Bright and crunchy with savory umami flavors, our Low Carb Broccoli Slaw with Asian Vinaigrette makes a quick and healthy side dish or salad. The entire dish, including the homemade Asian Vinaigrette, comes together in less than 30 minutes. It tastes even better, though, when it’s held in the refrigerator before serving for at least a few hours, if not a day, to give the flavors a chance to meld and the texture of the slaw to become a little more tender. In other words, it’s a great make ahead recipe, too!
Another lovely feature of this recipe is that it’s infinitely customizable. It’s easy to halve or double, and you can substitute some or all of the broccoli slaw with cabbage slaw or a few of your other favorite low carb vegetables. The Asian Vinaigrette itself is a handy stand-alone recipe and perfect for drizzling on just about any salad or grilled vegetables. It makes a quick, flavor-packed stir-fry sauce, too.
The vinaigrette is simple to make and uses several umami-boosters that give it that savory edge: tamari, miso, and fish sauce, which also lend a salty tang that’s great on vegetables. The rice vinegar brings some acidity to brighten the flavors. I like to add a little sweetness with liquid stevia at the end (to taste) but you could leave it out, or use a different sweetener if you prefer. If you like a little (or a lot) of spicy heat, add sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
I’ve talked about tamari and Asian fish sauce before, as I use them both frequently — even in non-Asian dishes — to give a savory flavor boost. The miso does the same while adding a slightly different complex flavor. If you’re not familiar with miso, it is a fermented soybean paste that is perhaps most commonly used in the traditional Japanese miso soup. While miso paste comes in hundreds of flavors, the two most widely available are white (shiro) miso and red (aka) miso. Ironically, the white miso is actually a golden yellow color and the red miso is a dark brown color. Generally, the darker the color, the longer the miso has aged, and the saltier and more complex the flavor becomes.
I use white miso, which is a milder and a bit more versatile choice. White miso is easy to find in most grocery stores and it lasts about a year in the refrigerator. I use Westbrae brand, which is organic, although not certified gluten-free. Although the Westbrae product uses white rice in the base, it’s possible that the starter (for fermenting) may use a source, such as barley, that contains gluten. While I am gluten-intolerant, I don’t appear to be sensitive to whatever trace amounts might be in this miso. However, if you have celiac disease, you’ll want to look for a brand that is certified gluten-free. There are lots of options online if you can’t find it in your local grocery stores.
Here, I’m sharing my simplest version of my Asian slaw, which uses bagged broccoli slaw mix. I find the broccoli slaw a nice change of flavor and texture from the usual cabbage-based slaw, but either one is delicious. I sometimes do a blend, using one bag broccoli slaw and one bag of cabbage slaw. As far as the supporting vegetable characters, I keep it simple here as well, with red bell pepper and green onions for flavor as well as color. I like to garnish my slaw with some toasted sesame seeds, although I imagine that toasted slivered almonds would be a terrific substitution.
I suspect that this introduction to my Low Carb Broccoli Slaw with Asian Vinaigrette may have taken you longer to read than it will to actually prepare the recipe! So, with that, I will end by encouraging you to give it a try. I think you’ll find yourself making it again and again, for everyday use and as a special dish for potlucks, too! Do let us know what you think in the comments section.
- ---Asian Vinaigrette--
- 2 oz / 56 g rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
- 1 oz / 28 g tamari
- 1.5 tsp / 8 grams white miso paste
- 2 tsp / 10 g minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp / 5 g minced or grated garlic
- 1 tsp / 5 g fish sauce
- 1 tsp / 5 g toasted sesame oil
- 2 oz / 56 g avocado or olive oil
- liquid stevia or low carb sweetener, to taste (optional)
- sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
- 24 oz / 680 g broccoli slaw (two 12-oz bags)
- 8 oz / 224 g red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips (about 2 medium)
- 2 oz / 56 g green onions, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- 2 tbsp / 16 g toasted sesame seeds
- Substitute half of broccoli slaw with cabbage slaw or 4 cups thinly sliced low carb vegetables, such as celery, mushrooms, green bell peppers, fennel bulb, and jicama.
- Asian Vinaigrette: Place vinegar, tamari, and miso paste in a small bowl. Mash miso with a whisk to break up and blend. Whisk in ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Then, while whisking continuously, slowly add avocado/olive oil until blended. Adjust seasonings and add optional ingredients as desired. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli slaw, bell pepper, half of green onions, and half of sesame seeds. Whisk viniagrette to blend before tossing with slaw ingredients to combine. Garnish with remaining green onions and sesame seeds.
- You may serve right away, or let slaw sit in refrigerator (covered) for several hours, or even a day, before serving (to blend flavors and tenderize slaw). Slaw keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and the dressing alone will keep for a week or two (refrigerated).
Nutritional info* for one serving (about 1.5 tbsp) of vinaigrette only: 73 cal, 7.7 g total fat (92%), 0.9 g total carbs, 0.1 g fiber, 0.8 g net carbs, and 0.5 g protein.
*I use Living Cookbook 2015, along with package information and data from www.nutritiondata.self.com, to calculate the nutritional information for my recipes. Thus, I can make no guarantees as to the accuracy.
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