Easy Napa Cabbage Slaw

5 from 19 votes
JUMP TO RECIPE & VIDEO

This easy and quick Japanese-style Napa Cabbage Slaw is the best! If you wonder what to do with napa cabbage, try this salad!

Looking for simple sides? Try Kinpira Gobo, Goma-ae, or Pickled Eggplant!

Japanese Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

I’ll walk you through the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. I hope you enjoy it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe 

  • This napa cabbage coleslaw requires only 5 ingredients!
  • This quick and straightforward recipe makes it a perfect choice for busy days. And it’s nutritious!
  • The combination of salt, Japanese mayonnaise, and rice vinegar creates a harmonious flavor profile that enhances the vegetables.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage, Hakusai in Japanese, is a variety of Chinese cabbage commonly used in Asian cooking. It can be eaten raw, stir-fried, or stewed. It has a milder and sweeter flavor with a more delicate texture than regular cabbage. The best season is during the cold months, from November to February. Learn more about it in this Japanese Napa Cabbage Recipes.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Napa Cabbage Slaw:

Ingredients for Japanese Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
  • Napa cabbage: When selecting a whole piece, pick one that feels heavy and has tightly curled leaves. If you can’t find napa cabbage at your local grocery store, substitute it with other types of cabbage, such as traditional green cabbage, red cabbage, or savoy cabbage.
  • Carrot: I chose carrots for their vibrant color, but feel free to include other crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, or daikon radish.
  • Salt, mayonnaise, and rice vinegar for the seasonings. Rice vinegar is commonly used vinegar in Japan, but you can also use alternatives like wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even lime juice.

How To Make Napa Cabbage Slaw: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make napa cabbage slaw.

Step 1

Cut napa cabbage and carrot.

How to make napa cabbage slaw.

Step 2

Add salt to the vegetables and massage them.

How to make napa cabbage slaw.

Step 3

Squeeze the vegetables and drain the water.

How to make napa cabbage slaw.

Step 4

Add mayonnaise and vinegar and toss them together.

Japanese Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

Top with toasted sesame seeds if you like, and enjoy the salad! It’s crunchy and yummy!

Recipe Tips

  • For the best flavor and texture, refrigerate the slaw for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • You can adjust the size of the cuts based on your preference! Cutting it into larger pieces allows you to enjoy the crunchy texture even more.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will be good for 3 to 4 days. The liquid comes out the next day, and the taste gets diluted, so please add seasonings to tweak the taste.

Variations

Napa cabbage slaw can be made in many different ways. Some variations you can try include:

  • Asian slaw: Add sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar to the dressing and top with peanuts and cilantro.
  • Spicy slaw: Add chopped red pepper to the dressing.
  • Yogurt-based slaw: Add yogurt, lemon juice, and black pepper to the dressing.

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Napa cabbage coleslaw served on a bowl.

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Japanese napa cabbage coleslaw

Easy Napa Cabbage Slaw

5 from 19 votes
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Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Juri Austin
This easy and quick Japanese-style Napa Cabbage Slaw is the best! If you wonder what to do with napa cabbage, try this salad!

Ingredients

  • Napa cabbage, 300g
  • ½ Carrot, 80g
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • Topping, optional: Sesame seeds, shredded nori

Instructions

  • Cut vegetables: Cut napa cabbage and carrot and put them in a large bowl.
  • Add salt: Add salt, massage them and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the excess liquid: Squeeze the vegetables and drain.
  • Add seasonings: Add mayonnaise and vinegar, and toss them together.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Store in an airtight container and keeps it in the fridge. It will be good for 3 to 4 days. The liquid comes out the next day, and the taste gets diluted, so please add seasonings to tweak the taste.
  • Substitute: You can substitute napa cabbage with other types of cabbage. Cucumbers and paprika are also delicious to add. You can substitute rice vinegar with wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.9g | Protein: 1.2g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: napa cabbage slaw
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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5 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Juri,

    I love coleslaw, and I make two styles of coleslaw both using a European type of cabbage. One style uses a mayonnaise and vinegar dressing like yours, and the other an oil and vinegar dressing (AKA a vinaigrette dressing). I will definitely make both styles using a napa (or hakusai) cabbage per your recipe with a few modifications..

    Speaking of napa/hakusai cabbage, I frequently pickle it (hakusai no shiozuke) in a pickle press (tsukemonoki). I actually prefer the Japanese version of pickled cabbage over the Korean kimchi version as the sweetness and nuanced taste of the napa cabbage is the star as opposed to an overwhelming red pepper taste.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rick! I would love to try coleslaw with that vinaigrette dressing. Sound so yummy! Thanks for your suggestion!