Five Spice Red Cabbage Salad Recipe

This unique dinner recipe uses five-spice seasoning and mirin for a tangy, pungent flavor.

From "Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More"
January/February 2017

  • Five Spice Red Cabbage Sald
    Mirin and chinese five spice add unique flavor to this cabbage salad.
    Photo by Sang An
  • Five Spice Red Cabbage Sald

Total Hands-On Time: 30 min

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Yield: 4 servings

The unique flavor of this dish comes from a combination of mirin (a syrupy cooking wine made from rice), which adds sweetness, and Chinese five-spice powder, which brings a heady pungency. You could also substitute curry powder for a different take. Serve it chilled or at room temperature. 


• 1 small red cabbage (about 1-3⁄4 pounds)
• 1⁄4 cup mirin
• 1-1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1-1⁄2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
• 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
• 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, diced and tossed with a large pinch of salt


1. To chop cabbage, halve head through stem end, cut out core and place halves cut-side down. Cut halves into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices, then rotate the slices 90 degrees and cut across slices to create 1⁄4-inch pieces. You will have about 8 cups.
2. In a large bowl, toss cabbage with mirin, salt and five-spice powder. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or up to 2 hours in refrigerator if you plan to serve salad chilled.
3. Add oil, green onions and almonds, and toss. Taste and add additional salt and mirin if needed. Add avocado and toss gently. The salad will wilt; eat it within a few hours for optimum crunch.

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Hearty Salads for Winter