Delicious Ginger Miso Dressing turns ordinary cabbage into an extraordinary Summer Slaw! This easy recipe has tons of flavor, is a delicious way to get in some veggies and makes the perfect side dish for all the BBQs, potlucks and picnics.
This post has been updated from the original posted July 4, 2017.
Why you’ll love it
- Vibrant: not only is this a stunning summer salad, but those colors are where all the nutrition is…this one is loaded with energy too.
- Delicious: Mouthwatering combination of textures and tastes that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.
- Creamy dairy-free ginger miso dressing…is tangy and satisfying.
- Easy to make with ingredients you’re familiar with.
- Meal prep friendly.
- This is a great recipe to take for a picnic or pot-luck since it holds up well.
Summer Slaw Ingredients
- Cabbage: Napa cabbage has some leafy parts and some crunchy, making it a great choice for slaw. For variety of color, I chose purple cabbage (aka: red cabbage). Green cabbage would also work well. Savoy cabbage wilts more quickly, so it’s a better choice if you’ll be using this slaw right away, or prefer a softer slaw.
- Kale: I love how easy lacinato kale is to de-stem and cut into thin strips. You’ll get a similar nutrition from curly green kale or purple kale.
- Carrots: Substitute with julienned red pepper or snap peas if you’re trying to cut back on carbs.
- Green Onions: Also called scallions, these add great flavor. Substitute with thinly sliced shallots or finely diced red onion.
- Optional: Garnish with sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, sprinkle on some fresh cilantro. Toasted almonds or walnuts would add some great crunch. Thinly sliced red bell pepper or radishes would also be a great addition.
- Miso paste: I use mellow white miso for this miso ginger dressing. Read up on miso below to gauge which type you’d like best.
- Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil brings on an asian slaw recipe vibe to this recipe and I love how much flavor it adds without needing much. If you’re not into using oil, substitute with half tahini and half water.
- Vinegar: Unseasoned rice vinegar offers a bit of subtle tanginess. Substitute with white wine vinegar or use lemon juice in place of vinegar.
- Maple syrup: Just a bit helps temper all the strong flavors.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is the way to go. In a pinch, you can substitute powdered ginger, but it won’t have the same zing.
- Garlic: The vinegar will help temper that raw garlic bitterness so it just gives a great burst of flavor.
- Optional: If you like a spicy dressing, add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or a squirt of sriracha.
What is Miso?
- Miso is a paste that is made from soybeans (you can find varieties made from chickpeas as well), sea salt and a starter (made with rice, barely or another grain) that produces the fermentation.
- Miso paste is a great digestive aid as it is a natural probiotic and restores beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
- Miso is a good source of B-Vitamins, protein and antioxidants.
- It strengthens the immune system and protects against free radicals and improves the quality of blood.
- Miso pairs well with fresh ginger for a tasty Asian flavored dressing.
- Miso can be used to enhance the flavor in vegan soups like this yellow split pea soup.
What kind of miso is best?
It’s always best to read the label to any product you buy to know exactly what’s in it. Not all miso is gluten-free, so if that’s important to you, be sure to look for gluten-free certification and read the ingredient list to be sure it will work well for you.
- White miso: the most mild type of miso, with a bit of sweetness. It is also called Shiro miso and often referred to as mellow white miso. Generally it is made from soybeans that have been fermented with rice for no longer than 6 months.
- Yellow miso: Similar to white miso, yellow miso begins with soybeans. They are fermented with a combination of rice and barley.
- Red miso: has the deepest, richest, salty flavor. Generally it is fermented for longer than the more mellow miso pastes with lighter colors. Red miso is best for flavoring heartier dishes.
- Chickpea miso: This is made with chickpeas rather than soybeans and uses much of the same fermentation process with grains.
- Rice miso: Much of the miso labeled white miso is actually made with a large percentage of white rice. Jars labeled rice miso are often made with brown rice that has been fermenting for 12 months and has a much stronger flavor.
How to make it
Cut through the core of the Napa cabbage lengthwise to first cut in half and then quarters.
Lay the quartered cabbage cut side down and then thinly slice across. Transfer cabbage to the bowl.
Grab the end of the kale stem with one hand and use the other hand to gently pull the leaves away.
Cut de-stemmed kale into thin strips. Add to the large mixing bowl.
Cut the red cabbage into quarters and then cut out the woody core. Thinly slice and then transfer cabbage into the bowl.
Next, thinly slice scallions and add them to the bowl with the rest of the slaw ingredients. Set aside and make the dressing.
How to make Miso Ginger Dressing
Using an immersion blender will cut down on the prep time needed to make this dressing, but you can easily use a small bowl with a fork to make it.
First measure out the miso, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup and cold water. Then, peel the ginger and garlic.
Use a mircroplane to grate the garlic and ginger right over the container with the remaining ingredients. Or, mince ginger and garlic with a knife.
Blend until thick and creamy. If it’s too thick, you may need to add small amounts of water at a time and keep blending to get the right consistency.
Start by pouring just half the dressing and toss well. You can always add more dressing if it’s not enough. Or, Leave the rest in a pitcher on the side so those that like extra dressing can add for themselves.
How else can you use the Ginger Miso Dressing
Ginger Miso dressing jazzes up even the simplest of summer salads. It would also be excellent drizzled onto Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant, or vegan crab cakes. Use it as a dipping sauce for veggie spring rolls, drizzled on grilled asparagus or any roasted vegetable.
Don’t let the fact that you don’t like to chop veggies—-or that you don’t have time to chop veggies—get in the way of making this Summer Slaw.
- Use your food processor instead of chopping by hand.
- Buy already shredded carrots from the grocery store.
- Buy pre-shredded cabbage.
- Buy broccoli slaw and use that with this tangy miso dressing. Bam…done!
Prep and Storage
- Meal Prep: Store prepped veggies, undressed in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days ahead. Store prepared dressing separately in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Storage: Dressed slaw can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will still taste great the next day, but after that it won’t be spoiled, but the veggies will start to get soggy/wilty.
- Freeze: I don’t recommend storing the slaw in the freezer, but the dressing can definitely be frozen for up to 3 months.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Bring the summer slaw undressed to the pot-luck and toss/dress once there.
- Pour dressing over just the amount you think you’ll eat. It’s easy enough to toss up more as needed.
You can usually find miso in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Often it is near the tofu, tempeh and pre-made hummus.
Coleslaw will get soggy the longer it sits in the dressing. Therefore, dress the slaw
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Summer Slaw with Ginger Miso Dressing
- 1/4 head napa cabbage
- 1/4 head red cabbage
- 3 large carrots
- 6 stalks lacinato kale
- 1 bunch green onions
Ginger Miso Sauce
- 1/4 cup light miso
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tblsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- Prepare veggies: Halve the cabbages lengthwise, through the core. Then cut halves into quarters. Thinly slice. Place in a large bowl. Pell the carrots, then shred. Use a food processor shredding disc or the side of a box grater. Remove the center, woody stem from the kale and then cut into thin julienne slices. Cut root end off green onions and then thinly slice.
- Make the Miso Dressing: Use an immersion blender or super small food processor or jar blender. Measure in the miso, vinegar, oil, water and maple syrup. Use a microplane to grate the ginger and garlic directly over other ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Alternately, mix by hand with a fork and some elbow grease.
- Pour half the dressing over large bowl with slaw veggies and mix until thoroughly combined. If coleslaw is still dry, add more dressing and mix again.
- Kale: Substitute curly green or purple kale for the lacinato kale.
- Cabbage: Savoy cabbage can be used instead of napa cabbage. I love purple cabbage for the color, but you can use green cabbage instead.
- Green onions: No scallions? Use spring onions, shallots or finely chopped red onion.
- Carrots: Shredded carrots of any color will work, as well as grated parsnips, beets or thinly sliced celery.