Crisp, crunchy and bursting with flavor, this Napa Cabbage Salad is utterly addictive.  This vegan salad is packed with sweet and savory flavor, tossed in an Asian dressing, and is the perfect meal prep recipe!

Napa cabbage salad in a white bowl with spoon

I know most people prefer spring and summer produce, but winter produce is some of my favorite. I’m thoroughly enjoying kale, radicchio, parsnips and cabbage in every form.

I love eating cabbage raw in coleslaw, or cooked in my sautéed cabbage recipe. If you’re a fan too, be sure to see all of these cabbage recipes for inspiration!

This Napa Cabbage Salad is my latest obsession. It’s a cross between a salad and slaw, so it’s truly the best of both worlds.

Asian napa cabbage salad in a white bowl with cilantro on top

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This salad is addictively crisp and crunchy, and it’s bursting with sweet and savory flavor. It’s tossed in a flavorful Asian dressing that makes it downright exciting.
  • It keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge with dressing, making it great for meal prep!
  • It may be customized with your favorite protein such as edamame or shredded chicken to make it more substantial.
  • This salad is vegan, and may be easily made gluten free, paleo or Low FODMAP by substituting the soy sauce with wheat free tamari or coconut aminos.

Recipe ingredients

The ingredients for this napa cabbage salad may be customized with what you have on hand, or to suit a special diet.

Napa cabbage salad ingredients
  • Napa cabbage. This type of cabbage is oblong in shape, the leaves are crisp yet soft and crinkly, and it’s mild in flavor. If you can’t find it, you may substitute it with green cabbage.
  • Orange. The fresh orange makes a big difference in this recipe, and the juice is also used in the dressing. Canned mandarin oranges may be used as a time saver.
  • Oil/Sesame oil. I used a combination of vegetable oil and sesame oil in this dressing. Sesame oil alone is very overpowering, so it’s best to combine it with something more neutral in flavor.
  • Rice wine vinegar. This type of vinegar is milder and sweeter in flavor. You may substitute it with apple cider vinegar or if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Soy sauce. I prefer to use low sodium soy sauce to control the amount of salt. If you’re gluten intolerant or following a Low FODMAP or paleo diet, substitute the soy sauce with wheat free tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Green onions. If you’re following a Low FODMAP diet, only include the the dark green tops or scallions in this recipe.

How to make this recipe

This napa cabbage salad recipe is very easy to make. Follow the step by step photos below to learn how to segment and orange quickly and easily.

Pro tip: toast the almonds and prepare the dressing in advance to make meal prep even easier!

removing the peel from the top, bottom and sides of orange
Knife segmenting an orange slice
Segmented oranges and orange juice in a bowl
Toasted sliced almonds and asian dressing in a bowl
napa cabbage salad before and after tossing
  1. Place the orange on a cutting board and cut off the top and bottom.
  2. Stand the orange up on the cutting board and remove the peel from the sides by cutting it from top to bottom, all the way around the orange, removing the white pith.
  3. Cut along one side of the orange segment.
  4. Cut along the other side of the orange segment at a slight angle to remove.
  5. Set the orange slices aside for the salad.
  6. Squeeze the remaining orange after segmenting and reserve the juice for the Asian dressing (you’ll have about 2 tablespoons).
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
  8. Place the rice wine vinegar, oil, reserved orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  9. Place the napa cabbage, orange slices, carrot, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl.
  10. Toss with enough dressing to coat, and top with the toasted almonds.

FAQs

What is the difference between napa cabbage and regular cabbage?

Napa cabbage is oblong in shape, with crisp yet soft crinkly leaves and mild, delicate flavor. Regular cabbage is round with thick, sturdy leaves and a stronger cabbage flavor.

Can you eat napa cabbage raw?

Napa cabbage may be eaten raw or cooked just like regular cabbage.

How do you cut napa cabbage for salad?

To cut napa cabbage for salad, cut the bottom off, then cut in half lengthwise. You may tear the leaves into large pieces, or place cut side down on the cutting board and cut into shreds.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: toast the almonds and prepare the dressing in advance to make meal prep even easier! Store the almonds in an air tight container for up to one week and store the dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Just shake and pour!
  • This napa cabbage salad recipe is great for meal prep and will keep in the refrigerator dressed for up to 3 days.  For best results, top with almonds just before serving.
  • Customize this salad with your favorite veggies or protein such as edamame or shredded chicken!
  • This salad is vegan, and may be easily made gluten free, paleo or Low FODMAP by substituting the soy sauce with wheat free tamari or coconut aminos. For Low FODMAP, only use the dark green tops of the green onions.
Bowl of napa cabbage salad with fork buried inside

More salad recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below or snap a photo and tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Napa cabbage salad in a white bowl with spoon

Napa Cabbage Salad with Asian Dressing

Napa Cabbage Salad is crisp, crunchy and utterly addictive! This vegan salad is sweet, savory and tossed in an Asian dressing!
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Ingredients

  • 1 head napa cabbage small to medium size, halved and sliced thinly
  • 2 medium navel oranges
  • 1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thinly and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 green onions sliced thinly on the bias (use only dark green tops for Low FODMAP diet)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Asian dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as vegetable or algae oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice squeezed from remaining orange after segmenting
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce use wheat free tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free, paleo or Low FODMAP diets
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Instructions 

  • Place the orange on a cutting board and cut off the top and bottom.
  • Stand the orange up on the cutting board and remove the peel from the sides by cutting it from top to bottom, all the way around the orange, removing the white pith.
    removing the peel from the top, bottom and sides of orange
  • Cut along one side of the orange segment.
  • Cut along the other side of the orange segment at a slight angle to remove.
    Knife segmenting an orange slice
  • Set the orange slices aside for the salad.
  • Squeeze the remaining orange after segmenting and reserve the juice for the Asian dressing (you'll have about 2 tablespoons).
    Segmented oranges and orange juice in a bowl
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
  • Place the rice wine vinegar, oil, reserved orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.
    Toasted sliced almonds and asian dressing in a bowl
  • Place the napa cabbage, orange slices, carrot, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Toss with enough dressing to coat, and top with the toasted almonds. Serve and enjoy!
    napa cabbage salad before and after tossing

Notes

  • Pro tip: toast the almonds and prepare the dressing in advance to make meal prep even easier! Store the almonds in an air tight container for up to one week and store the dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Just shake and pour!
  • This napa cabbage salad recipe is great for meal prep and will keep in the refrigerator dressed for up to 3 days.  For best results, top with almonds just before serving.
  • Customize this salad with your favorite veggies or protein such as edamame or shredded chicken!

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 157mg, Potassium: 513mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2290IU, Vitamin C: 73mg, Calcium: 148mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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