once upon a chef

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing


   FOR THE THAI PEANUT DRESSING – ¼ 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 – 2½ tablespoons sugar – 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped – 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped – 1 teaspoon salt – ¼ 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 – ½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro


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.


Add the cilantro and process for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped.


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.


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


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


Drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss, or serve the dressing on the side.