This char siu coleslaw flavoured with Chinese bbq sauce is a great side salad and perfect if you're having a barbecue too! It's delicious with burgers, ham, ribs or just as part of a buffet. It's a great way to add extra flavour to a simple coleslaw recipe.
I have to admit that coleslaw is not always one of my favourite sides. Offer me a spoonful of ready-made bought coleslaw swimming in a gloopy white dressing and I'll almost certainly refuse.
On the other hand, if it's a homemade coleslaw and the vegetables are lightly coated in mayonnaise but still clearly visible and identifiable, then it'll be a different story altogether.
I love to create different kinds of homemade coleslaw with light dressings like this one. It's such a versatile dish and perfect for enjoying as a midweek side dish or as part of larger buffet spread.
I was first inspired to make this by my husband telling me that barbecue sauce goes well with coleslaw. Although he wasn't talking about Chinese barbecue sauce, I thought why not try a traditional coleslaw but with Asian bbq flavours instead?
I added just enough of the char siu Chinese bbq sauce to the coleslaw to give it that lovely Chinese bbq flavour. Even though I don't eat a lot of creamy dressings on salads I loved the flavours in this salad. The sweetness of the char siu sauce adds to the flavour and makes it really moreish!
And ever since I first created this char siu salad, it hasn't just been my husband who reaches for the bbq sauce whenever we have coleslaw!
Ingredients for char siu coleslaw
To make this simple Chinese bbq coleslaw you'll need:
- Vegetables - I like to use a classic coleslaw mixture of carrot, white cabbage, red cabbage and onion. If you only have one kind of cabbage, that's fine. As you can see in the pictures, I only had white cabbage when I took the photos. You can also mix it up a bit by adding different vegetables such as celeriac or brussel sprouts. Any vegetable that can be grated or finely sliced is fine.
- Char siu sauce
How do you make this Chinese coleslaw?
I've included a full recipe card further down the page but basically it's as easy as chopping the vegetables and mixing them together along with just enough mayonnaise and char siu sauce to lightly coat and flavour the salad.
You don't need any special equipment to make it. Just a good knife, a chopping board and a grater for the carrot!
What to serve with char siu coleslaw?
In our family we often have buffet meals at Christmas and New Year and this char siu salad is a delicious option as it goes well with sausage rolls, cold meats and pork pies. I often put it in a burger or a gourmet sandwich. It's just a great winter salad option.
It also goes perfectly with my Chinese spare ribs as well as any food that is actually cooked on the bbq, which of course makes it a great recipe the whole year round.
I first created this recipe in collaboration with Lee Kum Kee and their Summer Carnival campaign to create a bbq recipe. I also made a homemade burger with char siu sauce flavouring the beef mince and it was delicious too!
How long does it stay fresh?
If you store this Chinese coleslaw in the fridge in an airtight container it will keep well for at least 3 days. Just give it a stir before serving.
More side dish recipes you might like
If you like this tasty Chinese bbq coleslaw, why not also check out some of my other side dish recipes:
- Carrot and celeriac salad. It's a delicious variation on a coleslaw.
- Brussel sprout coleslaw with caramelised pecans
- Carrot salad with harissa dressing
Char Siu Coleslaw
- 120 g carrot grated
- 100 g white cabbage finely sliced
- 80 g red cabbage finely sliced
- 1 red onion finely sliced
- 80 g mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon char siu sauce
- Mix all the vegetables together with the mayonnaise.
- Add the char sui sauce. Add 1 tablespoon then taste and add the rest if required.
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I am sharing this post with Cook Blog Share hosted by The Gluten Free Alchemist.
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Do let me know if you make this char siu coleslaw or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.
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Disclosure: When this post was first published it contained a gifted product. It has been fully updated in 2021.
Rebecca - Glutarama
You can't beat a homemade coleslaw but never heard of Char Siu so this is an exciting new flavour for me.
I'm sure you'd love it. It's like a sweet Chinese bbq sauce.
What an amazing combination of flavours! Absolutely delicious.
We often have coleslaw on boxing day.I shall give this tasty variation a try this year.
Thanks Jacqui! I hope you all like it.
Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist
What a lovely flavour twist. Coleslaw is such a versatile dish, but I would never have thought about making it 'Char Siu' style. Just need to find myself some gluten free Char Siu sauce now xxx
Thanks for sharing #CookBlogShare
I'm so pleased you like the sound of it Kate and good luck on the hunt for gluten free char siu sauce!
Looks like a great twist on a classic coleslaw
I think you're right! It's only a little bit different but the char siu sauce adds lots of flavour.
I love homemade slaws and this is such a nice twist! So perfect with ribs or on a burger.
Oh yes, you're right about that! It is great with those kind of meals and I do make it a lot.
I love adding coleslaw to everything ! thanks tor sharing the recipe x
You're welcome! I totally agree about adding it to everything - it is really versatile!
This looks lush - I never eat shop-bought coleslaw but I'm a huge fan of it when it's homemade! This one sounds perfect for a barbecue 🙂
Thank you. Homemade is definitely so much better than shop-bought for coleslaw!
What a great idea. I love homemade coleslaw and this one looks really delicious. Have bookmarked it!
Thank you. I hope you enjoy it!
Dragons And Fairy Dust
I love coleslaw, I recently tried adding chipotle paste which worked well. Love the idea of adding the char sui sauce. Your burger looks lovely
I love chipotle so will definitely try that one day soon. Thanks for the idea.
I've never really loved cole slaw but I bet the char siu adds great flavor!
It does and it's nice to vary it a bit.
A Spoonful of Spain
Home-made coleslaw is so much better than shop-bought! Love the idea of the BBQ twist! 🙂
Looks very tasty.