Thai Crunch Salad Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Thai Crunch Salad Recipe

Thai Crunch Salad | Pamela Salzman

Just taking a wee break from Passover prep and other cooking class-related work to share a recipe I know you will love.  I taught this Thai Crunch Salad in my classes a few years ago and I still hear from my students that they make it all the time.  It’s a season-less salad which is appropriate at any time of the year.  And now that peanuts (which are a legume) are Passover-approved, you can make this salad this week for dinner and put it in the kids’ lunch boxes (or yours) the next day.

Thai Crunch Salad | Pamela Salzman

All my students know I am crazy for cabbage!  It is a totally under appreciated vegetable.  It is one of the few vegetables that are grown all year long, so it’s always in season.  It’s inexpensive and incredibly nutrient dense.  Cabbage is part of the brassica, or cruciferous, family of vegetables.  I try to incorporate vegetables from this group a few times a week because they contain an amazing amount of health benefits.  In these images, I used Napa and red cabbage, but you can use Savoy or standard green cabbage as well.

Thai Crunch Salad | Pamela Salzman

My kids love the dressing which is flavor-packed and peanut butter-based, but you can definitely use roasted cashew butter, almond butter or, for a nut-free option, sunflower butter.  Even tahini would be great!  Or do something totally different and use a cilantro-honey vinaigrette.  Click here for that recipe.  I love a super crunchy salad, and this does not disappoint.  In the summer, I love bringing this to potlucks and I’ll swap out some of the cabbage for a little cucumber and sweet bell pepper.  For the cilantro-haters out there, leave it out.  You can use fresh mint with or without basil and it will still be delish.

Thai Crunch Salad | Pamela Salzman

This salad already has your covered for protein with the added peanuts and peanut butter in the dressing, but you can certainly add more.  Blanched, shelled edamame are great in this, as is salmon or chicken prepared any way you like.  This salad is inspired by the Thai Crunch Salad at California Pizza Kitchen.  This is not intended to be a copy cat recipe, so please don’t expect it to be exactly like their salad.  In fact, I think they toss the salad with a cilantro vinaigrette AND drizzle with a peanut butter dressing.  That said, feel free to play around with this and add some heat (more cayenne, add fresh ginger) or other fresh herbs.  You can’t go wrong!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Thai Crunch Salad
Serves: 6
  • For the salad:
  • ½ head Napa cabbage, sliced* (see note next to dressing ingredients)
  • ¼ head of red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • For the dressing*: (multiply by 1.5 if your cabbage is big or you like a lot of dressing)
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon honey
  • ½ Tablespoon water
  • ½ Tablespoon shoyu or gluten-free tamari
  • pinch sea salt (or more if you use low-sodium soy sauce)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • other add-ins: grilled or roasted chicken, smoked tofu, mango, cucumber, sweet bell pepper, toasted coconut flakes
  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing: whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl or a glass jar.
  3. Use enough dressing to moisten the salad. Toss and serve. Leftovers stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
* Salad dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature and re-emulsify before using.
For an alternative dressing, use the cilantro vinaigrette from this Jicama-Mango-Avocado Salad


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  1. One of my all-time favorites!! I lost my paper copy from cooking class five years ago. I’m surprised at how few comments there are- this recipe is divine.Thank you Pam!

    • I WISH people would comment more! I get more emails and DM’s than comments, but comments are so helpful to anyone looking at the recipes. Thanks, Shannon!

  2. PERFECT! I couldn’t love this salad more. Instead of shredding cabbage (did I mention I’m lazy?) I bought a bag of shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw from Trader Joe’s! Broiled some salmon and dinner was served. Sooooo good.

    • Do what you’ve gotta do! Cabbage is one of the most healthful foods. You can’t go wrong 🙂

  3. That sounds DELICIOUS. It is my goal this year to perfect some vegan Thai dishes. Going to try this one asap. Thanks for posting girl.

    • I am crazy for Thai flavors. Hope you love this!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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