Asian Cabbage Salad with Mandarin Oranges

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This Asian Cabbage Salad with mandarin oranges is packed with crisp, fresh vegetables and topped with a punch of flavor from the sweet and salty dressing.

If you like making salads, like chicken salad or taco salad with ground beef, you’re going to love this Asian cabbage salad. It’s packed with crunch and massive flavor that turns lunch into a party.

Asian Cabbage Salad

This salad utilizes Asian flavors, like soy sauce, lime, and ginger, to create a flavor bomb that is irresistible. Add vibrant cabbage and bell pepper to the salad and you have a winning dish, with very little effort.

You can choose to keep this salad vegetarian and serve it as a side dish. The mandarin oranges and peanuts make it quite a filling salad. Or you can also add shredded chicken or sliced chicken breast to it to make it a more substantial dinner salad.

Ingredients You Need

This salad is absolutely packed with flavors and textures. To get that variety, you’re going to need quite a few ingredients. It’s not a difficult salad to put together, but it does take quite a few ingredients.

I always prefer to make my own dressing, especially when I’m closely watching my carbs. You can avoid a lot of added sugar that way. However, if you have a preferred low carb Asian dressing you like, you can use that instead of making your own.

For the Spicy Peanut Dressing

Asian peanut dressing
  • Natural peanut butter – the peanut butter is the ingredient you need to pay the most attention to. You shouldn’t use just any peanut butter if you’re watching your sugar intake. Look for an all natural peanut butter that only has crushed peanuts in it.
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Sriracha – this is optional, if you like a little bit of spice in your life. It doesn’t make the dressing “hot”, just gives a little kick.
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the Salad

shredded cabbage and carrot
  • Green and red cabbage – I like to mix green and red cabbage in this salad because it adds a great pop of color, but it’s not necessary use both.
  • Mandarin oranges – You can supreme your own fresh mandarin oranges, or buy mandarin oranges in a can or jar – just make sure they are not packed in sugar water.
  • Carrots shredded
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Toasted peanuts

Is Peanut Butter Low Carb?

You might be wondering if peanut butter is actually low carb. A single 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving of peanut butter contains 5 grams of net carbs, so you can eat it in moderation on the keto diet as long as you carefully plan the other foods you eat.

We use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) total peanut butter in this recipe, divided by 4 servings. So there are 2.5 grams of net carbs in the dressing.

Natural peanut butter has only two ingredients: peanuts and salt, so it’s the best choice to avoid any additional fillers or sugars. Try one of these natural peanut butter, or something like this keto nut butter. As an alternative, you can also grind a handful of roasted peanuts yourself with a mortar and pestle to add to the dressing.

Asian Cabbage Salad

Are Mandarin Oranges Low Carb?

The other ingredient that adds carbs to this dish is the mandarin oranges. I prefer to keep healthy fruits in my diet, but if you’re looking to make this recipe as low carb as possible, you can omit the mandarin orange slices.

One mandarin orange contains about 8 net grams of carbs. We use the equivalent of 1 1/2 mandarin oranges for this recipe (about 11 slices), divided by 4 servings. So there are about 3 net grams of carbs per serving from the mandarin oranges.

If you’re using mandarin oranges in a can, be sure to purchase the no sugar added version, not the “in light syrup” version, which contains extra sugars.

What to Serve With This Dish?

This side dish goes well with a lot of different main dishes. Here are a few of our favorites:


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Asian Cabbage Salad

Asian Cabbage Salad

This Asian Cabbage Salad is packed with crisp, fresh vegetables and topped with a punch of flavor from the sweet and salty dressing.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Cabbage, Peanut Butter
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Laura


For the Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely minced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced

For the Salad

  • 4 cup green cabbage shredded
  • 2 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 2 large carrots shredded
  • 1 medium red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 2 green onions green parts only, sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted peanuts chopped
  • 10 oz no sugar added mandarin oranges drained


  • To make the dressing, combine the peanut butter, vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha sauce in a medium skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and heat, stirring continually, until the peanut butter melts and the ingredients are thoroughly combined, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and whisk in remaining dressing ingredients until combined. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Keep warm.
  • Combine shredded green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onion, and fresh cilantro in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with a small amount of the warm peanut dressing. Toss to combine.
  • Transfer salad to a decorative serving platter and top with chopped peanuts, Mandarin oranges, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with remaining peanut dressing on the side.


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 918mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 6719IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Asian Cabbage Salad
Asian Cabbage Salad with Mandarin Oranges

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