Japanese Shiso-Miso Slaw Recipe

(This recipe is raw vegan and gluten free)

So we had a nice little Labor Day shindig today in the typical all-American spirit of grilling out. There were portobella burgers, veggie burgers, veggie chorizo dogs, Zellwood chili-garlic corn, and of course all of the accoutrements one would expect with all that casual finger-licking fare. However, coleslaw in its old-fashioned traditional preparation is enough to induce my gag reflexes at the near sight of it. I decided if we were gonna do this festive cook-out thing, I’d have to throw my spin into it – not to mention, sneak in some sea veggie love!

The end result was a tremendously healthy, bright, and crunchy slaw that was even more fitting as a meal than just a mere sideline to some veggie burgers. It was just too darn good. The miso dressing is rich, creamy, garlicky, and gingery and would make a fantastic dipping sauce. I could have eaten it by the spoonful.

Shiso leaves can be tricky to find but well worth seeking out. I’m actually awaiting the delivery of some seeds I ordered so I can just grow them myself. They’re sometimes referred to as “Japanese basil” and have a unique flavor that is incomparable to any other herb. It’s sharp, somewhat lemony, very fragrant, and very distinguishable. If you can’t find shiso leaves, Thai basil would also work well, followed by conventional basil and cilantro.


1/2 large head Napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
Handful dried arame*, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes & patted dry
Handful dulse, cut into strips
1 6″ long English cucumber segment, spiralized & patted dry
Handful sprouts, such as broccoli, alfalfa, or daikon, separated well
1 small bunch shiso leaves, rolled and cut into chiffonade
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
*Arame is not packaged raw. It must be steamed to be tenderized prior to dehydrating, but still retains nutrient-rich benefits.

Combine all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Lightly toss.

Miso Dressing

1 1/2 tbs organic white miso
1 tbs umeboshi plum vinegar
3 tbs flax seed oil
1 tsp nama shoyu*
1 tsp agave nectar
2 fat garlic cloves
Large knob of ginger (approx. 3″ x 1″)
2-3 tbs cold water as needed to thin
* For gluten-free preparation, substitute 1/2 tsp sea salt for nama shoyu.

In a food processor, blend all ingredients except for water until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Process again while simulaneously adding cold water tablespoon by tablespoon to thin into a salad dressing consistency.

Pour miso dressing over the slaw in batches (add and toss, add and toss) so that it gets evenly distributed.

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