some of the roasted Asian sesame oils have more flavor than others, so be sure to taste.
I’ve used two ingredients that are different from the traditional.
Almond butter. Peanuts and peanut butter are more typical for a recipe like this. Almond butter is a readily-available alternative for anyone who is allergic to peanuts or is concerned about aflatoxin that may be in peanut butter.
Surprisingly, there is little difference in flavor between the two nut butters once added to the dressing. You can certainly use peanuts if you like them or if you’re allergic to tree nuts. If I couldn’t use either of these, I would try sunflower butter.
Avocado oil. I use this rather than peanut oil for the same reasons as above. Avocado oil has little flavor of its own so doesn’t compete with the sesame oil and other distinctive Asian flavors. It blends well into the dressing so that you can use it right out of the refrigerator. Olive oil would work nutritionally but tends to have a distinctive flavor and solidifies into a lump when cold.
Other than peeling the garlic and ginger, I like to say that the hardest part of this dressing is taking all the ingredients out of your cupboards and refrigerator! It’s delicious on any mixture of crunchy greens, including lettuce salads.
You can make this dressing in a food processor, but I now prefer to grate the ginger and press the garlic as shown here (true confession - this is actually the sauce for my Hoisin Salmon, but the idea is the same). It's less work to clean these tools than the food processor, and I don't worry that the food processor will leave large-ish chunks of garlic.
You can dress this salad at the table or do so beforehand and let the cabbages, bell peppers and carrots marinate a little to intensify the flavors. The vegetables will hold up well, keeping quite a bit of crunch even a day later, though some of the water will come out of them into the dressing (by osmosis, of course, a retired science teacher can't resist adding that bit).
What can I eat this Tangy Ginger-Almond Slaw with?
This slaw is a perfect side dish with:
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #amealinmind on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Thank you so much!!
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Tangy Ginger-Almond Asian Slaw
- Lemon Zester
- Garlic Press
- Mixing Bowl
For the ginger-almond dressing:
- ¼ cup Mirin
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Tamari or Braggs or Coconut Aminos
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil dark or roasted Asian type
- 1 tablespoon almond butter smooth
- ½ teaspoon Redmond sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger grated
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves peeled and pressed
For the cabbage mixture:
- ¼ head red cabbage shredded (preferably organic)
- 1 small head green cabbage or Napa cabbage or a mixture shredded (preferably organic)
- 1 carrot julienned or grated
- 1 red bell pepper julienned (preferably organic)
- 4-5 leaves of romaine shredded (optional if the salad needs to be made ahead of time) (preferably organic)
- 3-4 green onions green parts, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
- Whisk all ingredients for the dressing in bowl.
- Transfer to a container for serving and storing.
- Place all the julienned vegetables into a salad bowl and mix gently.
- Drizzle the Ginger-Almond Dressing over the shredded vegetables.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and extra green onions.
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