Crunchy Thai Inspired Salad with a Spicy Ginger Peanut Sauce

My friends call me a bunny because I can actually just rip off a leaf from a head of lettuce and eat it without anything else.

It’s probably cause don’t really like salad dressing. Or at least, I’m really picky with it. When I go to restaurants, the conversation goes something like this:

Waiter: “What dressing would you like on your salad?”

Me: “None please.”

Waiter: “Are you sure? We have Italian, French, Cesar…”

Me: “No,” *awkward laugh* “I’m fine thank you.”

Waiter: “Are you sure? We have a lot of options.”

Me: “I’m sure”

Waiter: “Really?”

Me. “Really.”

Or to skip it all I just ask if I can have the dressing on the side. Some restaurants drown their salad in so much dressing that by the end of the day it’s more of a soup than a salad.

But I will admit that dressings can add a lot to a salad. And I happen to really like this one.

 

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It’s not too pungent. It doesn’t cover cover up the freshness of the vegetables. It’s pleasant, and it has nice spicy and ginger-y tones that pack a punch later. Plus it’s super easy to make. It may not be the traditional peanut sauce made with coconut milk and I may not have ground the peanuts myself, but it is still tasty. (But by all means, if you ever get the chance to eat real Thai food, please do yourself a favor and eat something with peanut sauce. It makes anything taste delicious.)

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I chose mostly crunchy vegetables because I enjoy a crunchy texture. I will be honest, this does take a while to chop up, especially if your knife work is as horrendous as mine. (This is the longest time it took me to shoot a recipe.) However, you can add whatever you want to the salad. I also choose to add tofu for my protein, but chicken or even salmon would do in place of it.

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Oh yeah, and use a large bowl to toss your salad. I’ve tried being lazy and mixing my salad in my serving bowl, but it doesn’t work. If you think about it, washing another bowl isn’t that bad because the vegetables are already washed so you technically don’t even have to wash it…

I’m kidding. Go wash the bowl.

Crunchy Thai Salad with a Spicy Ginger Peanut Dressing

makes about 2 servings

For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (I recommend low sodium)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
For the salad:
  • 1/2 a head of Napa cabbage (or if you can’t find that, you can use chopped romaine)
  • 1/4 a head of red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 a cucumber with the center seeds cored out
  • 1 green onion or scallion (or whatever you want to call it)
  • 1/2 cup edamame thawed and strained

Instructions

  1. Wash your vegetables! And if they’re not organic scrub them until they are!
  2. Chop up your veggies (except the edamame):

Here’s a quick picture tutorial on how to cut cabbage with finesse! (because I didn’t know how):

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Basically, for both cabbages, half it, half it again, then slice. Slice the red cabbage more thinly than the Napa cabbage.

For the carrots: an easy way to slice them is to cut them into coins, then chop the coins into strips

3. Place all the chopped veggies in a large bowl along any protein you would like-I choose to pan fry my tofu.

4. Meanwhile, put the peanut butter and soy sauce in a bowl and add the hot water. Stir-at first it will look lumpy and weird, but if you stir it enough, it will smooth out and combine. Add the spices after everything else is well combined.

5. Serve! Unless you are serving the salad immediately, do not toss the dressing with the entire salad. I like to serve my portion and pour the dressing on top. Store any leftover dressing in a sealed container/jar. Bring it for lunch!

I hope you love your salad a little more now.

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