Monday, July 21, 2008

Napa Cabbage Slaw Recipe with Carrots and Fennel-Dijon Dressing

I've recently become a fan of the idea of making coleslaw with napa cabbage for a slightly more delicate flavor, so when I received a review copy of The Summertime Anytime Cookbook and there was a recipe for napa cabbage slaw, I was anxious to try it. The crushed fennel seeds in the dressing were another thing that attracted me to this recipe. I'm impressed with a lot of the recipes in this cookbook, and I found this fennel-Dijon flavored slaw to be delightful. (For the record, I never accept payment for writing about cookbooks, and when I sample cookbooks, I only write about the book if it turns out to be one I would actually purchase myself.)

One teaspoon of fennel seeds is crushed in a mortar and pestle before it's added to the dressing. You could use pre-ground fennel, but crushing the fennel seeds right before you use them really gives great flavor.

I cut my napa cabbage with a chef's knife, but you could use a mandoline or food processor if you wanted an even more delicate slaw.

This would be a perfect recipe for pre-grated carrots if they're in the budget for you. I used whole carrots and grated them on the large side of a box grater.

The recipe gave the option of red onions or green onions, but I went for the green onions. (Do you call them green onions, scallions, or spring onions?)

Napa Cabbage Slaw Recipe with Carrots and Fennel Seed Dressing
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted slightly from The Summertime Anytime Cookbook.)

1/2 large head napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups sliced cabbage)
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated (about 1 cup grated carrot)
1/2 cup sliced green onion

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle or with a heavy rolling pin
1/2 cup mayo or light mayo (can use half plain yogurt and half mayo)
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar, Splenda, or agave nectar (use Splenda or agave nectar for South Beach diet)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. Vege-Sal (vegetable seasoned salt) or salt
1 tsp. celery seed (optional)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Crush fennel seeds in mortar and pestle or with rolling pin. Combine crushed fennel, mayo, vinegar, sweetener of your choice, Dijon mustard, Vege-sal, and celery seed if using. Whisk together and let dressing sit while you chop veggies.

Use chef's knife, mandoline, or food processor to slice napa cabbage into thin slices. Grate carrots and slice green onions. Mix all veggies together in large plastic bowl. Mix dressing into cabbage/carrot mixture (you may not need all the dressing.) Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper. Salad can be served immediately or refrigerated for a few hours before serving.

(The cookbook says this can be store up to three days in the refrigerator, but when I made it, there were no leftovers, so I haven't tried that myself.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
Made with agave nectar or Splenda, this napa cabbage salad is suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, or any low-glycemic eating plan. If you use full-fat mayo, this would be a "once-in-a-while treat" for South Beach.

More Tasty Cabbage Salads for Your Summer Cravings:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Asian Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds and Peanuts
Crunchy Cruciferous Chopped Salad
Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing
Cabbage and Blue Cheese Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro
Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad from Simply Recipes
Asian Cabbage Salad from Andrea's Recipes
Mixed Greens, Cilantro, and Purple Cabbage Salad from Gluten-Free Mommy
Asian Inspired Napa Cabbage Salad from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs
Spinach and Red Cabbage Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from More Than Burnt Toast

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  1. When we do napa slaw, we usually go Asian with the dressing. I have to try this fennel-dijon dressing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is slaw season here in my household. This is a great variation; I've never had slaw with fennel before. Another great recipe from your kitchen to mine!

  3. It's 8.30am here and I am trying to focus on chocolate and then I see this...oh my! Love it!!
    Love the header too :)

  4. Fennel with cabbage...haven't tried that flavor, sounds tasty. I usually do an Asian slaw...I will have to try this.

  5. Ohh, this sounds yummy. With my diabetes, I try to keep a bag of precut broccoli 'slaw' in the fridge. I'm bad at making up recipes but I just may try it as a sub for the cabbage. I'll wait a day to see if this is a really bad taste combo, grin.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  6. Fennel-Dijon dressing the description alone makes my mouth water.

  7. I'm in love with napa cabbage and am always happy to find new ways to use it. Thanks for the recipe (and thanks for the link, too!) :)

  8. yum - made it without any sweetener, amd it was still terrific!

  9. Doren, good to know. I think I'll try it like that.

  10. I am loving the idea of fennel seeds - and coleslaw is one of my favourites anyway! Thanks.

  11. Jeanne, me too on both counts!

  12. I made this to take to a family event. Before I left I tasted it. Decided that it was staying home with me - I ate the whole thing and have made it many times since. Yes, I love food, really good food and this is really good food. Thank you!

  13. HSTeach: I am not a huge fan of fennel. Do you have any suggestions for something I could substitute for it? Thanks for making me a SB believer!!

  14. I'm not sure how this would be without the fennel. I'd probably try a different recipe, maybe Spicy Mexican Slaw.

    If you want to adapt it, maybe ground coriander would work.

  15. Hubby bagged a wild hog last week, so we had a piggy roast yesterday afternoon. I was looking for something that would go well with BBQ, and we had a head of cabbage in the garden. It wasn't napa cabbage, but I figured it would translate well. I don't have a mortar, so ended up placing the fennel in a plastic bag and pounding it with a hammer. I loved this dressing! The fennel gave it a real kick!

  16. WOW! Just made this recipe, and so glad I found it. This is one of the best slaw recipes I've tried, and over the summer i tried a LOT, as our CSA was generous with the cabbage. ;) Did it almost as described, but doubled it for a whole head of napa. Also had celery & radish, so added them. I didn't have an entire cup of mayo, so used all I had (about 3/4 c?) and added an extra 2T of cider vinegar. Still AWESOME! Thank you. :)


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