Japanese Cabbage Salad

Experience a taste of Japan with my Japanese Cabbage Salad! This vibrant dish combines shredded cabbage with a flavorful Japanese-style dressing, creating a refreshing and satisfying experience! With minimal effort and maximum flavor, this salad is the perfect addition to your next Japanese-inspired meal!

Japanese cabbage salad being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Why I Love This Recipe

If you’re looking for a quick and effortless way to add a burst of flavor to your Japanese-style meal, then my Japanese Cabbage Salad is a must-try! Inspired by my father’s dish, this refreshing side pairs perfectly with classics like my Japanese Cucumber Salad Sunomono and Japanese Spinach Salad!

With just a handful of ingredients and less than 5 minutes of prep time, you can enjoy a crunchy, zesty, and savory salad that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned pro, this recipe is guaranteed to impress and delight your taste buds. So why wait? Dive into the vibrant flavors of Japan today!



  • Cabbage – freshly shredded green cabbage.
  • Ponzu – a citrus flavored soy sauce found in most Japanese supermarkets, Mizkan brand preferred.
  • Sliced Almonds – pre-sliced packaged sliced almonds. Can use raw or toasted.
  • Green Onions – freshly chopped green onion scallions.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  

Ingredient Substitutions

While green cabbage is my preferred choice for this recipe, Red Cabbage can be substituted for those looking to add a unique twist to the dish. The use of red cabbage not only alters the flavor profile but also enhances the visual appeal of the salad, providing a vibrant pop of color.

🥬 Cabbage Pro Tip

For easier prep, use Pre-Shredded Cabbage. This saves time and effort, eliminating the need for manual shredding. It’s a convenient option without compromising taste or quality, making cooking simpler and more efficient.

Ingredients to make Japanese cabbage salad being prepared, top down shot.


Step 1 Begin by whisking together ponzu and toasted sesame oil to create the dressing.

Japanese cabbage salad dressing in a mixing bowl.

🧂 Extra Flavor Pro Tip

Consider adding a splash of Rice Vinegar or a squeeze of Lemon Juice to the dressing for an extra layer of tanginess.

Step 2 Use a mandolin to achieve thin shreds of cabbage, or opt for pre-shredded cabbage for convenience. Arrange the shredded cabbage in a small bowl, and generously sprinkle chopped green onions and sliced almonds on top. Drizzle dressing before serving.

Japanese cabbage salad topped with sliced almonds.

🌿 Garnishing Pro Tip

For an extra touch of flavor and texture, consider adding Toasted Sesame Seeds as an additional garnish.

🍽️ Serving Pro Tip

Best to Serve Slightly Chilled and Only Dress the Portion You Plan to Eat immediately. This ensures the cabbage maintains its crunchy texture, which is essential to the dish’s appeal. Avoid letting the cabbage sit in the dressing for too long to preserve its freshness.

Recipe Variations

Transform the cabbage salad base into an Asian Cabbage Salad by using my homemade dressing. This variation adds Asian-inspired flavors, providing a sweet, tangy, and savory twist to the dish.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this cabbage salad with Pork Tonkatsu or Tebasaki Chicken Wings for a classic Japanese meal. Additionally, serving it with Japanese Chicken Soup completes the meal with a satisfying balance of flavors and textures.

Japanese style ponzu salad dressing being poured over shredded cabbage salad topped with sliced almonds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the dressing ahead of time and store it separately from the cabbage?

Yes, absolutely! You can prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it separately from the cabbage. In fact, it's a great idea for saving time on busy days or when you want to streamline your meal prep process.

Is there a substitute for the almonds in this recipe?

Yes, absolutely! If you're looking to substitute almonds in this recipe, sliced nuts can be a fantastic alternative. You can try using sliced cashews, pecans, or even walnuts to add a similar crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the salad.

Can I use store-bought shredded cabbage instead of shredding it myself?

Absolutely! Using store-bought shredded cabbage is a great time-saving option for this recipe. It allows you to skip the step of shredding the cabbage yourself, making the preparation process quicker and more convenient. Plus, store-bought shredded cabbage is readily available in most grocery stores, so you can easily find it and get started on making this delicious cabbage salad in no time.

Storage Tips

For optimal freshness, it’s best to enjoy the cabbage salad immediately after preparation, as the cabbage tends to become soft once dressed. If there are any leftovers, store the unused shredded cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will maintain its quality for 3-5 days. The dressing can also be stored separately in the fridge in an airtight container and will remain fresh for 10-14 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese cabbage salad being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Japanese Cabbage Salad

Discover the fresh flavors of Japan with my Japanese Cabbage Salad recipe. This simple and refreshing dish is perfect as a side or appetizer, offering a delightful crunch and zesty dressing. Try it today for a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine!
4.47 from 26 votes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese cabbage salad
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 118kcal


  • 4 Cups Cabbage shredded
  • 2 tbsp Ponzu
  • 2 tbsp Almonds sliced
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Japanese cabbage salad.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine toasted sesame oil and ponzu.
    Japanese cabbage salad dressing in a mixing bowl.
  • Shred cabbage with a shredder and transfer to serving bowl. Top with sliced almonds and chopped green onions. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing on top.
    Japanese cabbage salad topped with sliced almonds.


Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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