This quick coleslaw version of Korean kimchi has all of the classic Asian flavor but is ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.
Kimchi is having it’s day in the culinary spotlight with a whole new slew of devotees who are loving the vibrant flavors of its age-old traditional Korean fermented flavors.
And then, there are the haters. Okay, that’s a strong word. Let’s instead call them the misinformed, those who sadly share a not always positive perception of kimchi. “Ew, it smells.” “Why would you bury your food in the ground?” “It must be hard to make.”
Hardly so. Especially when you make take all the flavors to make a quick Asian cabbage slaw instead.
This coleslaw recipe starts with what every good slaw recipe should, cabbage. Today we’re using two different varieties, crunchy red cabbage for color and crunch mixed with the more delicate Napa cabbage for volume.
Because kimchi is traditionally a fermented side dish, slicing the cabbage into larger chunks and keeping the sturdier stalk is an essential part of the dish so that it doesn’t wilt away into nothingness. But because we’re turning this into a quicker-version slaw, I like to feature more of the leafy parts of the cabbage and less of the stalk so it’s more salad-like instead.
Carrots, red bell pepper, and green onion round out our salad slaw fixings with a topping of sesame seeds for more classic Asian crunch.
The dressing is a riff on another Asian slaw I’ve made time and time again, but this time with Korean hot pepper paste gochujang added for that signature Korean heat. The slaw is great served alongside any Korean dish like bulgogi or used as a topper like in my Korean BBQ Burgers.
I say it’s time to join the fray, and spice things up the Korean way.
Quick Korean Spicy Slaw Recipe
- 1 small head napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 cup red cabbage thinly sliced
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons gochujang Korean chile paste, to your taste for heat
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Add the cabbages, green onion, carrot and red bell pepper to a large bowl. To a glass jar fitted with a lid, add the rice vinegar, gochujang, oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Shake well (or whisk if it doesn't incorporate) and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat and top with sesame seeds. Refrigerate for 15 minutes up to overnight.
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