Mary Berry’s Asian Coleslaw

This is Mary Berry’s Asian Coleslaw recipe. The reason it is sometimes known as “cold slaw” is because it is usually served cold. The word derives from the Dutch koolsla, with cole referring to cole crops such as cabbage. Anyhow, whether you call it coleslaw or coldslaw it is, as we know, a fabulously crunchy and delicious side dish. Mary Berry’s Asian Coleslaw serves 10 but the ingredients are easily halved or quartered if you are feeding less people. The fabulous spicy dressing (which includes the deep nutty flavour of sesame oil) adds the wow factor to what is usually a basic recipe smothered in mayonnaise (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mayo but a change is as good as a rest as they say!)

Mary Berry’s Asian Coleslaw

Recipe by Mary Berry, tried and tasted by GraceCourse: Main Meals, RecipesDifficulty: Easy



Best made ahead (so great for busy cooks who are entertaining family and friends). It doesn’t go soggy and keeps really well for a day or two.


  • 500g white cabbage

  • 2 large carrots

  • 200g large radishes

  • 200g mangetout

  • handful of fresh mint

  • handful of fresh coriander

  • handful of fresh basil

  • 100g roasted cashew nuts, chopped


  • 1 fresh, medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • finely grated rind and juice of 2 limes

  • 6 tbsp sesame oil

  • 4 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar


  • Finely shred the cabbage, carrots, radishes and mangetout. Toss all the vegetables together in a large serving bowl until evenly mixed.
  • Coarsely chop the mint and coriander, reserving a few whole leaves for the garnish. Add the chopped herbs to the vegetables in the serving bowl and toss thoroughly to combine.
  • Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a jug. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and, again, toss well to mix. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, preferably longer – up to 12 hours.
  • Before serving, toss the salad well to bring up the dressing that has sunk to the bottom. Finely shred the basil and fold the shredded leaves into the salad with most of the chopped nuts.
  • To serve, scatter the remaining nuts and the reserved whole mint and coriander leaves on top. Serve the coleslaw at room temperature.

Cook’s Tip

  • Shred the vegetables as finely as possible. I used a tomato knife which has a serrated blade and cuts like a dream. A mandolin is also excellent for this job. You have to, of course, be very careful with your fingers whichever one you choose! (Am typing this with a large plaster on my forefinger!)
  • Substituted roasted hazelnuts for cashews (as latter so expensive and I already had former in my cupboard)

Lots more mouthwatering salad recipes here