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This kimchi slaw with crab is a unique slaw recipe for its additional Asian ingredients that give it that extra crunch and tangy, umami-rich flavor. The carrots and cabbage form a good, crunchy base while the crab meat adds a soft texture and savory taste.

The creamy, cool mayo helps balance the sour kimchi, kimchi brine, and the bite from the sliced green onions. Here are some tips and information on how to prepare and enjoy kimchi slaw at home.

Kimchi slaw in a bowl with sliced scallions and black sesame seeds.

What is Kimchi Slaw?

Kimchi slaw is like regular coleslaw because of the mayo dressing and the various crunchy vegetables like shredded carrots and cabbage, but it has the addition of Korean kimchi (fermented vegetables). Both slaws are also similar in their quick and easy preparation.

2 bowls of kimchi slaw with sliced scallions and black sesame seeds.

Some other added ingredients not normally in basic coleslaw include sesame oil, green onions, black sesame seeds, and crab meat. Coleslaw is usually a vegetarian dish, but in this recipe we’ve included the crab as it goes well with kimchi. These ingredients add more flavor and kick.

Kimchi slaw in a bowl with sliced scallions and black sesame seeds.

Serving Suggestions

Regular slaw is usually served as a side dish with barbecued meats like ribs, pulled pork, brisket or chicken. With kimchi slaw, you can do the same but with slightly different flavors.

Koreans enjoy barbecue as much as Americans do, but their methods and flavors are different. While Americans smoke and slow-cook their meals in dry rubs and BBQ sauces, Koreans grill their meat in sauces that are on the sweeter side and tend to include ingredients like soy sauce, honey, garlic and sesame oil. They tend to use smaller cuts of meat and their sides consist of dishes like kimchi, rice and pickles. This slaw combines the best of both BBQ styles.

Kimchi and crab slaw in a bowl with a fork.

Since this slaw recipe has crab and other Asian ingredients, I recommend a sweet and/or spicy chicken dish (like in this Korean BBQ Chicken) because it is a mild meat that pairs well with crab; the slaw’s sour and creamy taste will give your taste buds a break from the spice. If you wish to pair the slaw with a simpler meal, hot dogs or sandwiches are quick and delicious suggestions.

What did you think of this fusion coleslaw dish? Are you a fan of fusion food? Let us know in the comments and please share the recipe!

Kimchi slaw in a bowl. Sliced scallions and black sesame seeds in the background.
Kimchi slaw in a bowl with sliced scallions and black sesame seeds.

Kimchi Slaw

Joss D
This kimchi and crab slaw is a unique slaw recipe for its additional Asian ingredients that give it that extra crunch and tangy, umami flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Dutch, Korean
Servings 4
Calories 274 kcal


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon kimchi brine - from the jar
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups green cabbage - shredded
  • 1 cup carrots - julienned or shredded
  • 1 cup imitation crab meat (flake style) - shredded
  • 1 cup kimchi - drained and chopped
  • Black sesame seeds - to garnish
  • Sliced green onions - to garnish


  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce, kimchi brine and sesame oil. Reserve.
    ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon kimchi brine, ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrots, crab meat and kimchi.
    2 cups green cabbage, 1 cup carrots, 1 cup imitation crab meat (flake style), 1 cup kimchi
  • Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with the black sesame seeds and green onions. Serve!


  • Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3-5 days.


Calories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 585mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5398IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

Keyword kimchi
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