Japanese coleslaw


Japanese salads are so fresh and tasty, I love them. Here is a simple salad made with white cabbage, but you could add any other shredded raw veg to vary the slaw. The best thing about it is that there’s no mayonnaise, something I really don’t like much. There’s always a bit of sugar in Japanese cooking, essential for the umami balance of flavours…but I try to minimise it as much as possible.

Serves 4

  • 1 very small white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 60 ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • light soy sauce, to taste (I use kikkoman)
  • salt and pepper
  • lots of toasted sesame seeds or nori sprinkles – a mix of toasted sesame seeds, nori seaweed, and chill flakes


  • Shred the onion and cabbage and soak in iced water for 5 minutes
  • Drain and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes – it needs to be really cold
  • Mix up the dressing ingredients and pour over the cabbage/onion mix in a large bow
  • Season and sprinkle with the seeds
  • Ready!

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