This is your new go to simple salad. A super simple Asian Cabbage Salad with a crunchy topping and quick homemade salad dressing is perfect to throw together for lunch, an easy dinner or when you get invited to friends and are asked to bring a dish. Throw it together in about 10 minutes and you’ll win the salad game every time!
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Why this recipe works
This particular crunchy salad is so great because it’s super versatile. You can use a variety of cabbages (Napa cabbage, purple cabbage, regular cabbage all work well) or take the simple road and buy a premade slaw mix! Add in some chopped baby spinach and you’re already done with half the work!
The salad dressing can be made up to a few days ahead of time, cutting down on the day of prep. It’s a super simple salad dressing, just add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake. If you are looking for other homemade dressings, check out this Greek Salad Dressing recipe. It’s the same method with slightly different ingredients.
And most importantly, the crunchy topping can be made in just minutes and you’ll certainly want to double it. In fact, I typically hide half of the topping for the salad or my family will snack on it till it's gone.
A few notes on the ingredients:
- Shredded Cabbage: Use either purple cabbage, green cabbage, napa cabbage or a bagged slaw mix. Any of these options work great.
- Salad Dressing: You can double if you want and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to make Asian Cabbage Salad with a Crunchy Topping (simple step by step instructions)
To make things even simpler, here are step-by-step photos to help you every step of the way.
Prep Topping: Combine ramen noodles, almonds and seeds in a small bowl, toss with oil. Spread this topping mix on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
Prep Salad: Chop the spinach and shred the cabbage if not using premade coleslaw mix.
Make Dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake vigorously until well combined. Make sure the sugar blends well and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the jar.
Assemble Salad: In a bowl, toss the coleslaw and spinach together. Add the dressing and toss again to coat. Add half the crunchy topping, toss again. Top with remaining crunchy topping and serve.
For all measurements and a more detailed guide, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to make sure your salad is super crisp and crunchy when you go to serve it is by assembling all the pieces at the last minute. Have everything prepped (the salad, the topping and the dressing), and put it all together right before serving.
If you are looking to make this Asian Cabbage Salad a more complete meal, add some grilled chicken or grilled salmon on top. I also like to serve this salad as is with Sesame Ginger Salmon as the main dish, with coconut rice. A really delicious, light and flavorful meal!
Yes. You can easily leave out the crunchy ramen and add additional toasted nuts in as the crunch factor. Another option is to use gluten free ramen noodles like these from Lotus Foods. Treat them the same as you would regular ramen noodles.
Tips for making this salad ahead of time
Prep each step of the salad and keep them separated in air tight containers. Put the container with the veggies (cabbage, spinach and any other veggies you included) in the fridge. Shake up the salad dressing and pop the mason jar in the fridge. Toast up the crunchy topping and one cool, cover tightly and leave on the counter.
When you are ready to make the salad, simply follow the assembly instructions and serve. The individual components can be prepped up to the day before you are making this salad.
How to shred cabbage (the easy way)
If you choose not to use a packaged slaw mix, here’s an easy way to get perfectly shredded cabbage every time.
- Cut the cabbage in half and put the cut side down on your cutting board.
- With a super sharp knife, cut very thin slices all the way through the full half of the cabbage.
- When the whole cabbage is sliced, pick up the thin strips with both hands and separate the shreds by “fluffing” them up.
- Use the shredded cabbage as your recipe states or store in a zip top bag with a piece of damp paper towel for up to 5 days.
Looking for more veggie forward recipes? Try these:
When you try this recipe and love it 😍 let me know by leaving a comment below or 5 ⭐ rating!
Asian Cabbage Salad with Crunchy Topping
- 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
- 3 oz baby spinach (chopped)
- 2 packages ramen noodles (uncooked, flavor packets discarded)
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¾ cup sugar
Prep Crunchy Topping
- Combine ramen noodles, almonds and seeds in a small bowl, toss with oil. Spread this topping mix on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
- Chop the spinach and shred the cabbage if not using premade coleslaw mix.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake vigorously until well combined. Make sure the sugar blends well and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the jar.
- In a bowl, toss the coleslaw and spinach together. Add the dressing and toss again to coat. Add half the crunchy topping, toss again. Top with remaining crunchy topping and serve.
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