Japanese Toasted Sesame, Red Cabbage & Rice Noodle Salad

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When I first sampled my sister’s Asian red cabbage slaw at my niece’s bridal shower last spring, it instantly became my new favorite salad. This is a variation inspired by her recipe.  What I love about it is how surprisingly balanced it is. Gustare Japanese Toasted Sesame Oil provides that savory, rich, umami quality that I enjoy in so many Asian dishes.  An entire bunch of cilantro is the cool, unexpected counterpoint of refreshment to lift and lighten the salad into perfect equilibrium. Symmetry, harmony, balance.  Shades of purple and green to evoke thoughts of spring, hope, life and growth.  Zen in a single dish.


Prep Time:  25 minutes

Cook Time:  8 minutes

Serves:  6

Dietary Specifications:  Vegan, Gluten-Free




3 Tbls Gustare Japanese Toasted Sesame Oil

1 Tbls your favorite Gustare Extra-Virgin Varietal Olive Oil

3 Tbls rice wine vinegar

1 Tbls agave

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)

¾ tsp 1830 Sea Salt

Freshly squeezed juice from wedge of 1/8 lime


3 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted

2.5oz rice noodles

½ head red cabbage, finely sliced

¼C red onion, finely sliced

4 scallions, sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1/3C roasted peanuts



  1. Whisk together Gustare Japanese Toasted Sesame Oil, your favorite Gustare Extra-Virgin Varietal Olive Oil, and remaining dressing ingredients until well blended. Set aside to allow flavors to develop while preparing the rest of the dish.
  2. Bring water to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat and add rice noodles.  Soak for 1-2 minutes, and stir until noodles just become pliable.  Drain and rinse under cold water to terminate cooking and ensure they remain al dente.  Set aside.
  3. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add sesame seeds to dry skillet.  Toast and agitate 6-8 minutes, or until sesame seeds become golden brown and emit a nutty, popcorn-like aroma.  Set aside.
  4. Add sliced red cabbage, red onion, scallions, and cilantro to large salad bowl.
  5. Pour dressing evenly over cabbage mixture. Toss to combine.
  6. Add rice noodles, sesame seeds, and peanuts, reserving a small portion of seeds and nuts for finishing. Toss well to combine and evenly distribute dressing.
  7. To serve, top with reserved sesame seeds and roasted peanuts.

Serving Suggestion:

This salad presents well for a crowd, or can easily become a complete lunch or light, hot weather dinner by adding chick peas or sautéed or grilled chicken, salmon, or tofu.