Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad

Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad

I’m calling this a salad even though it’s technically more of a “slaw”. Unfortunately, Matt despises that word and I don’t want him to make that “Um…ew” face that I find hilarious except when it’s directed at my beautiful Asian slaw. Excuse me… salad.

What words do you inexplicably hate? My sister-in-law, Kathy, hates the word “moist” (so I try to use it as often and as awkwardly as I can). “Boy, those (meat)balls sure look moist!”

I can’t stand the word “meal”.  As in (bored diner waitress plops down plate) “Enjoy your meal.”  (I convulse and try to picture my happy place).

Well, this slaw is very moist and would make a great addition to any meal.  (I think I just died).

Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad

Seriously though, this salad is delicious and a real looker. We made it to go with our Braised Short Ribs with Beer and Hoisin but it’s wonderful with anything that needs a crisp, clean side-dish.

Oh, I also hate “ointment”.

Nerd Tips:
  • Not into fennel? Just leave it out!
  • Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup mayo or greek yogurt to make it a creamy dressing.
  • You could make this a day ahead but don’t put the dressing on until you’re ready to serve.
Braised Short Ribs with Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad
Braised Short Ribs with Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad
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Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad

Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Emily Clifton


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 cups finely shredded green cabbage regular, savoy or napa
  • 4 cups finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel
  • 1/4 cup finely grated carrots
  • 3 scallions white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, sesame oil, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and sugar; set dressing aside.
  • Place both cabbages, fennel, scallions and carrots in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add just enough dressing to coat and toss. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!


5 thoughts on “Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad”

  1. This is so pretty. We have so gosh dang much cabbage from our winter CSA we have been eating slaw (oh yeah I mean salads) with it way too much. But even still this is looking so amazingly fresh to me, I am re-inspired. Good to find your blog. Your photos and commentary are awesome. Cheers!

    • Thank you so much! I know what it’s like to have an insane amount of a single vegetable from a CSA. One year we got about 30lbs of kohlrabi!

  2. You are amazing. That is all.

    Well…and I wanted you to know I also hate the word “moist…”

    Greg hates anything having to do with eyeballs, achilles tendons, or spiders. 🙂

    • Ha! I love how controversial the word “moist” is! I kind of hate it too but I love how Kathy responds to it so I have to use it as often as possible. We’ll have to find a special soup that has all of Greg’s hates.


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