Surely you’ve had coleslaw, and maybe you’ve had kale slaw. But when you combine cabbage and kale in a single salad and give them an Asian spin, it takes these two cruciferous vegetables to another level. This no mayo cabbage and kale slaw is crunchy, savory, and downright addictive!
Sometimes it’s hard to find a suitable salad for vegetable stir-fries, Asian noodle dishes, and the like, but one is fantastic to serve with these types of main dishes.
That said, you need not confine this tasty salad to Asian-themed meals. Serve it with sandwiches, vegan burgers, casseroles, or side by side with an easy protein-centric salad like Super-Quick Two-Bean Salad.
What kind of kale? I prefer lacinato kale for this salad, but use curly green kale if that’s what you like best or what’s available.
Cabbage options: My favorite for this salad is napa cabbage. Its tenderness is a nice contrast with the more al dente texture of kale. Ordinary green cabbage or savoy cabbage work well, too.
Massaging kale is an important step to take when using kale raw — otherwise it might feel like you’re chewing lawn. To get the most enjoyment from raw kale, massaging it is a must!
There’s not much to this process; simply rub a small amount of olive oil (or another salad dressing, if using) onto your palms and massage the kale leaves for 40 to 60 seconds, until they turn bright green and soften. For more, see How to Massage Kale (and a Few Delicious Kale Salad Ideas).
See lots more invigorating kale recipes.
Recipe is adapted from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, rice, or white wine vinegar all work)
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons agave or other liquid sweetener
- 5 or 6 leaves kale, preferably lacinato (curly kale works, too)
- 3 cups firmly packed thinly shredded cabbage (napa, savoy, or green)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup sprouts, any variety, optional
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or half of each
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Strip the kale leaves from the stems. Slice the stems very thinly or discard. Cut the kale leaves into very thin strips, then place in a large serving bowl.
- Oil your hands lightly and massage the kale for 30 to 45 seconds, until bright green and softened.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients, then pour the dressing in and toss well. Let the salad stand for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the tang, saltiness, and sweetness with more vinegar, soy sauce, and/or sweetener to your liking.
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