Taiwanese recipes with locally sourced ingredients

Simple Kohlrabi Tossed Salad | 涼拌大頭菜

Simple Kohlrabi Tossed Salad | 涼拌大頭菜

Sweet, spicy, sour, crunchy and the air is filled with the scent of sesame oil and garlic. This dish is sure to freshen up any heavy meal. Kohlrabi is one of those rare and delicious veggie that’s found at Rochester Downtown Farmers Market during the cold days of winter, spice up your dinner table with this gem!


You won’t believe how crunchy these funny looking veggies are when eaten raw. It adds a completely different texture to the table. The most common ways to cook kohlrabi is to eat it raw, mixed with a few condiments, or make soup with it. But I much prefer eating it raw, I love the crunchiness. It goes so well with heavier dishes like SAN-BEI CHICKEN 三杯雞, and often paired with MALA BEEF NOODLES | 麻辣牛肉乾拌麵, PORK AND CABBAGE DUMPLINGS | 高麗菜豬肉水餃, or TAIWANESE BRAISED TOMATO BEEF NOODLE SOUP | 番茄紅燒牛肉麵.



In Taiwan, when you eat at most noodle shops, besides your “main dish” there are also lots of side dishes you can pick from at a side dish stand. We call these “小菜” (xiao3cai4, meaning little dish). There’s usually a hug variety of side dishes to pick from; pig’s ear, 1000-year-old-eggs with soft tofu, pickled cabbage, CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING, and this kholabi tossed salad are some of the most popular ones. The best part? They’re called “little dishes” for a reason, the portion is usually not very big, each dish has about a handful of food on them and they’re only $1 each so you get to try different dishes, mix and match your meal without breaking a bank. It’s my favorite part about going to noodle shops, I almost always go for their “little dishes” exclusively.



Kohlrabi belongs to the cabbage family, meaning it’s got loads of fiber and that good healthy vitamins and minerals you need. Especially eaten raw! Fun fact: kohlrabi is called “大頭菜” (da4tou2cai4, Big Head Veggie) in Taiwan. I’ve always loved that name especially when I was a kid. So easy to remember.








Simple Kohlrabi Tossed Salad | 涼拌大頭菜
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Sweet, spicy, sour, crunchy and the air is filled with the scent of sesame oil and garlic this dish is sure to freshen up any heavy meal.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Taiwanese, Vegetarian
Author: Choochoo-ca-Chew
  • 1 Medium Kohlrabi About 5" diameter
  • 1 TBsp Sugar
  • 1/2 TBsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 TBsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Red Chili Chopped
  • 4 Stems Cilantro Chopped
  1. Prep the kohlrabi: Remove the skin of the vegetable, slice into 3mm thin pieces, and roughly 2" x 2".
  2. Toss the sliced kohlrabi with 1TBsp of sugar in a bowl and let sit for 5 mins while you prep the red chili, garlic and cilantro (the sugar helps keep the kohlrabi crunchy!)
  3. Drain any excess water from the kohlrabi bowl, and add 3TBsp Vinegar 1TBsp Soy Sauce 1tsp Sesame Oil 2 Cloves of minced Garlic 1 Chopped Red Chili 4 Stems of chopped Cilantro
  4. Toss and mix well
  5. Serve immediately or let sit for 10 mins, the kohlrabi will soak up all the flavor from the dressing (you can also let it sit longer in the fridge until ready to serve)



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