Malfouf Salad, which is a Lebanese cabbage salad, is fresh and healthy, made from a base of shredded cabbage and herbs, with a delicious dressing. It makes a perfect side dish for Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. It's super easy to make, looks beautiful and is an excuse to use lots of fresh herbs!
🥗Why this is a great salad
Malfouf salad, which is sort of like a Lebanese Slaw, is a great recipe to have in your repertoire. Malfouf means 'cabbage' in Arabic and is the main ingredient for this dish. You may see it written as Salatet Malfouf ('salatet' means salad in Arabic). It:
- is easy and quick to make
- has a super delicious dressing that can also be used as a dressing on other salads
- is healthy
- makes a great side dish
- stores for days in the fridge
- lends itself to swapping ingredients in and out so you can use what's in your fridge.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cabbage - the main ingredient in malfouf or Lebanese cabbage salad.
- Fresh mint and parsley - I love fresh herbs, and you can go heavy on these. They add freshness and flavour. You can use dried herbs if you have no fresh available.
- Scallions / spring onions - these add extra flavour to the salad (and are also known as green onions).
- Lemon juice - for the tangy zing of the dressing.
- Apple cider vinegar / white wine vinegar - also adds to the sourness of the dressing, and vinegar is very healthy.
- Tahini - a common ingredient in Lebanese and Middle Eastern food, and is used in hummus. It's sesame seed paste. It's delicious and adds a nutty flavour to the salad.
How to make Malfouf Salad
Malfouf salad is very simple to make. This is how you do it.
- Shred up your cabbage either using a shredder or use a sharp knife to slice it thinly. Add to a large bowl with the chopped scallions / spring onions and fresh herbs.
- Make the dressing by mixing together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic cloves and tahini.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and make sure it's mixed in well.
- Serve the malfouf cabbage salad with your favourite Lebanese dishes.
Substitutions and customising
Malfouf salad is great for substituting ingredients depending on your tastes or what you have in the house. Some ideas we love are:
- using red cabbage instead of white, or a mix of both.
- use olive oil instead of tahini if you can't find tahini.
- use any fresh herbs you have available, such as coriander. You can use dried herbs too.
- add olives and/or sundried tomatoes for a Mediterranean influence.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, even with the dressing on. The lemon, vinegar and garlic help preserve it. This is great if you want to make the salad ahead of time.
While this is a cabbage salad, you can use other vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, kale or celery.
If you don't have tahini or you're allergic to sesame seeds, you can use olive oil - extra virgin olive oil is the best option here.
This recipe was developed by Vanessa, one of the original co-founders of this site. Vanessa is now working on her plant based health coaching business, Energise and Thrive Plant Based. She helps people get high energy, great health, and balanced eating with delicious plant-based food.
She’s also brought out her FREE Guide - 5 Steps to Balanced Plant Based Eating which you’re welcome to download. Of course, all the recipes she has created for The Vegan Larder (like this one!) will remain here for you to access.
🍽️What to serve with Malfouf Salad
Malfouf salad is a great side dish, so it can go with many delicious main meals. Traditionally, you'd have this with Lebanese or Middle Eastern food, but I also love it with Meditteranean dishes. I think you'll love having this with:
If you make this Lebanese Cabbage Salad, we'd love to hear what you think. Enjoy!
Malfouf Salad (Lebanese Cabbage Salad)
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the main salad
- ½ medium cabbage (around 750g, shredded it’s around 6-7 cups)
- 3 spring onions / scallions (finely chopped)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 bunch fresh mint (finely chopped)
For the dressing (to make around 180ml / ¾ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed, use more if you love garlic!)
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar / white wine vinegar (plus extra if needed)
- 2.5 tablespoon tahini
- 1-2 tablespoon zaatar / dukkah
- Whole mint leaves for garnish
- Extra parsley
- Put all the ingredients for the main salad in a bowl. Mix together.
- Make the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a bowl/measuring jug and mix well. Top up with some more vinegar to make it reach 180ml / ¾ cup of liquid.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and make sure it’s mixed in well.
- Before serving, garnish the salad with more fresh herbs, such as whole mint leaves and fresh parsley. Sprinkle over some dukkah or zaatar if desired.