Quick and Easy Spicy Korean Coleslaw

Quick and easy spicy Korean coleslaw on a white plate

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
133 Calories
3g Fat
25g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 414mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 87mg 433%
Calcium 147mg 11%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 616mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is an easy Korean "salad" that has a flavor profile similar to kimchi. It's a fresh, crunchy take on the classic Korean dish, and it only takes a few minutes to throw together. The combination of garlic, soy sauce, sesame, and vinegar makes a flavorful dressing for fresh cabbage, onion, and carrot. You'll find the Korean crushed red pepper at Asian markets. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your spice tolerance.

This Korean slaw is made even quicker and easier thanks to bagged coleslaw mix. There's no mayo, so this salad is light and pairs well with both picnic food and Korean meals. Try serving it with grilled chicken, fish, or beef.


  • 1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced, or 1 bag shredded cabbage or slaw mix

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage, optional

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned, optional

  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 to 5 medium scallions, coarsely chopped

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice or white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (kochukaru/gochugaru)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for quick and easy spicy Korean coleslaw gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, and scallions in a large bowl.

    Cabbage, carrot, onion, and scallions combined in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a small bowl and mix.

    Garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately or chill for a few hours to allow the flavors a chance to develop.

    Quick and easy spicy Korean coleslaw in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi


  • Save some time and prep the veggies the night before, place them in airtight containers and put in the fridge. When ready, prepare the sauce and mix with the veggies.
  • This salad is best eaten the day of making it so it retains its crunchiness.

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