Napa cabbage and kimchi coleslaw is a great choice for serving as a side dish with Korean specialities and other Asian-style dishes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, it’s a slaw with a spicy kick.
Commercially made kimchi comes in mild, medium, and extra spicy varieties, but even mild will give this slaw a bold flavor, since we’re also adding gochugaru, the quintessential Korean spice made with dried hot red peppers.
This crunchy, crave-worthy salad is enveloped in a spiced vegan mayo dressing and in addition to the napa cabbage and kimchi includes bell pepper, carrot, baby greens, and daikon radish or turnip.
A note about kimchi and gochugaru
Kimchi is a fermented condiment based most often on cabbage (and which can include other vegetables). Think of kimchi as a spicier, chunkier, and more complex form of sauerkraut.
As a traditional fermented food, it’s a cornerstone of Korean cuisine, and a great way to add more probiotic-rich foods to your daily repertoire.
Vegan kimchi, please: Read labels to make sure that the kimchi you purchase is vegan, as some brands use fish sauce. If you’re a DIY person, you can also make your own kimchi, but be aware that it takes several days to ferment.
Gochugaru (dried red chili flakes) is one of the most widely used of Korean spices. Like the domestic type of dried hot red pepper flakes, it has a pleasant kick. As one who isn’t that tolerant of super spicy foods, I find gochugaru quite palatable, so do try it!
Swap-in for napa cabbage: If you can’t find napa cabbage, feel free to substitute common green cabbage or even bagged coleslaw for a great shortcut!
What goes well with Napa Cabbage and Kimchi Coleslaw
This vigorous slaw is a great companion with Asian-style noodle and rice dishes as well as stir-fries. Try serving it with:
- Korean-Inspired Spicy Eggplant
- Vegan Korean Beef-less Rice Bowl
- Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
- Easy Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Explore more …
- Vegan Coleslaw Recipes
- Cucumber and Kimchi Salad
- Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi
- Common Cabbage Varieties + Vegan Cabbage Recipes
- 4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (or swap in green cabbage or pre-cut coleslaw)
- 1 cup grated or matchstick-cut carrot
- 1 cup grated or matchstick-cut (peeled) daikon radish or turnip
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
- 1 cup kimchi, your favorite vegan variety
- 2 to 3 scallions (green parts) thinly sliced
- A big handful of baby greens (spinach, arugula, power greens, etc.), thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean dried hot red pepper flakes), to taste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons natural granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Combine the salad ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Allow the salad to stand for 20 to 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
- Before serving, taste the salad to see if you’d like to amp up any of the dressing ingredients. If so, add and stir together, then serve.
Here are more plant-forward salads & sides.
Photo of napa cabbage on cutting board: Maren Winter / Bigstock.