This summer serve Asian Coleslaw beside any kind of barbecue dish or picnic style lunch. Coleslaw is a classic summer salad and in my kitchen there’s always room for a twist on the classics. The dressing with peanut butter and ginger makes it Asian yet there’s lots of room to adjust the slaw ingredients and make it your own.
Big Bowl Salads
I call this Asian Coleslaw a big bowl salad. It’s the kind of salad that’s too big to make for an everyday meal yet when you half the recipe it seems like too much effort for a small salad. You can make short cuts, omitting ingredients you don’t have or don’t like, but then it’s just okay. To take a big bowl salad to a party it’s got to be amazing!
I think everyone needs a few big bowl salads in their recipe collection, even if you only make them all once a year. I think that is part of what makes these salads memorable.
One tip I’ll share is to potion a few smaller containers of your salad as soon as you make it. I do this to label it gluten free for a large party but you can also do this and give some salad to a friend or neighbour. In my experience you must do this right away because in three or four days it’s just going to be a good idea that didn’t happen.
PIN Asian Coleslaw for later...
Coleslaw Mix vs Cabbage
A store bought coleslaw mix is almost white with just enough carrot and purple cabbage that you can tell it’s supposed to be coleslaw. It also has a food label. Some days that’s good enough and I add extra shredded carrot to perk it up. For this post I wanted all the colours of the rainbow so I bought whole cabbage and three different colours of peppers. I didn’t need to read any labels but I did need to think about how I’d use up the leftover produce.
Rotating fresh produce in your kitchen is a skill that most of us can improve on. The “stay at home” recommendation during the pandemic has caused me to be more thoughtful about grocery shopping. I think about buying vegetables that last longer in the fridge like cabbage and carrots, and what recipes I can make to use up ingredients like bean sprouts that won’t last long. I even bought frozen, shelled edamame beans just for a change.
Organize For Success
Any little step done in advance most often makes a recipe seem easier on the day you make it. Create a habit of thinking like that and see what works for you.
- make the salad dressing one or two days in advance (and label it!)
- shred a few carrots for this recipe and to use in other salads
- cook up more edamame beans than you'll need and toss the extra into a cold salad or a vegetable stir-fry
Get The Tools
To make a big bowl salad with a homemade dressing you need a beautiful big bowl and maybe some Mason jars for the dressing.
- All sizes of Mason jars and I love my Dymo label maker (but it's still up to me to make that label and get it on the jar).
- A beautiful wooden salad bowl, a classic glass bowl with wavy edge or a clear, acrylic bowls for outdoor parties.
Big bowl salads like this Asian Coleslaw can be made all year long. If you’re a salad person then make a point of looking for new salads to add to your list and over time you’ll have the kind of recipe collection everyone else just wishes they had.
More Recipes – Big Bowl Salads
Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing
- 8 cups coleslaw mix* (see notes to make your own)
- 1 red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame beans, cooked
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1-2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Sriracha or Sambal Oelek)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup or a Mason jar.
- Microwave for 30 seconds then whisk until peanut butter is evenly mixed in.
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
- Pour almost all of the dressing on top and toss again. Let salad sit for 15-30 minutes to absorb the dressing.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add more salt or remainder of dressing if desired.