Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing is a lightly spicy side dish on its own but it also goes well on top of our pulled chicken or pulled pork sandwiches.
The secret is in the sauce! This peanut butter based Asian Coleslaw Dressing recipe is creamy with hints of ginger and really takes this slaw to the next level.
Asian coleslaw is a perfect side dish for any barbeque or party. It holds up well for hours because the dressing doesn’t have any dairy products in the ingredients. Unlike a regular mayonnaise-based coleslaw, this one can sit out a bit on the buffet table.Jump to Recipe
Ingredients for Asian Coleslaw
Simple ingredients make this coleslaw easy to prepare for your next BBQ or picnic
- Green Cabbage
- Red Cabbage
- Napa Cabbage
- Red Bell Pepper
- Scallions (green onions)
- Sesame Seeds
- Chopped peanuts (optional)
- Peanut Dressing (recipe below)
Buying and cutting cabbage for Asian Coleslaw:
One of the beautiful things about this coleslaw is the variety and colors of the cabbages. When choosing green or red cabbage, pick a tight, compact head that feels heavy for its size.
The leaves should look crisp and fresh, with very few loose leaves and stems that are firm, not soft. If you aren’t using right away store the cabbage as whole heads in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
For this slaw make sure to thinly slice your cabbages so that all varieties are cut about the same size. The best method is:
- Trim the stem and begin slicing from the top toward the stem.
- Gather the pieces and roughly chop again into manageable bite-size pieces. Nobody wants to use a knife when they are eating coleslaw!
- I like to cut the cabbage and then rinse and dry well. If your cabbage is too wet the dressing won’t stick.
How to make the best Asian Coleslaw recipe:
- Chop the cabbages
- Julienne the carrots and bell peppers
- Slice scallions
- Roughly chop the cilantro
- Prepare the dressing
- Combine all the slaw ingredients, add dressing and toss well, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with cilantro, and add optional chopped peanuts
How to make the best Asian Peanut Coleslaw Dressing:
The dressing uses common pantry items and you can add or subtract more ginger to suit your taste.
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Creamy peanut butter
- Light brown sugar
- Soy Sauce
Just combine everything in a bowl or food processor and blend together. I like to use a mini food processor because it makes the dressing super smooth and silky. You could also use a blender.
This dressing is great on slaw but you can easily use it for other salad recipes. Try it on warmed up on Asian noodles or as a dipping sauce for chicken skewers. If you like a little spice in your sauce add a 1/2 teaspoon of chile paste or sambal, or a dash of cayenne.
Storing leftover Peanut Dressing:
This dressing can be made ahead of time and reserved until you are ready to use. I recommend storing in a resealable glass jar. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week. Be sure to shake well before you use.
Great with our Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken:
One of my favorite ways to serve this Asian Coleslaw is as a sandwich topper on our easy 5-ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken. Works great with pulled pork too!
Other great side dishes:
A great pairing with these main dishes:
- Jerk Chicken
- Asian Baked Chicken
- Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Sauce
- Perfect Pan Seared Scallops
- Southern Style Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing
- 6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tsp ginger, minced
- 4 tsp garlic, minced
- 4 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced on the bias
- ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped, Optional
- In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, or blend in a mini chopper or blender until smooth.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Chop all ingredients. Cabbage pieces should be about 1.5" long, bell peppers and carrots julienned into 1" sticks.Reserve about 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro for garnish
- In a large bowl, add all coleslaw ingredients and toss well to combine.
- Drizzle with about half of the peanut dressing and toss until well coated. If needed add more dressing. If not serving immediately, wait to dress the salad until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro. Add chopped peanuts, if desired.