Recipes, Salads, Seeds
Comments 11

Gingery, Lemony & Roasted Sesame Cabbage Salad


About 15 years ago, my friend Shenaaz introduced me to this cabbage salad recipe and its been on my life menu ever since. I love food that is simple, easy, healthy and flavorful! Every bite has a blend of tangy, slightly spicy, and roasted goodness that adds a nice warmth to the cold energy of cabbage. Growing up, a cabbage salad of a different sort was on the daily menu. My mom loved it and so did I. The crunch, crunch is so satisfying and the perfect complement to a simple meal like, daal chawal (lentil soup & rice). When Shenaaz made the non-ginger version of this salad for me, I was really happy to have another delicious variation of cabbage salad to choose from. Being a ginger lover,  I added grated ginger to the dressing as a digestive aide to prevent the common side effects that are associate with cabbage—you know what I am referring to right?! And for the record, the ginger has served me well. To mix it up every once in a while, I have added steamed chicken, carrots, scallions and toasted almonds, replaced it for lettuce in a sandwich, but most of the time, I enjoy it as is—delicious and nutritious.

Dosha: KPV*
Time to Make: 20-25 mins
Serves: 4- 8
You Need: a sharp knife


  • 8 cups of sliced green cabbage* (about 1 medium cabbage)
  • 1 1/2 tsp  fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (including the stems)
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger
  • 2 T lemon or lime juice
  • 2 T of roasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 T of sesame or peanut oil (optional)*
  • 1 T of sesame seeds

Cabbage Cabbage Salad IngredientsStep 1: Slice up your cabbage. I don’t really have a system but I like to cut it in half and then quarter it. Sometimes I even split the quarter in half. I cut it at different angles to get a variety of texture, but  keep the slices short so its easy to eat.  You want thin slices, but not as thin as it would be if you used a mandolin.  When I get to the courser parts, I try to cut it as thin as I can, as its better for digestion, but sometimes I just save those pieces for a stock.

Add the 8 cups of cabbage to a large bowl and toss with salt. Set aside and let the salt soften or cure the cabbage. This takes about 10 minutes or so.

Step 2: In the meantime, combine the lemon juice and oil(s) and then add the grated ginger. Set aside

Cabbage with Cilantro Cabbage SaladStep 3: Chop up the cilantro including the stems (its got amazing flavor) and toss it with the salad. If the cabbage has started to soften and perhaps it has released a bit of water, add your dressing and toss. If not, give it a few more minutes, it usually takes about 10 mins.

Step 4: Heat a small frying pan on medium heat and add sesame seeds (while pan is cold). Slowly stir with a wooden spoon. You will see the sesame seeds start to release oil and then get toasty. When they have reached a rich brown (a bit darker then golden), remove from heat and add to the salad. You should hear a sizzle—click here for the video .

Toss & serve. This salad keeps well for up to 3 days. My recommendation is to always serve it at room temperature—be kind to your digestive fire.

Tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Astringent, Bitter
Cabbage is:

Cabbage Salad

  • astringent in taste
  • cooling in energy
  • pungent in its post-digestive effect
  • its qualities are dry and rough
  • pitta and kapha pacifying (increases vata if eaten raw and without oil)
  • like all vegetables extremely nutritious, eat more veggies

*using a non-roasted oil along with the roasted sesame oil will help balance out the dryness of cabbage and help those with vata dominant doshas or imbalances such as: constipation, dryness, bloating. Roasted sesame oil is not moisturizing, but very flavorful and aromatic.

*I prefer using green cabbage to purple in recipes where the cabbage is cured as green cabbage is easier on your digestion. 


  1. ALW says

    Looking forward to trying out this recipe! Wish I had seen it when I was getting a ton of cabbage in my CSA!

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  4. Hi Rivkah,
    One more thing, the non-roasted oil is recommended alongside the roasted sesame oil, which is not oily, but very flavorful and aromatic. Without it the salad will not taste the same.

  5. HI Rivkah.. thanks for your comment & feedback. I love the idea of adding fruit, but since fruit digests much faster, I would not recommend mixing fruit with other foods. I think every once in awhile – its fine, but when you add the digestion factor when defining healthy, then combining fruits with food, would not be considered healthy. However, you make a good point as the obvious sweet taste is missing (although, under the Aurveda guidelines, seeds, and oil fall are sweet). I would recommend serving this with yams, sweet potatoes, especially if you are making this for your kids, at this point of their life cycle eating more “sweet” tastes like, root vegetables is very beneficial for them. You can also add cashews as they have a sweetness and I think would would compliment the flavors. BTW, the salad has a nice crunch even after a few days 🙂

  6. I can’t wait to make this! Cabbage salads used to be in such regular rotation in my home but since having kids I’ve left off it a bit. Especially great is that you offer a variation with the non-roasted oil for balancing vata…also, would you ever put something like asian pear or apple in this salad for a little sweet crunch?

  7. Hi Debbie … I have never used Napa cabbage for this salad … But I would think it would be great. You may need to play around with the measurements – mainly the salt as I am not sure how quickly napa cabbage breaks down- no one wants a soggy salad 🙂 Let me know how it turns out. I think I’ll try it next time as well. Thank you

  8. Debbie says

    I’m thinking of making this with Napa cabbage. ..your thoughts?

  9. Thank you for your comment. I agree, I think it has to do with the digestion issues and given it a bad rap. But its so good for you.. maybe one day it will be the next kale? !

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