Vietnamese-inspired coleslaw

A flavourful twist on a familiar salad!

Coleslaw is a particular favourite, especially when made with a vinaigrette rather than a temperature-sensitive mayonnaise based dressing. I’ve long been a fan of a simple lemon-garlic-olive oil-oregano combination but recently got to thinking about how awesome an Asian-style vinaigrette would taste when paired with classic shredded cabbage and carrots. The result – this recipe – is stupendous, in my humble opinion. It takes coleslaw from tasty to terrific and would go well with any grilled meats or fish. You can serve it up in a big salad bowl or, for a prettier presentation, look for little vessels that you can pre-fill with the prepared coleslaw.


  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (2.5 – 5 mL) sriracha (hot sauce), to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons (45 mL) fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) canola or vegetable oil
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 L) shredded cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) fresh mint, chopped
  • small sprigs fresh mint, for garnish


  • Combine sugar and vinegar in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add garlic, shallot, sriracha, lime juice, fish sauce, oil and pepper. Cover and shake well to combine.
  • Put cabbage, carrots and mint in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.
  • Drizzle dressing over vegetables and toss gently so vegetables are evenly coated.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, pinch sugar) to suit your preference.
  • Garnish with mint sprigs and serve (or refrigerate, covered, until serving time).

Makes 8 – 10 servings.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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