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Japanese Coleslaw

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Could this Japanese coleslaw be the best coleslaw on the planet?

Asian style coleslaw is usually lighter than those you fine in the West. This Japanese coleslaw might not be the lightest option but it is so good you won’t care! It’s delicious served as a side for pretty much any barbecue even if you’re not cooking Japanese food. I can highly recommend serving this easy Japanese coleslaw with my chicken or beef teriyaki skewers. 

Japanese coleslaw

About this Japanese coleslaw recipe

This is a Japanese coleslaw that was inspired by a visit to the Japanese restaurant in my hometown in California. I’ve made many Asian coleslaws but this is by far my favourite. One of the key ingredients is Japanese mayonnaise which can be purchased at Japanese grocers and online.

If you can’t get Japanese mayonnaise where you live, you can use what’s available but believe me, the creamy smoothness and flavour of Japanese mayonnaise does make a big difference.

This is an easy Japanese coleslaw recipe that you can literally prepare in minutes.

Can you make this coleslaw ahead?

Yes. You can prepare Japanese coleslaw a couple of days ahead of cooking. Just place in, covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

How long can you store Japanese coleslaw?

This coleslaw will easily last for 3 days, covered in your fridge.

Pro Tips

  1. Use the freshest ingredients: Always be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. If you cabbage, carrots, onions etc. aren’t really fresh, you Japanese coleslaw won’t be either.
  2. Taste as you go: Only you know exactly how you want this to taste. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar. If you want a creamier coleslaw, add more mayo. Get the idea?
  3. Chill. This Japanese coleslaw is best served chilled. So make it and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for Japanese coleslaw

Get your ingredients together for a fuss free preparation.

Mixing mayonnaise and honey together to start the coleslaw dressing.

Whisk the honey and mayonnaise together until creamy smooth.

Prepared coleslaw dressing.

Then whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients. Taste it and adjust to your own taste preference.

Adding the vegetables to the dressing.

Stir in the cabbage and grated carrot until all is nicely coated.

Japanese style coleslaw

Season with salt and pepper to taste and then top with the sesame seeds and fried onions. These can also be stirred in if you like.


Yield: 4 - 6

Japanese Coleslaw

Japanese coleslaw
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 medium green cabbage shredded
  • ¼ medium red cabbage, shredded
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fried onion crumbled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Japanese mayonnaise)
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste, if needed or more soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • roasted white sesame seeds optional
  • fried onion, crumbled optional
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped


  1. Whisk all of dressing ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Try it and adjust the flavours as needed. Be sure to add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage and grated carrot and mix well to combine. You want the cabbage to be nicely coated with the dressing.
  3. To serve, top with the toasted sesame seeds and fried onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g

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I hope you enjoy this Asian coleslaw recipe. I sure do! If you try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Sunday 28th of April 2024

This is an amazing slaw! 5 star. I had bought some Japanese mayo to do a Balsamic Grilled Chicken by Sam the Food Guy, so I wnnt looking on the web for a japanese slaw that mightcompliment well. Yours seemed the interesting, and I had all the ingedients, so Bob's you uncle I made it, reducing portions by 1/4 as I'm on my own tonight. I had to make more because I ate most of it while the chicken was grilling. Tangy and flavorful. It's going to be in the family recipe binder from here on. Thanks, Jeff in Canada

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 30th of April 2024

Thank you so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Dan

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