Recipes / Sea Slaw

Sea Slaw

By Mark Bittman

Published November 29, 2023

The most colorful slaw you’ve ever seen: The wakame quickly absorbs some of the dressing and plumps up a bit, but remains chewy. Toss a cup or 2 with chilled cooked noodles and you’ve got yourself a crunchy pasta salad.

Photo: Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart
Photo: Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart
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Make The Recipe!

Sea Slaw

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time 20 minutes, plus time to rest

Units Scale


  • 1/4 cup wakame or other dried seaweed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (or Vegannaise)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage (preferably Napa; about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded if you like, and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red chile flakes (optional)


1. If using wakame, skip to Step 2. If not, rinse the seaweed and soak it in at least 10 times its volume of water until tender, 5 to 10 minutes or more. Drain and gently gather and squeeze the pieces to remove excess water. Pick through the seaweed to sort out any hard bits (there may be none) and chop or cut up (you may find it easier to use scissors) if the pieces are large.

2. Whisk together the mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise), vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and peanuts in a large bowl. Add the wakame or prepared seaweed, the cabbage, cucumber, and bell pepper. Toss to coat in the dressing; refrigerate for anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like it; the longer it sits, the less crunchy it becomes. (Or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; you may need to drain off excess liquid before proceeding.)

3. Add the cilantro, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and chile flakes to taste, if you’re using them. Taste and adjust the seasoning, toss one last time, and serve.

— Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition