Crisp kohlrabi, radishes, and mango tossed in an addicting tangy sesame dressing. Use your kohlrabi from the farmer’s market to make this Asian Kohlrabi Salad!
Farmer’s Market season. Yet another reason why I adore summer. The kaleidoscope of vibrant produce, the fresh flowers, the round loaves of artisan bread, the local cheese, the honey, the granola, the samples (man do I love samples), the sense of community, and the support of our local farmers. Every single week of summer through the fall. How amazing is that?
To show love for my hometown farmer’s market and their produce, I’m excited to be starting a new recipe series here on the blog. Beginning this month and through September, I’ll be sharing recipes that highlight some of my favorite farmer’s market produce finds. My goal is to highlight both the popular and some of the lesser known produce items by creating easy, approachable, and healthy recipes. And what better way to kick off the series than to highlight perhaps one of the oddest-looking veggies you’ll find at the market this month: kohlrabi.
What is Kohlrabi?
Did you know that kohlrabi is a German word that literally means cabbage (kohl) turnip (rabi)? Much like radishes or carrots even, the texture is irresistibly crunchy. The taste comparable to cabbage but milder, which makes it a wonderful vegetable to use in a light summer salad.
You may be familiar with the popular Ramen cabbage salad comprised of the pre-made slaw mix, crunchy ramen noodles, mandarin slices, and zippy sesame dressing. Growing up, my mom would make it for nearly every family picnic and I remember it being one of the first salads to run out. I’ve channeled my love for that Ramen salad and upgraded it by using kohlrabi and incorporating new flavors.
How to Prepare Kohlrabi
The first line of business is to prep the kohlrabi. It may seem like an intimidating veggie with those weird tentacles and leaves sprouting from the top. But not to worry! There’s nothing sharp or prickly about this veggie. The main goal is to get down to the actual bulb by simply trimming off the stems and leaves and then using a vegetable peeler to remove the outer fibrous layer so you have a completely smooth bulb that can be easily chopped up for this salad.
How to Prepare the Asian Kohlrabi Salad
I thinly sliced the kohlrabi into matchsticks using a good kitchen knife, but a mandolin would work too. You could also shred the kohlrabi, using a box grater or food processor, but I found the matchstick shape to yield a sturdier and crunchier texture.
Other farmer’s market veggies to add to this salad include chopped green onion, red radishes for a pop of color and more crunch, chopped cilantro, and mango to add a bit of summery sweetness. This salad welcomes substitutions based on your preferences. Here are some suggestions:
- Instead of radishes, try cabbage orcarrots
- Instead of cilantro, try fresh parsley, thai basil, or dill
- Instead of mango, try pineapple, mandarin oranges, or grapes
Substitute all you’d like with the above items, but definitely stick to the recipe when it comes to the dressing. Simply put, it’s out of this world. Sesame oil and rice vinegar combine with garlic, ginger, and honey to make the easiest, most flavorful Asian-inspired dressing. The crisp veggies and mango are glazed with the sweet and tangy dressing and it just makes for the most addicting combination of flavor and texture. The other night, I had the finished salad sitting on the counter while I was preparing the rest of our dinner and my husband and I couldn’t resist taking forkfuls every time we walked by. We had half of the salad housed by the time we sat down to eat.
How to Serve the Asian Kohlrabi Salad
Speaking of meal time, there are so many ways you can serve the Asian Kohlrabi Salad. Enjoy it as a:
- Main dish: It’s my favorite way to eat this salad! To make it a filing and hearty meal, add in a grain and/or protein like your favorite grilled meat.
- Side Salad
- Taco or sandwich topper: Add a zesty crunch to your tacos, burgers, and sandwiches. This salad would absolutely rock as an accompaniment to these Korean chicken tacos and Asian Veggie Burgers.
Any way you choose to enjoy this Asian Kohlrabi Salad, the balance of sweet and savory flavor plus the smooth and crunchy textures really makes it a showstopper. Last week we made a meal out of it by adding in quinoa and grilled chicken. My husband and I both agreed that it was our favorite dinner of the summer so far. Who would have guessed that kohlrabi, of all veggies, would be the main ingredient of our favorite summer dish?
Farmer’s Market Shopping List
- Green onion
I’m so excited to be showcasing my produce finds from my local market, the Shoreview Farmer’s Market, for this recipe series. If you are local to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, specifically the northeastern suburbs, be sure to visit to the Shoreview Farmer’s Market on Tuesday evenings through mid-October. Local fresh produce, handcrafted artisan items, and live entertainment are featured each week!
Check out the other recipes in the Farmer’s Market Series:
- Grilled Smashed Potatoes with Chipotle Ranch
- Strawberry Cucumber Caprese Salad
- BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
- Sheet Pan Veggie Tacos with Avocado Lime Crema
- Autumn Brussels Sprouts Cobb Salad
Asian Kohlrabi Salad
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 10 min
- Yield: 2–4 servings 1x
Crisp kohlrabi, radishes, and mango tossed in a tangy sesame dressing. Use your kohlrabi from the farmer’s market to make this salad!
- 4 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 6 radishes, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 mango, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews, almonds, or peanuts
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 small knob of ginger, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- Dash of salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the kohlrabi, radishes, mango, green onion, cilantro, and cashews.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss together until combined.
V Gardner says
This is an excellent salad! First time kohlrabi eaterS and we loved it!
Thanks so much for making the salad and commenting! I’m so happy you loved it!
Thanks so much!
Hi Krista, I found a kohlrabi in my veggie garden today (it is a bit overgrown, so it was quite large but well hidden). “what can I do with that” I thought, so I looked and came across this recipe. It was sensational. You don’t give quantities or proportions, but I ratted my way through and the salad was a real winner. I added a pinch of fried shallots and a few peanuts, it was amazing. Served with asparagus quiche (my friend gave me eggs, and I bought some bargain asparagus) wiht a bit of rice, it was a real fusion meal, but ticked all the boxes
Hi Julia! I’m so glad you liked the recipe! The fried shallots and peanuts sound like amazing additions! Quick question, when you say “You don’t give quantities or proportions,” what specifically can I change/add to the recipe to make it more helpful?
Julia Elkins says
Hi Krista At first I didn’t see the ingredients list, way down at the bottom of the page. But even then quantities can be vague because the size of vegetables can vary so much. I made this salad twice, using half of my relatively small kohlrabi each time. There is no way I would have used 4 kohlrabi. That said, one can adjust proportions to suit individual tastes, and you recipes suggests so many possible swaps, that it is like having a raft of recipes. I came back her today to get the link to this recipe so I can recommend it to a group I am a member of (with 40k+ members) because I thought the recipe was so worth it
Green Mtn says
This was fantastic- I added some Mighty Seasame Organic creamy tahini (check it out- this stuff is legit!) and bulked it up w/some chopped red cabbage. Excellent!
Yum!!! I’m so glad I tried this recipe! I’ll definitely make this again 10/10