triple sesame coleslaw in large serving bowl with gold serving utensils

Vegan Triple Sesame Coleslaw (East Asian-Inspired)

Fresh, flavorful, and packed with East Asian-inspired touches. This Triple Sesame Coleslaw is about to change summer barbecues forever!

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triple sesame slaw in large serving bowl with gold serving utensils

I am so excited to welcome this beautiful Triple Sesame Coleslaw into the world. Say goodbye to that sad, ignored container of store-bought coleslaw at every summer barbecue because this recipe is here to save the day. It’s packed with vibrant and colorful veggies and made with plenty of East Asian-inspired touches like rice vinegar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil to make your tastebuds dance. You won’t be able to go back to anything else.

Ingredients for Triple Sesame Coleslaw

To be clear, while I want to appropriately credit the origin of many of these ingredients as East Asian, this recipe is absolutely not authentic. It’s simply inspired by the flavors of that part of the world.

Red and Green Cabbage: I like a mix for optimum texture and color, but you can do all red or all green if that’s what you have! We’ll get into all the details about how to properly cut your cabbage later in the post.

Carrots: You can either shred them on a box grater or peel them into ribbons.

Green Onions: For a bit of herbaceous goodness.

Sesame Seeds: We’re gonna toast them in a frying pan! It’s gonna be great!

Sesame Sticks: These are optional, but add a ton of flavor and crunch. Omit if you’re gluten-free. I get mine at Trader Joe’s.

coleslaw ingredients in large bowl in individual wedges

Soy Tahini Dressing Ingredients

Tahini: That creamy, nutty flavor is to die for.

Toasted Sesame Oil: To add more depth of sesame flavor. This is triple sesame slaw, after all.

Soy Sauce or Tamari: For umami vibes. Use tamari to keep gluten-free.

Rice Vinegar: For brightness and acidity.

Maple Syrup: Just a splash to balance out all the flavors.

Garlic and Ginger: Aromatics for the win.

coleslaw in large bowl with golden utensils

Cabbage Tips & Tricks

If you’ve never sliced a whole cabbage before, it may feel intimidating. Trust me, once you learn, it’s so not a big deal! Let’s take this step by step.

  1. Remove the tough outer leaves and slice the cabbage in half.
  2. Remove the stem (also too tough to eat) from both halves.
  3. Place each half face down on your cutting board and finely slice.

If you’re a visual person, check out this super helpful video to guide you into cabbage paradise. And of course, if all else fails, you can totally buy pre-chopped cabbage or a couple bags of coleslaw mix from the store. I am the last person to judge.

coleslaw ingredients in individual wedges in large bowl

Make This Coleslaw Your Own!

This slaw is a sure summer barbecue winner, but it’s also incredible as a main meal. It’s super hearty and keeps well for up to 5 days, making it ideal for meal prep. Here are my best thoughts on how to amp things up a bit.

  • Add a grain! Rice or quinoa would be fabulous.
  • Throw some chicken, salmon, or crispy tofu (my personal favorite) on top for protein.
  • Toss the salad with a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas or some shelled edamame.

I hope this Triple Sesame Coleslaw changes your summer parties forever. Feel free to leave a rating, review, question, or concern. It makes my day to hear from you. You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. Come join the party!

More Amazing Summer Sides

triple sesame coleslaw in large bowl
triple sesame coleslaw in large serving bowl with gold serving utensils

Triple Sesame Coleslaw (East Asian-Inspired)

Fresh, flavorful, and packed with East Asian-inspired touches. This Triple Sesame Coleslaw is about to change summer barbecues forever!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine East Asian
Servings 8 as a side, 4 as a main


  • Cutting Board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Large Bowl
  • medium bowl
  • medium frying pan


  • 2 cups green cabbage shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup carrots shredded on the large holes of a box grater or peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • ½ cup green onions finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds toasted
  • ½ cup sesame sticks (just for fun and optional)

For the Soy Tahini Dressing

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (can sub honey)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp ginger finely grated


  • First, prep your veggies! Peel the skin off your carrots using a vegetable peeler. From here, you have options depending on what you like. You can either continue with your vegetable peeler and make beautiful carrot ribbons, or you can shred them on the large holes of a box grater.
  • Next, let's rock and roll with some green and red cabbage. Remove the tough outer leaves, slice each cabbage in half, and remove the stem. Place each cabbage half face down on a cutting board and use a chef's knife to finely shred.
  • Remove any stringy or sad looking ends from your green onions and finely slice.
  • Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the sesame seeds to the pan in a thin and even layer. Use a wooden spoon to move the seeds around the pan occasionally to ensure they don't burn and get evenly toasted. This should take between 5-7 minutes. Set them aside to cool for a couple minutes while you make your dressing.
  • Add all dressing ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until well-combined.
  • Assemble! Add red and green cabbage, carrots, green onions, sesame seeds, and dressing to a large bowl and toss to combine. Serve as a side dish and add optional sesame sticks to individual portions, or serve as a main meal and add some protein!


Storage: This salad is hearty and will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
To keep gluten-free: Use tamari in place of soy sauce and omit sesame sticks.
Keyword 4th of july, cabbage, carrots, coleslaw, dairy-free, gluten free, green cabbage, memorial day, nut-free, red cabbage, sesame, sesame oil, sesame seeds, slaw, summer barbecue, tahini, vegan, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

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