Lao Hu Cai (老虎菜) / Tiger Salad : The Easiest Vegan Chinese Salad

Lao Hu Cai / Tiger Salad
Lao Hu Cai / Tiger Salad

Lao Hu Cai (Tiger Salad) is a simple salad from Northern China.

Cool facts about it – it uses familiar but unique ingredients; it’s easy and budget-friendly; it’s Vegan; and very importantly, it even has a cool name.

It’s one of those Chinese dishes that has a metaphorical name. Lao Hu means tiger in Chinese. It’s called “tiger” because all the ingredients of the dish have such wild and strong flavors.

Tiger Salad uses only three main ingredients: green peppers, cilantro and scallions. (In fact, you can even remove scallions from the list.)

If you think a dish as a play, those ingredients usually are the side roles. They have strong characteristics, but don’t normally get to shine in the center of the stage. In that sense, Tiger Salad is an interesting dish that puts a spotlight on them and elevates the flavors by few simple steps.

It’s crunchy, refreshing, and of course, it has some kick to it. It’s perfect for summer, goes great with anything that has a richer flavor.

Lao Hu Cal / Tiger Salad
Lao Hu Cai / Tiger Salad

Main Ingredients:

  • 1-2 green pepper
  • 2-3 scallions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 0.3-0.5 tbs sugar
  • salt
  • soy sauce (few drops)
  • sesame oil (few drops)
  • toasted sesame seeds (if desired)


  1. Slice green peppers and scallions into thin strips
  2. Cut cilantro into 2-inch lengths
  3. Soak scallion strips in ice water for about 5 minutes (to remove some spiciness and adds a crunchy texture).
  4. Sauce: Mix 1tbs vinegar, 0.3-0.5 tbs sugar, salt, few drops of soy sauce and sesame oil. 
  5. Mix well the vegetables and the sauce, then top with toasted sesame seeds.

⇒ Be careful not to use too much soy sauce or sesame oil. Too much of them will bring down the refreshing flavor. 

⇒ You can be creative with the ingredients. Cucumbers, onions or paprika… They all go great with the “tiger”.

Lao Hu Cai / Tiger Salad Instructions

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