Cabbage Slaw with Miso-Carrot Dressing

May 24, 2017
4 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Makes 2 quarts
Author Notes

Adapted from this udon noodle salad recipe from Self and Epicurious. I changed the recipe slightly, using fresh lime juice in place of vinegar and adding some additional oil to make it more of an emulsion. If you prefer to use vinegar, I suggest white balsamic or rice vinegar, and you may not need quite as much as 1/3 cup.

This could easily be made into an a carrot-ginger dressing by omitting the garlic and adding a knob of ginger.

Dressing can be halved, but it keeps well in the fridge for a week, and I find for a big slaw, a single recipe isn't enough. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 1 small head napa (or other) cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium unpeeled carrots, ends trimmed (about 8 oz. once trimmed)
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, optional, see notes above
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (or vinegar, see notes above)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed, olive, or neutral oil
  • 1 small head broccoli or cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters through the core. Thinly slice it, discarding the core. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage. Let sit for 15 minutes. Fill bowl with cold water and jostle the cabbage with your hands. Drain into a large colander. Don't worry about drying the cabbage.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: If you're using a food processor, run the carrots down the chute with the shredder attachment in place. Then switch to the default blade, and add the miso, garlic, if using, lime juice, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. With the motor running, pour oil slowly down the chute (I pour it into the cavity of the food pusher, which has a little pin hole, which allows for slow, steady streaming), then add 1/4 cup of water in the same manner. Taste the dressing. Add the additional 1/4 cup of water to thin to the right consistency—dressing will be thin— and to correct it if it tastes too tart. Add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt if necessary. (Note: miso pastes vary in sweetness—the one I'm using is very sweet—so you'll have to adjust the dressing to taste.)
  3. Wipe out the food processor. Switch to the slicer attachment. Run the broccoli or cauliflower florets down the chute. Transfer to a large bowl. (It's now safe to throw your food processor in the dish washer!)
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden. Transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet, and add the pumpkin seeds. Toast until golden, then transfer to a plate to cool.
  5. Transfer cabbage to the bowl with the broccoli or cauliflower. Add the toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds. Add the scallions. Pour dressing over top — you won't need all of it. Toss. Taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nancy
  • Cheryl
  • Änneken
  • Rhonda35
  • Amy Kaufman
    Amy Kaufman
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

18 Reviews

Nancy May 13, 2021
All the reviews are so glowing that I'm nervous to say I was not as pleased. I made it precisely as written. Just for me, mind you, I thought the slaw part was a little too soft? soggy like? after the salt and water treatment. Not as crunchy as I prefer. Maybe I didn't know what to expect. That said, the dressing is amazing and I would use that definitely.
Cheryl July 12, 2019
Good! Next time I won't thin the dressing as much. I made a double batch for a potluck and that was about right.
Carmela M. July 5, 2019
So delicious! Subbed ginger for garlic. Can make dressing ahead then put salad in large bowl in fridge while cooking other parts of dinner. Dressing tastes similar to benihana japanese dressing. Enjoyed!!
Änneken July 13, 2018
Just fabulous! If you love miso, make this.
Aagotz May 20, 2018
This salad is absolutely delicious! My mom made it for a family meal last night, and now I'm adding it to my menu for the week. It's going to be in high rotation in my home!
Rhonda35 June 5, 2017
Great slaw and versatile dressing! I cut back on the slaw ingredients because I was only serving two, so I had dressing leftover. No worries, however. I added a splash of soy and some minced ginger to some of the extra dressing and used it to marinate chicken thighs, which I then grilled - delicious! I also used the dressing, along with mayo, for a twist on my standard tuna salad concoction. Clearly, all that dressing is not going to waste! Thanks for another great recipe, Alexandra!
Rhonda35 June 5, 2017
Oh! I almost forgot - I used another batch of the dressing, with some added ginger, hot sauce and a little peanut butter, to make cold sesame noodles. Perfect for summer!
Alexandra S. June 6, 2017
Rhonda, I love all of these ideas! I have a little jar left, and I was thinking how nice it might be nice to somehow make it creamy — peanut butter sounds perfect, as do cold sesame noodles. Yum. Thank you! And thank you for the kind words.
rldougherty May 28, 2018
Awesome ideas. I have a lot of this leftover, and I think I am going to use it in place of peanut sauce for another recipe this week. Delicious dressing!
MikNik May 29, 2017
Made it exactly as written to go with grilled lamb and grilled shrimp. Really tasty, really easy. People asked for the recipe.
Alexandra S. May 29, 2017
Yay! So happy to hear this. Lamb and shrimp sound lovely.
Amy K. May 28, 2017
Glad that you mentioned that the sweetness varies with different miso brands. (My first type cooking with miso.) My brand was not sweet at all so I had to add sugar to the dressing and cranberries to the final mix. Delicious and devoured!
Alexandra S. May 28, 2017
So happy to hear this, Amy! Cranberries sound delicious. I was totally surprised by the sweetness of the miso I had purchased because this had not been my experience previously. So glad you were able to adjust to taste!
This dressing reminds me a lot of 'Japanese Carrot Dressing ' from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. It is delicious.
I can't wait to try this one, and on coleslaw! What a great idea.
Thank you for yet another healthy yummy recipe Alex!
Alexandra S. May 28, 2017
Oooh, I'll have to check it out! Thank you, Jeannie!
Alex May 28, 2017
I made this with purple cabbage, an extra clove of purple garlic... a bit spicy and meaty even (thank u miso) for how healthy this is. Also, didn't have a food processer but used a blender and it ended up fine. Thanks for sharing!
Alexandra S. May 28, 2017
So great to hear this, Alex! I'm always surprised by the zing of raw garlic.