Spicy Daikon Carrot Salad (Liangban, 凉拌)


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from overhead blue porcelain plate filled with liangban carrot daikon salad and garnished with fresh cilantro against a black backdrop

My Favorite No-Cook Side

In cooler months, they’re sweetest, and in warmer months, they’re cooling—we enjoy radish and carrot year-round in this spicy daikon carrot salad, more traditionally known as a 凉拌 (liángbàn) or “cold-dressed” dish. Slivers of these bright root vegetables spring from their whole form into shredded strips like nonchalant supper party confetti.

It’s any host’s low-maintenance sidekick: two-step prep, no stove or oven space required, unfussy if you leave it unattended for several hours before serving. A dressing cocktail elevated by Mala Mama’s authentic Sichuan Chili Oil (ft. caiziyou!) brings the heat with a quickness.

Even better, leftovers go straight from the fridge to your plate the next day. Although rarely does this ever hit the table and go unfinished.

a fresh daikon and half a peeled carrot on a bamboo cutting board with a mandolin in use showing shredded carrot and daikon on the board
Peel, chop, shred: a simple mandoline makes quick work of the prep

You can hand-shred these if you’re diligent and your knife skills are top-notch, but most home cooks outsource this task to their mandoline. Any proper Chinese mandoline slices down to 1/16 inch (1.5 millimeters), which you’ll need for the right sliver quality. Any thicker and you’ll just be chopsticking spicy vegetable matchstick crudités.

Then, the shredded veggies get thrown together and salted to draw out internal moisture. This ensures crunch once served, and keeps the salad from growing soggy once dressed. It only needs 10-15 minutes to sit, which invariably flies by while we’re busy assembling the rest of dinner. Finally, it’s tossed with the rest of the chili oil dressing just before serving.

Variations of this spicy daikon carrot salad abound as well. Dried beancurd, cucumber and seaweed, sliced to equally thin slivers, feature prominently with or without the radish. However, the common denominator for this liangban style is a long, thin shape and crisp texture.

closeup of blue porcelain plate filled with liangban carrot daikon salad and garnished with fresh cilantro
Ready to eat or good prepared in advance

For more vegetarian-friendly liangban dishes to diversify your serving table:

Spicy Daikon Carrot Salad (Liangban, 凉拌)

By: Kathy Yuan | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • mandoline


  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 large daikon, peeled
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil with flakes see note
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese light soy sauce (Zhongba preferred)
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • teaspoon white sugar
  • dash ground huajiao (Sichuan pepper) see note
  • fresh cilantro, rinsed and drained for garnish


  • Slice ends off peeled carrot and daikon and julienne to 1/16-inch thickness using mandoline. Toss with salt in a large bowl to draw out moisture and let rest for 15 minutes. Drain excess moisture, wringing carrot and daikon to squeeze-dry remaining moisture.
  • Combine with dressing ingredients in a serving bowl. Toss to coat evenly and chill in refrigerator for later, or enjoy immediately. Garnish with cilantro to serve.


Make my family’s authentic Sichuan Chili Oil here to dress this like we do at home.
GROUND HUAJIAO (Sichuan pepper):
Toast whole huajiao in a dry skillet until it starts to smell very fragrant, but do not brown them. Let peppercorns cool, then grind to powder in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder. Ground huajiao will retain its potent flavor and numbing punch for only a few weeks.

Tried this recipe?

About Kathy Yuan

Kathy is a first-gen, twenty-something daughter of two Sichuan immigrants who cooked her way back to her parents’ kitchen during the pandemic and is now helping Ma (you can call her Mala Mama) keep generational family recipes alive. All photos shot and edited by her.

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  1. Love your recipe for this Daikon and Carrot salad
    On another topic, Could you please recommend a easy to use Wok
    I love to do veggie dishes and I need some advice on a good wok
    Thank You very much

    1. Hi Eileen, thanks for reading. We like to recommend wokshop.comwokshop.com for all your wok needs. The Wok Shop storefront owned by Tane Chan in San Francisco’s Chinatown has been a longstanding kitchen goods emporium and they sell online on their website too. They have a lot of helpful resources for using and taking care of your wok too. Maybe you’ll recognize Grace Young, the stir-fry guru on her site!