Napa cabbage salad is a tasteful, refreshing, and healthy vegan salad made from fresh napa cabbage, vegetables, and a rich dressing. Napa cabbage is known for its crunchy flavor and benefits.

To make things better, the salad dressing is rich, flavorsome, and jam-packed with ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sesame oil, agave nectar, etc.; the blend of flavors and balance makes this salad wholesome and enjoyable.

Whether it is lunch or dinner, you can serve this salad as an appetizer, main course, or a side dish. The salad is perfect for those who like to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

It is among the easiest salads you can make. Make it in advance and store it for later use. This salad is perfect for feeding a large crowd as well. Serve it to your friends and family and enjoy the freshness of the vegetables and the richness of the dressing. It is a perfect vegan salad indeed!

If you enjoy Asian flavors, you will also love my Vegan Asian Salad and Thai Kale Salad

napa cabbage salad in white bowl close up

What is napa cabbage?

Napa cabbage is commonly known as Chinese cabbage. That’s because it is found mainly in China and is widely used in Chinese and Asian cuisine. Napa cabbage is said to have originated somewhere in the 15th century in China. It made its way slowly to other Asian countries like Korea and Japan. Today, napa cabbage has gained popularity in the US. And other European countries.

Napa cabbage looks very much like lettuce. The leaves are crisp, and its flavor is mild and on the sweet side.

napa cabbage on a white background

What is the difference between napa cabbage and regular cabbage?

If you are wondering how napa cabbage differs from the regular cabbage, here are a few points:

  • Shape: We all recognize regular cabbage from its spherical shape. It is just like a ball. However, napa cabbage is not circular. In fact, it is oblong. It looks like lettuce.
  • Texture: The leaves of regular cabbage are thick and rubbery. However, the leaves of napa cabbage are crispy, delicate, and comparatively thinner.
  • Flavor: Regular cabbage has a pungent taste. However, napa cabbage doesn’t have a pungent flavor. In fact, its flavor is mild and slightly sweet.
  • Color: The color of regular cabbage is very much green. However, the napa cabbage has prominent white stalks, and the color is almost yellowish and greenish.

What to look for when buying napa cabbage?

The good thing about napa cabbages is that they are available all around the year. So, you can get them whenever you feel like eating a delicious napa cabbage salad. When buying napa cabbage, keep a few things in mind. These are:

  • Color: Keep a close eye on the color of the cabbage; it should be fresh green. The color of napa cabbage ranges from light green to dark. So, make sure the color is fresh. It shouldn’t have brown color or patches.
  • Texture: The texture of the napa cabbage should be firm. The leaves should be compact and closely fitted rather than falling apart.
  • Leaves: Lastly, the leaves should be free from brown patches and blemishes. Also, the leaves shouldn’t be eaten, or there should be no holes.

Ingredient breakdown for napa cabbage salad

  • Napa cabbage: Napa cabbage is the main ingredient of this salad, so you can’t ignore it. Napa cabbage is easily available at any grocery store. Furthermore, you can also find it at the farmer’s market. It looks a lot like lettuce so, you know what to look for. Always choose fresh napa cabbage for maximum flavor and crunch.
  • Rice noodles: Rice noodles are easy to cook. It takes them no more than 5 minutes to cook. Cook and cool the rice noodles before adding them to the salad.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber adds freshness to the salad. Cut the cucumber in juliennes for good visual representation.
  • Carrot: Carrots add color and crunch to the salad.
  • Spring onions: Spring onions bring in a savory flavor to the salad. It has a prominent flavor. Furthermore, the greens add crunch to the salad.

For the dressing:

  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice sets the base for the salad dressing. It adds tanginess and acidity to the salad.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil adds good fats to the salad and increases its nutrient content.
  • Garlic cloves: Garlic brings in a savory and garlicky flavor. It offers so much depth to the dressing.
  • Ginger: Ginger also has a strong flavor. It lifts up the dressing up a notch.
  • Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos is a sauce made from fermented coconut sap. It has a savory and salty flavor. It offers an umami flavor to the salad.
  • Sesame oil: Sesame oil has a distinct nutty and earthy flavor. The flavor is quite strong and is instantly picked up by the tastebuds.
  • Agave nectar: Agave nectar is vegan honey. It is very sweet in taste and adds sweetness to the dressing. It balances out the tanginess of the salad dressing.
  • Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds add texture to the salad. Use it to garnish the salad.
  • Sea salt: Season the salad dressing with sea salt.

napa cabbage bowl

How to make napa cabbage salad?

Making napa salad is the easiest thing ever. You can get this salad on your lunch or dinner table in no more than 15 minutes. It is a quick-fix salad that can bring an instant smile to your face. Here is how to can make this salad:

Step 1: Start by boiling rice noodles. For this, you will need to boil water in a saucepan. Add rice noodles and cook for 5 minutes or until the rice noodles are tender. Drain and run cold water over them to store the cooking process and to cool them down.

Step 2: in a bowl, add shredded napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and rice noodles.

Step 3: In another bowl, add dressing ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, agave nectar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, salt, and mix well. You can also add these ingredients to a jar and shake well.

Step 4: Pour the prepared dressing over the vegetables and noodles and toss well so that all the vegetables are soaked in the dressing.

Step 5: Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!

How to store napa cabbage salad?

You can store napa cabbage salad by putting it in an air-tight container and storing it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 days. Thus, you can prepare it in advance and make it your go-to lunch salad. Furthermore, you can also keep the napa cabbage in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Also, you can also store the dressing in an air-tight container for p to 14 days. Thus, you can cut the vegetables, pour dressing on top, and enjoy.

What else can you add to napa cabbage salad?

There is so much you can add to napa salad. There are a few ideas:

  • Onions: you can either read while or red onions. Onions bring crunch and savory flavor to the table.
  • Bell peppers: you can also add more flavor and color to the salad by adding bell peppers to it.
  • Celery seeds: celery seeds have a unique flavor. Add them to the salad to bring in a distinct taste.
  • Radishes: Whether you use red radishes or white, it adds so much flavor and crunches to the salad.
  • Silvered almonds: Top the salad up with slivered almonds. It adds crunch and flavor.
  • Walnuts: If you are not allergic to nuts, you can also add walnuts. It is a healthy ingredient and adds crunch to the dish.

What To Serve With Your Salad?

  1. Sesame Tofu
  2. Cauliflower Nuggets
  3. Teriyaki Soycurls
  4. General Tso’s Chickpeas
  5. Air Fry Tofu

close up napa cabbage salad in a white background in a white bowl

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napa cabbage salad in white bowl close up

Napa Cabbage Salad

Napa cabbage salad is a tasteful, refreshing, and healthy vegan salad made from fresh napa cabbage, vegetables, and a rich dressing. Napa cabbage is known for its crunchy flavor and benefits.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Napa Cabbage Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 390kcal



  • 1 medium head napa cabbage finely shredded
  • 6 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 medium cucumber cut into match sticks
  • 2 medium carrots peeled, cut into match sticks
  • 6 spring onions chopped


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste


  • In a saucepan, add water and place it on medium heat. When the water starts to boil, add rice noodles and cook until they are tender. Drain the noodles, run cold water over them, and set them aside.
  • In a large bowl, add chopped napa cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, spring onions, and cooked rice noodles.
  • In a separate bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, agave nectar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and salt, and mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the napa cabbage and noodles and toss until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.


Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 849mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 6048IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 2mg