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Napa Cabbage Salad with Sweet Tamari-Sesame Dressing | A crisp, refreshing, and addictive salad with a crunch of refreshing veggies!
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4.75 from 4 votes

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sweet Tamari-Sesame Dressing

This napa cabbage salad is crisp, refreshing, sweet, tangy, crunchy, and addictive. It's modeled off of that addictive napa cabbage salad that typically incorporates bits of crunchy ramen noodles.The flavor of this salad is very similar to that old-school favorite but with a slight twist on the dressing. White sugar is replaced by vitamin-rich grade B maple syrup. Cold-pressed olive oil takes the place of canola oil. Tamari sits in for soy sauce to keep things gluten-free. In place of the ramen noodles, you'll find crunchy sunflower seeds. I also added red peppers, carrots, and cilantro to perk up the freshness and color. The result is a refreshingly crisp and crunchy salad with a tangy and sweet vinaigrette. The recipe makes enough for 3 to 4 light meal-sized servings but could easily serve 6 to 8 as a side. 
Prep Time25 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 4


Napa Cabbage Salad

  • 1 large head napa cabbage, washed and finely-chopped
  • 7 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
  • ½ to ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I use raw sunflower seeds)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (I use un-hulled sesame seeds for added calcium)

Tamari-Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 ½ tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


  • In a large serving bowl, combine the cabbage, scallions, carrots, red pepper, and cilantro.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, tamari, and pure maple syrup until emulsified.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, thoroughly toss to coat, and sprinkle with the seeds.


This salad holds up well even a day or two after being tossed in the dressing thanks to the cabbage. Just keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for best results.