Thai-inspired crunch salad

This salad is inspired by the Thai crunch salad at CPK. The best part is the dressing – it’s creamy, spicy, and tangy. Obviously this is not an authentic Thai food recipe. For example, sesame oil is not used in Thai cooking. But a lot of the flavors in the dressing are Thai-inspired: peanut butter, lemongrass, ginger, and soy sauce, not to mention the fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, etc).

The other thing I love about this salad is that it doesn’t get soggy. There’s no delicate lettuce or other greens, so your salad stays crunchy, even if you make it ahead. Like my lentil salad, this one is great for picnics.

Even non salad lovers, like my husband, like this. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients – dressing

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sriracha or sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon grass paste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Ingredients – salad

  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, very finely chopped (see note*)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts

*Note: I found it was easiest to chop the cabbage by cutting it into quarters and then slicing one quarter at a time, using a very sharp knife.


  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients except water. You should have a thick slurry. Slowly add one tablespoon of water and stir. Repeat until dressing achieves desired consistency. You may not need all the water.
  2. In a large bowl, add cabbage, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, jalapeño, scallions, cilantro, and mint. Add dressing and toss together until ingredients are well distributed.
  3. Top salad with sliced avocado and peanuts, and serve.

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