Recipes / Salads / Sides

Asian Broccoli Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Last week I had some friends over for some pulled pork and I made cole slaw to go with it. My recipe called for both red and green cabbage. The thing is, if you use two whole cabbages to make slaw then you have enough slaw for about fifty people. So I made half that amount and my fifteen friends ate most of it. However, this left me with a lot of cabbage that I didn’t want to go to waste. What to do, what do to. Then I remembered reading about an Asian Broccoli Salad over at The Sweets Life and decided to give it a shot.

Because it contains a whole lot of cabbage and carrots, in the final analysis this recipe is more like a slaw than a salad. And the flavor is subtle and simple, but really gains some strength as you eat more of it. Plus, if you let the salad marinate overnight like you do with traditional slaw, the flavors really meld and get even better.

I opted to use just red cabbage, but you can certainly use a mixture of both red and green. In either case the colors are amazing. As for the broccoli, the recipe calls for it to be steamed. That said, I actually considered not steaming it at all and going with raw broccoli but then talked myself out of it. I ended up doing a two minute microwave-steam which was just enough time to heat the broccoli and soften it a bit. Don’t over-steam because you want the crispness to match the crunchy cabbage. Mushy broccoli = gross. The other benefit to the brief steaming is that it gives you nice rich green color. Gorgeous!

One other note about the recipe: the original called for a whole head of cabbage, and I only used a half of a head. The amount of dressing seemed just fine for that size. Note that cabbages come in different sizes so your mileage may vary.


Asian Broccoli Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing Recipe

Based on the recipe found at The Sweets Life

2 medium heads broccoli, chopped to bite size
1/2 head red cabbage, rough chop
3 carrots julienned
1/2 cup peanuts, rough chopped

for the dressing-
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/8 cup chili oil (optional)
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus more for garnish)

Steam the broccoli briefly until just barely starting to soften up. Toss together in a large bowl with the cabbage and carrots. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then pour over salad and toss. Let marinate in dressing for a couple hours or overnight (optional). Serve topped with peanuts and sesame seeds for garnish.


  • natalie (the sweets life)
    September 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this and gave it a go! I’ve had a few other people make it and said they topped with chicken for more of a main dish. I agree that the flavors are best a day later 🙂

    • ShootToCook
      September 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Yeah, I was going to add chicken to it but then … I got lazy and didn’t go the store to get it. But I’ll probably try that next time!

  • […] 3. Salads – my favourite from “The River Cottage Veg Everyday” cookbook’s Broccoli salad with Asian dressing […]


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