Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s recipe, this Thai crunch salad with peanut dressing always satisfies.

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski, Chronicle Books 2018

This recipe was inspired by the popular Thai crunch salad served at California Pizza Kitchen. It’s made with crisp Napa cabbage, crunchy vegetables and edamame, but it’s the creamy peanut dressing that makes it so good. I guarantee you’ll want to put it on everything!

Serve this salad as a light lunch or pair it with grilled chicken for a more substantial meal. It’s excellent with my Honey, Lime & Sriracha Chicken Skewers.

What You’ll Need To Make Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

peanut-dressing-ingredients

This is one of those recipes with a long list of ingredients but don’t let that deter you; you can use many of the prepared vegetables available at the supermarket today, and the dressing is quickly puréed in a blender.

salad-ingredients

How To Make Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

Begin by making the dressing. Simply combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. It’s best to roughly chop the garlic and ginger beforehand, as most blenders aren’t able to process large pieces.

ready-to-blend

Add the cilantro and process for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. (If you add it in the beginning, it will completely blend into the dressing and give it a greenish hue.)

blending-in-cilantro

It will look like this.

finished-peanut-dressing

Next, make the salad. I typically use a blend of Napa cabbage, cucumbers, red bell peppers, shredded carrots, shredded purple cabbage and edamame, but you can use any crunchy vegetables that you like.

chopped-veggies

If you use cucumbers, be sure to remove the seeds, as they can make the salad watery.

seeding-cucumber

Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl along with the chopped spring onions and cilantro, and toss to combine.

ready-to-mix

If you’re serving the salad right away, drizzle the peanut dressing overtop and toss; otherwise serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s recipe, this Thai crunch salad with peanut dressing always satisfies.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Thai Peanut Dressing

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

For the Salad

  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
  • 1 cup prepared shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't get soggy.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: Approximately 2 cups
  • Calories: 282
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sodium: 505 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • We had this last night with the sriracha chicken. Amazing recipe and it is definitely restaurant quality. Making it again tonight. Another winner.

    • — Patticakes in Darien on July 29, 2021
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  • Ok seriously, this was phenomenal. The only changes I made was adding a couple extra veggies in the salad but the dressing I made exactly as the recipe states. Guys, ITS SO GOOD! The dressing is so delicious my boyfriend is topping it on everything including dipping his sushi in it! Sounds weird, I know, but this dressing is out of this world. Had to make a double batch 3x!!!! Great great great great recipe! I’ve spent so much money at the Cheesecake Factory on their Thai Chicken Salad so eventually I scoured the internet for a substitution that would do the trick and this went way beyond what I was expecting! I’ll never have to spend $24 on a Thai salad again! Thank you thank you!

    • — Sara C. on July 26, 2021
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  • We love this salad! The dressing is so good! And the crunch is amazing. If you want leftovers, be aware that the cucumbers wilt after the first few hours. I use a can of water chestnuts instead, so no wilting!

    • — Yumtum on July 25, 2021
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  • Made this tonight and it was a big hit. I had shredded rotisserie chicken breast for those who wanted to add it on top of their salad. I used Trader Joe’s cole slaw mix, ready to eat edamame and shredded carrots which cut down prep time. The dressing is fantastic and I’m not a big peanut butter fan so I was a bit hesitant but the other ingredients add a lot of flavor.

    • — Danita on July 13, 2021
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  • This is an absolutely delicious salad, I loved it and everyone else that ate it raved about how wonderful it was. This is sure to become a regular in my house!!!

    • — Pamela on July 11, 2021
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  • So delicious…thank you for the recipe!

    • — Nancy B Benedetto on July 9, 2021
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  • Has anyone tried adding SOBA noodles to this dish

    • — nancy taylor on June 26, 2021
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  • Does it need to be vegetable oil?

    • — Robin Crowell on June 6, 2021
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    • Hi Robin, I like vegetable oil here as the flavor is very mild, but you can use a different oil if you’d like. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
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    • Make this all the time, great salad! As usual your recipes never miss!

      • — Phung on July 2, 2021
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    • I used Avocado oil and it tasted great.

      • — Danita on July 13, 2021
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  • Great-tasting salad, and it’s pretty, too! The crunch and the dressing make for an awesome combination! Was a hit at my house!

    • — Sarah Pugh on May 30, 2021
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    • This was excellent! I used a bit of sesame oil and recur noodles. Very yummy.

      • — Kate on July 1, 2021
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  • Can you use something else in place of vegetable oil?

    • — Nyree on May 29, 2021
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    • Hi Nyree, Any other neutral-tasting oil will work here.

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2021
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  • Hello. Trying eat more healthy and this looks great. However, do I really need both the honey and the additional sugar? Can I leave one out without significantly impacting the final taste?

    • — DW on May 20, 2021
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    • Hi DW, I haven’t tried it, but a few readers have commented that they’ve omitted the sugar and have still enjoyed the dressing. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 20, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn I’ve made this salad twice in the last week, served with Vietnamese Meatballs and last night with the Honey Lime Sriracha chicken. All three recipes are excellent. My “girls” (daughter, daughter-in-law to be and friends) all agree your recipes are the best! I especially like the prep/cooking instructions that contribute to success. I have your cookbook and pre-ordered your next one. All the best and many thanks for being my number one, go-to recipe/cooking site (:

    • — Cindy Bryson on May 17, 2021
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    • Thanks for your kind words — so glad you like the recipes! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2021
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  • I added some left over chopped grilled chicken breasts. This was so good. Perfect crunch with a bit of spicy. Delicious.

    • — Julia on May 13, 2021
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  • I have made this recipe several times and could put the dressing on everything. But it is great on the salad too. The honey lime chicken is a great accompaniment.

    • — Spoonsnyc on May 12, 2021
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  • Is there anything I can replace the cilantro with? Highly allergic to it.

    • — Laurie Welsh on May 5, 2021
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    • Sure, you can replace the cilantro with flat-leaf parsley. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2021
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  • Hello, would this work with almond or cashew butter, or would that completely change the taste of the dressing?

    • — Alicia on April 26, 2021
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    • Hi Alicia, either will work and the dressing will have a slightly different flavor, but will still be delicious!

      • — Jenn on April 26, 2021
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  • The sauce was wayyy too acidic. Will be passing on this sauce recipe.

    • — Anita on April 24, 2021
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  • This was delicious! I was in such a rut and this met all my cravings – sweet, tangy, a little spicy, crunchy, salty and just yummy overall. I didn’t have edamame so I swapped it for blanched and salted snow peas and left out the garlic and shallots (to avoid a migraine). This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Sophie on February 26, 2021
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  • I made this delish salad for lunch today. My husband and I both loved it. I had a little cooked quinoa in the refrig and put that in the bottom of the bowls, then the veggies. The only other addition was salted peanuts to the top of the bowls. Will make again soon.

    • — Phyllis on February 23, 2021
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  • I made this dressing and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Serena on February 20, 2021
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  • Best. Salad. Ever! I didn’t have fresh ginger so I skipped it. Dressing was still incredible.

    • — Diane on February 4, 2021
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  • I make this salad often and am always asked for the recipe. It has great flavor and depth! Also had sliced radishes for extra crunch.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • — Sharen on February 3, 2021
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  • This!! This salad is one I could literally eat once a week and never tire of. My husband lovingly tells me I could “slather the dressing on a shoe” and he’d eat it. It’s that good. The variations of the salad are endless: I’ve added thinly sliced steak, chicken and a myriad of fresh crunch veggies, or I’ve gone the route of using the dressing as a dipping sauce, alongside other sauces with wings and even tofu!

    • — susan jedynak on February 2, 2021
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  • Love this salad and the dressing crazy delicious!! I sometimes shred leftover rotisserie chicken breast and add.

    • — Cindy Brush on February 1, 2021
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  • This salad is colorful, crunchy, healthy and yummy. The dressing makes it even more fabulous. Sometimes I make a mixture of plain ramen noodles and slivered almonds cooked in melted butter till browned. I let that cool spread out on paper towels and then sprinkle on top of the salad. If we are wanting protein with this, I marinate 1# chicken tenders in 6 tsp. Hoisin sauce and 3 tsp. sesame oil for 15 minutes. Then dredge each one in a mixture of Panko and sesame seeds and cook in oiled skillet until golden brown. Because of all the colors of the vegetables, it really makes a nice presentation. With or without the chicken, it is a meal in itself.
    Thank you, Jenn.

    • — Jean on January 31, 2021
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  • This is such a great salad! I usually double the recipe for the dressing and use it all week. I also like to add some shredded rotisserie chicken.

    • — Stacy on January 30, 2021
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  • I love this salad dressing! My friends love it whenever I make this salad dressing (which is quite often). Things I did change was decrease the sugar to 1 tablespoon. Instead of 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, I changed it to 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. I prefer the siracha instead of the crushed red pepper flakes because it blends better.

    This salad goes well with the Vietnamese-style Meatballs with Chili Sauce.

    Thank you for all your recipes!

    • — Lillian Shiiba on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this salad. It does take a long time to make so I have to plan ahead of time if I want to make it. Well worth the time and the effort. Great to serve at a friends and family gathering – when we can safely do that again.

    • — Val on January 29, 2021
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  • The dressing is out of this world amazing. Always looking for new ways to incorporate salads into my meal plans and this is amazing. Have made it several times for several different crowds and always a hit

    • — Meaghan on January 29, 2021
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  • My all-time favorite salad to make for family potlucks! Its such an easy, crisp, clean and healthy recipe and my entire family loves it!

    • — SANDEE SASAKI on January 28, 2021
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  • Great recipe! I always make as directed, and it makes quite a bit, so I just dress just the portion we are planning to eat, and then store the veggies and rest of the dressing separately in the fridge. As long as you take the seeds out of the cucumber, the veggies will stay fresh for 3 or 4 days, and you can add the dressing as you go. I have packed it for lunches, too, and again, it is much tastier and fresher tasting if you toss the veggies in the dressing right before you eat.

    • — Linda Wright on January 28, 2021
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  • This salad is delicious and nutritious! The dressing has so many layers of flavor and is what makes this dish exceptional. The recipe is one of my go-to favorites!

    • — Corinne McCombs on January 28, 2021
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  • This salad has been a favorite of mine for years now! Jenn got the perfect ratio of flavors in the dressing ingredients. I often make this when I entertain guests and always get requests for the recipe.

    • — Eliza on January 28, 2021
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  • Oh my I have made this recipe so many times and it is addictive. I could eat it everyday!!! Thanks so much for a great recipe.

    • — Pamela King on January 28, 2021
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  • Love this salad! I could eat it everyday. It truly is a 5-star salad, hence the rating, and would be a wonderful dish to bring to a holiday, potluck, etc. The only thing is it’s pretty labor intensive. A ton of chopping. I think this took me at least 30 min to prepare, and because you need a blender for the dressing, lots of dishes. Still deserves 5 stars. Just go into it knowing how long it will take you. This isn’t something you can just whip up.

    • — Monica on January 28, 2021
    • Reply

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