Thai Crunch Salad features cool cucumbers, crunchy carrots, red bell peppers, red and Napa cabbage tossed together with a delicious citrus peanut dressing. It’s full of color, nutrition and is super easy to make!
As we start to head into summer, I begin to crave lighter foods that are fresh and raw. This Thai chopped salad is the perfect spring and summer salad, loaded with texture, flavor that will have you tipping the bowl for every last drop!
Bring on the warmer weather and let’s beat the heat with this easy and flavorful Thai inspired salad!
This Thai inspired Salad was originally posted in June 2013, and has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in May 2019. The recipe has basically stayed the same, except for the addition of Napa cabbage and a name change to better reflect what it is. Enjoy this delicious Thai Crunch Salad, it’s still just as wonderful today as it was 6 years ago!
Tips For The Best Thai Crunch Salad
Added protein: Try adding 1 cup of edamame or 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Both would be delicious in this Thai salad. And for an even bigger nutritional boost, try adding them together!
Nut allergies: Omit the nuts if you have allergies, try adding pepitas, hemp hearts or sunflower seeds instead of peanuts or cashews. Same with the Thai peanut dressing, use sunflower butter or tahini for nut allergies.
Produce prep: When prepping your chopped salad ingredients, if the cucumber and carrots are wide, cut them in half or quarter them if needed. For the cabbage, I thinly sliced the cabbage and then gave it a quick rough chop.
Tools: When grating the ginger and garlic for the dressing, I recommend this microplane. It’s a great tool for any kitchen and will come in handy over and over again. Another handy tool I love is this mandoline, for uniformly cutting the cucumber and carrot. It’s easy to use, just be careful because this blade is sharp!
Making ahead: This Thai Crunch Salad is best served right away, but If making ahead, I would suggest assembling the salad, keeping the peanut dressing separate until ready to serve. Once everything is mixed, the salad ingredients will start to soften. Not a bad thing, but to keep it crisp and fresh for entertaining, it’s best to keep them separate until ready to serve.
How To Make Thai Crunch Salad
- To make the Thai peanut dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, citrus juice, tamari, ginger, garlic, and pure maple syrup, set aside to allow the flavors to come together. Taste for flavor before adding it to the salad, adding anything extra you find it may need. For a thinner dressing add 1 or 2 tablespoons citrus juice or water. For a thicker dressing, add a tad bit more nut butter.
- To assemble the chopped salad, in a large bowl combine the cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, cabbages, and nuts. Pour the peanut dressing overtop and toss well.
Serve in individual bowls with extra nuts and optional cilantro for garnish.
I hope you LOVE this Thai Crunch Salad as much as I do! It’s:
- Fresh and clean eating
- Quick and easy to make
- Full of texture
- & So delicious!
This salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner. It’s great for parties and potlucks too, just be sure to keep the salad and dressing separate until ready to serve for best presentation.
If you love easy salads, be sure to check out this Summer Cherry-Berry Fruit Salad, Sweet Corn + Arugula Salad, Rainbow Chop Salad with Spicy Mango Dressing, or this Chinese Chop Salad + Peanut Sesame Dressing!
If you try this easy crunch salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.
THAI CRUNCH SALAD + CITRUS PEANUT DRESSING
This colorful Thai inspired salad features cabbage, cucumbers, red bell pepper, carrots, and peanuts all dressed in a creamy citrus peanut dressing that’ll have you tipping the bowl!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 2 - 3 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 1/2 cups English cucumbers, thinly sliced and halved or quartered
- 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 small head Napa cabbage (about 2 – 3 cups), sliced
- 1/4 head of red cabbage, sliced
- handful peanuts or cashews, for garnish
- handful cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)
Citrus Peanut Dressing
- 3 tablespoons orange juice, lime juice or lemon juice, + more as needed
- 3 tablespoons raw or natural peanut butter (almond or cashew butter is great too)
- 1 tablespoon tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- pinch of red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the peanut citrus dressing, set aside allowing the flavors to come together. Then before adding the dressing to the salad, taste for flavor adding anything extra you might like. For a thinner dressing add 1 or 2 tablespoons citrus juice or water. To make it thicker add a tad bit more nut butter.
Assemble: Prepare your salad ingredients. Check your dressing for flavor. In a large bowl the napa and red cabbage, scallions, red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots and peanuts or cashews, pour the dressing over top the salad and toss well to coat.
Serve in individual bowls, top with peanuts or cashews, and red pepper flakes.
Makes 3 – 4 smaller salads, or 2 generous salads
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Dressing: Use the orange juice for a less tangy dressing. I used orange and lime for this recipe and have also used just lemon alone as well. Both variations are great! You can also lessen the amount of juice replacing it with water. Add in some citrus zest of choice if desired. And if you’re a vinegar lover, try adding a splash or two of rice wine or apple cider vinegar!
Add more protein: Try tossing in a cup of cooked quinoa after mixing for a more nutritionally balanced profile. Also a cup of edamame would boost the protein even more.
Allergies: Those with nut allergies can opt to use sunflower butter or tahini for the dressing. For the salad, pepitas, sunflower seeds and hemp hearts would be great here!