asian-inspired slaw with mango

asian slaw with mango

All right, my dears. I don’t have much time, so I’ll be brief. And I’m sorry to be so hasty and short. This salad right here – please make it. It’s going to help you get through the hot and sticky days of summer. The crunch of the cabbage, the sweetness of mango, the bite of the chili pepper, the cool, sweet burst of corn. This salad here – a keeper. And transports well for things like picnics and backyard barbecues. And I hope that you plan on going to a lot of those this season.

asian slaw with mango

There are many a joke made about Russians and their love of cabbage. We are a people that loves our cabbage pickled, stuffed, stewed, in soups and in pies. Cabbage, in Russian cooking, will be the main event, not an accessory. Perhaps, outside of the potato, it is the most loved vegetable in Russia. We, Russians, take our cabbage seriously. And here, I took the beloved Russian vegetable and put an Thai-ish spin on it. I should’ve thrown some peanuts in, but I didn’t have any on hand.

asian slaw with mango

The slaw is quite a deviation from a traditional slaws that involve mayonnaise. I’m not one to knock mayo, especially if it’s homemade, but sometimes, when the summer days grow sweltering and muggy, it is not exactly a condiment you dream of. Or maybe that’s just me. On the other hand, things like lime juice and a little spice are always welcome in my kitchen, especially when it’s warm outside.

asian slaw with mango

You might think to yourself, cilantro and mint together – an herb overkill, perhaps? I thought so before, until I accidentally combined them in a similar salad once and I haven’t looked back since. Somehow, oddly, they are complementary to one another and both are summery and crisp.

asian slaw with mango

I notice that around this time of year, I want more salad on my plate and less meat. And I know we’re entering grilling season, but still, my heart (and stomach) crave vegetables. Last night, at book club, one of the girls served a lovely goat cheese and spinach tart (oh how the wheels in my head are turning), a simple cucumber salad with parsley and creme fraiche, and some rocket with a simple vinaigrette. It was simple, it was crisp and it was perfect.

And in thinking this morning about the salad here, I realized that in the summer, what we want is to feel as light and breezy as the summer breeze itself. A cinch to put together, easy take along, wonderfully uplifting. What could be a better way to greet the summer season?

Asian Slaw with Mango in Spicy Lime Dressing

Salad Ingredients:
1/3 head green cabbage, chopped
1/3 head red cabbage, chopped
1 mango, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 thinly sliced red onion (mandoline does a great job)
2 ears of corn, with kernels cut off the ears
1 bird’s eye chili
a handful of each chopped: cilantro and mint

Dressing Ingredients:
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp sambal olek
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup (if you require a bit more sweetness from your dressing)
1/4 tsp fish sauce


Mix the dressing ingredients in a small container and set aside.Combine all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Pour half the dressing over your salad and toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing if you feel so inclined.

The salad tastes great right way, but also develops a nice flavor if left in the fridge overnight as well.

If bringing to a picnic, toss the dressing with the vegetables right before serving. Keep the vegetables cool, if possible.


  • Laura t.

    Yes! I’m all for a coleslaw recipe that doesn’t call for mayo. I usually go for an oil/lime/cumin/jalapeno sauce, though this southeast asian version sounds super tasty too.

  • Allison

    I love love love cabbage and coleslaw! The addition of mangos and corn sounds so good. I will definitely have to try this. :)

  • Leah

    I’m going to make this for my husband on Father’s Day! He loves salad and anything with mango. Thanks for the recipe!

  • James

    This is the first of your recipes I have commented on, and it’s yet another inspiring one. I’m really looking forward to making this recipe this afternoon. Like you say, it’s perfect for this warm weather, even here in Britain!

  • kamran siddiqi

    *Screaming* LOVE IT!! I absolutely agree with you on mayo and this hot weather- sometimes it’s just too… I can’t think of a word, but you get what I mean. I love this asian-inspired coleslaw! Plus anything with mango in it is a keeper for me! :)

  • Megan Gordon

    This looks lovely! I do an asian-inspired slaw, too, with peanut sauce and tofu but had never thought to add mango and corn. Really love the idea and for some reason, we’ve got mangoes coming out of the wazoo here in CA right now. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Christine

    Beautiful! We love our slaws in my house. And we also love the Thai twist.

    And apropos of nothing I must say that I am in love with your knife. We bought one in Tokyo, and it is fully functional and really fun to cut with, but man yours just goes above and beyond and is gorgeous to boot! Jealous!

  • Radish

    Christine – thank you!! I must say, that I’m quite in love with it myself. It seriously is the best knife I’ve ever worked with! I hope to take good care of it so I can keep it for a lifetime!!

  • lisa

    This is a beautiful delicious slaw. I love everything about it — the flavors, textures, and the dressing…such a gorgeous meal.

Leave a Comment