Summer Cook-out Side Dish: Asian Slaw

July 4th is always a little bittersweet for me.  I love a summer celebration, but it feels like summer’s halftime which means pools, boating and cook-outs won’t last forever. My go to recipe for cook-outs has long been: Those Potatoes (yes, that’s the name of the recipe.)  But for this year’s first barbecue of the season, someone beat me to the potatoes. I had to find an alternative!

While I love to cook, the process of coming up with something and the uncertainty of how it will turn out (I currently do not have the luxury of testing a recipe at home before sharing) is unenjoyable. Forced out of my comfort zone, I mentally ran through the normal options at a cook-out: potatoes? check – someone else doing, salad? already taken, mac and cheese? felt too heavy with potatoes already on the list, slaw?  hmmm…that could be something, but I did not want to do the traditional creamy version.  In Kentucky’s heat and humidity, there is just something unappetizing about a pile of heavy white slaw.  Asian slaw!  I started googling recipes and came across Dave Lieberman’s Asian Style Slaw. Hit my requirements: easy to make with relatively healthy ingredients (Note: many asian slaw recipes I came across included peanut butter.  I like that this one did not, making it allergy friendly for most.) Done. If you are like me and hate figuring out what to make – steal this!

The recipe makes a lot of slaw – enough to share with friends and have leftovers – and scored great reviews. It works with burgers or pork barbecue (I want to try it with fish tacos too!) My uncle had the bright idea to pile it on top of his pork sandwich. Yum. Happy 4th!

Slaw Cabbage

You can find the recipe here, or the summary below.


Vegetables / Slaw

  1. 1 bunch scallions
  2. 1 head of shredded green cabbage
  3. 1 head of shredded red cabbage
  4. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced


  1. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  4. 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  5. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  6. 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, optional
  7. 2 teaspoons asian sesame oil
  8. 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 20 grinds black pepper


  1. Mix the slaw / vegetables together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. When ready to serve, add the dressing to the slaw / vegetables mixture and stir.


  1. Grating ginger – ginger used to intimidate me.  But it is actually pretty manageable.  Cut the size or section needed and then peel or cut the skin off (I think it is easier to cut off then peel).  Then run it over the grater.
  2. Dark Brown Sugar – I have made this recipe with and without the sugar.  It does taste a little better with the sugar, but it still tastes just fine without it.
  3. I do add the sesame seeds as it provides a little texture.  Sunflower seeds would likely work too.
  4. I use the food processor to shred fresh cabbage, but buying the bags of shredded cabbage is a good quick hack.
  5. The directions advise not mixing in the dressing until it is time to serve (this is why I kept forgetting to get a picture of the final product!). It notes that after mixing in the dressing, the slaw will get “wilty and sad.”  I ate the leftovers for days – adding it to salads or as a side dish – and still thought it tasted as good as the first day. But before putting in the fridge, I strained off the excess dressing and stored separately.  I think this helped with the leftovers’ longevity.

2 thoughts on “Summer Cook-out Side Dish: Asian Slaw

  1. Liz says:

    I was going to look up something similar to go w pulled BBQ pork. Perfect! Thanks for posting and looking forward to trying tomorrow!


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