Asian Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing
This vegetarian and vegan Chinese inspired salad is hearty enough for lunch or dinner and filled with healthy ingredients like cabbage, veggies, and cashews. The sesame ginger dressing adds sweet and savory flavor.
Very rarely since giving up meat years ago do I miss a non-vegetarian meal. When I do, it’s not that I miss the meat exactly, it’s the flavors that were added to it. I mean, meat without the flavoring, braising, or grilling is really pretty blah. For example, I sometimes miss burgers, but not the meat, just the toasted bun, flavorful condiments, fresh veggies, and tangy pickles. So I make a veggie burger. This week I had one of those weird random cravings.
This time I had a flashback to when I used to make Chinese chicken salad. I loved that crunchy cabbage with sweet and savory sesame dressing. Asian flavors like sesame, soy sauce, and ginger can completely transform a bowl of cabbage into something bursting with umami flavor. With the summer heat I’ve been craving light and cool dinners. Big beautiful hearty salads are making me so happy. So I got to work making a Chinese chickenless salad. Last night we had this hearty salad along with some veggie egg rolls and it totally hit the spot.
This salad has so many great flavors, textures, and colors going on. I really liked this combination of ingredients, and used what I thought my family would like, but you can play around with ingredients a bit too. I loved the richness the slightly salty roasted cashews added, but almonds or peanuts would be delicious too. If you’re not a fan of edamame or avoid soy in general, you could use roughly chopped fresh snap peas instead.
I made this salad extra easy on a busy day by grabbing pre-shredded bags of cabbage at Trader Joe’s. I used 1 bag of shredded cabbage and 1 bag of organic green and purple cabbage with carrots, and added in more carrots.
My kids were disappointed that I mixed the salad together as they liked seeing the separate ingredients and would have preferred eating them plain and separately. I know many other kids prefer the foods separate too. An avocado rose is definitely not traditional, but it is fun, isn’t it?
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 18 oz. shredded cabbage (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 cup roasted cashews
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup crispy wonton strips, optional
- Pour the first seven ingredients into a lidded jar. Shake the dressing together.
- In a large salad bowl, arrange the cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, edamame, bell pepper, green onions, and mandarin oranges. I like to dress this salad about 30 minutes before serving and refrigerate to soften the cabbage slightly and allow the flavors to meld. Add the cashews and sesame seeds just before serving so that they remain crunchy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 666mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
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