photo of Asian Style Cabbage Salad

Tips: Colors in Food Styling

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The current trend in food styling is all about creating Monochromatic images keeping the focus on one. However, colors on an image always catch your attention. I look for ways to include different colors in a dish. For instance, here is an Asian Style Cabbage Salad. 

Photo of Asian Style Cabbage Salad
Asian Style Cabbage Salad

There is nothing much one can do in this salad. The texture is almost consistent. Even though the purple color stands out, I tried to include specs of orange, white, and green. 

You can add colors to your image in different ways

  1. Colorful and bright herbs or spices: Coriander, basil, chili flakes, etc. help in styling.
  2. Use a bright and colorful plate, glass, or a mug: it doesn’t always help but at times when the food and the backdrop are almost of similar shade. E.g., hot chocolate/coffee served in a bright red mug placed on a wooden board.
  3. Colorful food ingredients: blue tea, beetroot, and in this case, purple cabbage. Eggs (love them)boiled, poached, or fried egg with a bright yellow yolk stands out. It brightens up any dull looking toast, salad, breakfast, etc.
  4. Styling boards: A bright backdrop also lends character to your image. Read more about styling boards in my previous blog post.

How do I go about choosing colors?

For this, I would recommend you at least take a look at the color theory. Just give it a read.

Not that I follow this rule all the time, but it helps me when I feel stuck.

For me, sometimes it’s the season, my mood, or even the that dish helps me decide which colors to play with.

During winter, I look forward to more orange hues say, for example, cinnamon, orange, the warmer shades.

Summers I look for yellow, lime green, etc. 

I hope this helps if you are stuck when it comes to using colors to your advantage. I am yet to explore a lot of ingredients and unique colors.

Here is the recipe for my Asian style purple cabbage salad


  • Cabbage 1/2 (medium size)
  • Carrot 1
  • Spring onions 1 cup (finely sliced)
  • Canola oil 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • Crushed peanuts (toasted) 1/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds 1tbsp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Honey 1tbsp
  • Garlic 1 (grated)
  • Chili (chopped) or chili flakes 1/2 tsp


  1. Slice the cabbage leaves, carrots and spring onions as thinly as possible. Soak them in cold water till you are ready to serve. This keeps them nice and crunchy.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic and chili flakes. Let it sizzle then add the soy sauce. Turn off the heat and add honey and lime juice. Pour into a jar and shake.
  3. In a large mixing bowl place the veggies, add some dressing and crushed peanuts. Give it a good toss. Give it a taste.
  4. For serving, just pile the salad in the serving dish and top it with more dressing(if required), peanuts and sesame seeds. Enjoy

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