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Quick Kimchi Slaw

This quick kimchi slaw is a delicious and easy way to add some zest to your next picnic or BBQ. The crisp vegetables combine with the bold flavor of kimchee, then get tossed with a sweet and sour vinaigrette. Serve it as a side dish, or use it as a topping for burgers or beer simmered bratwurst.

Pouring vinaigrette over a slaw salad.

This light and flavorful Korean slaw is easy to make and goes well with heavy meats like our Korean style ribs and braised pork shanks

You can even serve it alongside meatloaf or use it as a condiment for pulled pork sandwiches. The kimchi coleslaw also works as a main dish if you top it with shredded chicken

For more of our kimchee recipes, check out our Kimchi Pork Pancakes and our Kimchi Fried Rice. And if you love fermented foods, try our probiotic vegetables or our sourdough starter

Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • Kimchi adds a zesty, spicy flavor and creates a new spin on coleslaw. 
  • You can adjust the amount of kimchi to suit your taste preference. 
  • The slaw makes a fantastic topping for burgers and sandwiches.
  • It is lighter and healthier than traditional coleslaw made with mayonnaise (perfect for all the mayo haters). 
  • The recipe uses the juices from store-bought or homemade kimchi to make a zesty kimchi vinaigrette. 

Ingredients prepped to make kimchi slaw.

The Ingredients

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this Korean cabbage slaw. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Cabbage. We used Napa cabbage and red cabbage for added color. 
  • Bean sprouts. If you can’t find fresh bean sprouts, you can omit them or use canned bean sprouts.
     
  • Carrots and Daikon radish. We sliced these veggies into thin matchsticks or julienne strips. 
  • Kimchi. You can use store-bought or homemade kimchee. 
  • Green onions. Slice them thinly so they scatter throughout the Asian slaw. 
  • Kimchi vinaigrette. We made the vinaigrette with the juices that we strained off the kimchi. Honey, vinegar, Korean chili powder, and sesame oil tie the flavors together. 

Shredded vegetables in a bowl.

How to Make Kimchi Coleslaw

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this spicy Asian slaw. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Place the shredded red and green cabbage in a large salad bowl. Add the bean sprouts and the carrot and radish matchsticks.
  2. Chop the kimchee and add to the salad bowl.
  3. Slice the green onions and sprinkle over the mixture.
  4. Make the kimchi vinaigrette and toss to combine it with the slaw.

Tips for Success

  • Slicing the vegetables is a breeze if you use a mandoline. You can also use an inexpensive julienning peeler (affiliate link).
  • Keep the vinaigrette and kimchi slaw in separate containers if you don’t plan to serve the salad right away. Toss them together an hour before serving. If you want softer veggies, toss them together several hours in advance. 
  • You can make the vinaigrette a week in advance. 
  • We did not add salt to the kimchi vinaigrette because most kimchi brands already have plenty of salt. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if needed. 
  • Make it a main meal by adding cooked shrimp, chopped leftover chicken, or pulled pork

Chopsticks picking up kimchi slaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a fermented food made with vegetables, salt and a Korean red pepper powder called gochugaru. This pungent, spicy condiment has two spellings, kimchee and kimchi.
 
Kimchi is prepared with a variety of vegetables, including cabbage, radishes, bok choy, carrots, spring onions, and garlic. Sometimes dried shrimp or fish get added for even more complexity. 

What is the difference between coleslaw and slaw? 

We use the two words interchangeably. Coleslaw always has shredded cabbage, while ‘slaw’ often has a variety of vegetables. 

This quick kimchi slaw is light, flavorful, and easy to make. It is a delicious twist on a classic recipe and makes a great side dish for almost anything. 

A bowl of spicy Asian slaw.

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Our Asian teriyaki meatballs have a blend of beef and pork. They make fantastic appetizers for your next party. 

These Thai pork skewers get served alongside a savory peanut sauce. Add them to a bed of basil lime rice for a quick dinner. 

Homemade beef pho is a delicious and hearty meal. The rich beef broth is packed with flavor, and the tender beef slices make it extra filling.

Our recipe for lemongrass chicken satay has a fusion of Thai flavors. Serve it with peanut sauce or nuac mam sauce

A bowl of coleslaw with kimchi.

Quick Kimchi Slaw

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A Korean-inspired Kimchee Slaw of thinly sliced, vibrant vegetables combined with the bold flavor of kimchee and dressed with a zesty sweet and sour kimchee vinaigrette.

This crunchy, crisp slaw is a great side dish. It can also be a full meal by simply adding cooked shrimp or shredded rotisserie chicken

Ingredients

For the Slaw:

  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Daikon radish (6-inches long) peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1-1/2 cup kimchi, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup kimchee juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • Few grindings of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Korean chili powder (Gochugaru)
  • 3/4 cup regular sesame oil or mild vegetable oil
  • 1/4 toasted sesame oil

Instructions

    1. Mix the cabbage, bean sprouts kimchee, carrots, radish and green onion in a large bowl and toss to combine.
    2. Combine the kimchi juice, honey, vinegar, pepper chili powder and oils in a small dish and whisk until blended. 
    3. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the slaw and toss to combine.  Add additional vinaigrette if needed.

Notes

  • Keep the slaw in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve and then add the vinaigrette when ready to serve.
  • The vinaigrette can be made in advance and refrigerated. The vinaigrette can also be made in a small, lidded Mason jar and shaken to blend.
  • The vegetables can be prepared in advance and kept in a covered container WITHOUT the vinaigrette for up to 2 days.
  • Jars of kimchee can be found in most grocery stores where they are sometimes located in the produce section.  They can also be found in any Asian markets.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the pungent flavor of kimchee, feel free to adjust the proportions in the slaw and the vinaigrette.
  • Salt has not been added to the vinaigrette as the kimchee juice is salty. Some commercial jars of kimchee are saltier than others. Taste the vinaigrette and add salt if needed.
  • Add cooked shrimp, shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked, chopped pork to the salad for a full meal.
  • Nutritional values are based on using 1/2 of the vinaigrette.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1-1/2 Cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Lots of colours, flavours and crunchiness...this is a fantastic salad!

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Hi, Angie....Yes, and it tastes fantastic! Thanks for your comments.

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

What a terrific idea! It's high coleslaw season, and this one is different. Gotta try it! Thanks. :-)

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Thanks, John....make a big batch! It keeps for several days if you keep the dressing separate. Enjoy! ♥️

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