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Recipe for quick and easy Asian pickled cole slaw {vegan, gluten-free}

Quick and easy Asian pickled cole slaw, from The Perfect Pantry.

What's in a name? If I named this dish pickled cabbage, it might conjure up images of clay jars of fermented, kind-of-smelly kimchi buried in the ground out behind the house, and to some, that's a real turn-off. So, I thought, why not call it pickled cole slaw? And then, go one step further and actually make it with store-bought cole slaw mix? Of course, you can shred green or red cabbage, and a few carrots, and make your own mix, but I let someone else do the work. Buy cole slaw mix in a bag at the grocery store and rinse in very cold water to perk it up. Add the seasonings for a quick brine, and this Asian pickled cole slaw is ready to eat in an hour. No need to dig up your back yard. Serve as a side dish with grilled chicken or meat, or in a fish taco.


Quick and easy Asian pickled cole slaw

From the pantry, you'll need: rice vinegar, agave nectar, ginger root, Sriracha, lime, kosher salt.

Makes 4 cups; serves 8 or more.


14-oz bag store-bought cole slaw mix, or 1/2 head of green cabbage plus 1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp Sriracha, or more to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


If using store-bought cole slaw mix, rinse it in a colander under cold water. Drain, and spin dry in a salad spinner. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.

Stir in the cole slaw mix, and toss well to combine. Let the slaw sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then toss again. Refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to two days.

Use a slotted spoon to serve the cole slaw, as quite a bit of liquid will collect in the bowl as the slaw sits in the refrigerator.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Asian broccoli slaw
Broccoli slaw salad with honey-mustard yogurt dressing
Roasted shrimp po' boy sandwich with Greek yogurt cole slaw and remoulade sauce
Quick and easy cole slaw
Half-sour dill pickles

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Ginger baked tofu with agave peanut sauce, from Book of Yum
Roast pork with ginger Sriracha barbeque sauce, from Healthy Green Kitchen
Sriracha chicken strips, from Budget Bytes
Teriyaki beef tacos with ginger-miso slaw and Sriracha, from Vanilla Sugar Blog
Grilled Sriracha-sesame turkey meatballs, from Kalyn's Kitchen

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I don't like too many of the pre-prepped vegetables, but the slaw in a bag is a good one. It's also handy to throw in a quick weekday stirfry or fast soup.

Jerri, agree. I've had good luck with cole slaw mix, though, especially after refreshing it in some cold water. I always say, "know your market and shop wisely" when it comes to pre-prepped vegetables.

I love every kind of salad with raw cabbage, so I know this would be great for me. Love the idea of starting with coleslaw mix!

The shredder on my food processor is not behaving, so that coleslaw mix is just the fix, and the cold water trick is brilliant!

Simple and delicious! I will make this at my next party!! thanks

Kalyn, this became an instant favorite when I realized I was eating it right out of the mixing bowl!

Susan, of course, there's always a very sharp knife and a steady hand to shred the cabbage, but nice fresh cole slaw mix is perfect for this dish.

Carol, it will be a hit, especially with grilled chicken or steak.

Cabbage shredding: I'm good with a knife, but half a cabbage is a lot. I worked with a mandoline too, and I'm OK with either, but I'm taking the advice of The Perfect Pantry next time!

Susan, life is short! I'm good with a knife, too, but I'm better at opening a bag!

Thank you, dear Lydia, for buying cole slaw mix at the supermarket. I do it all the time, adding green pepper, tart apple, even walnuts - depending upon the pairing.

I love all manner of cole slaw. Any time of year.

Mimi, there are some wonderful convenience products at the grocery store, whole food products that are well-packaged and quite good for certain uses in the kitchen. I'm not averse to taking help from the store when I can. Letting someone else slice the cabbage saves me a few minutes that I can use to make a dynamite cole slaw dressing.

Good thing because I don't have a backyard to dig up. Lovely cole slaw and a great Asian twist on the traditional. Healthy, refreshing and flavorful. Love it!

Jamie, I don't want to dig up my backyard, either! I loved the heat in this dish, and I ended up eating it constantly for a couple of days.

I've been getting napa cabbage, savoy cabbage and recently got a Caraflex cabbage in my CSA Box. I had never seen a Caraflex cabbage before and posted a picture of it on facebook - I thought it was just a funny shaped cabbage, but several people identified it as Caraflex. With all this cabbage, I've been making different slaws - like the addition of some spiciness in your recipe.

Jeanette, I've never heard of Caraflex cabbage. It's wonderful that your CSA is introducing you to new vegetables.

This looks delicious! I love pre-shredded coleslaw - I throw a couple of handfuls into green salad for extra crunch. To make it even easier, use your salad spinner basket as a colander - take it out of the basket while rinsing, then put it back in the spinner to dry. I'm going to make some this weekend!

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