This Spicy Thai Salad is fresh and zingy, with a kick of chilli (as spicy as you choose) offset with creamy peanut butter. Take your lunchtime salad to the next level!
I've mentioned before that salads really aren't my thing, but there are of course exceptions to any rule, and salads that involve a) lots of peanut butter and b) lots of chilli are most definitely one of those exceptions.
This Spicy Thai Salad would be perfect as a standalone lunch, (you could add in some rice noodles if you want a bit more bulk), or equally as a side salad to serve with a vegan BBQ or summertime buffet.
What you need to make your Spicy Thai Salad
Red chillis How spicy your salad becomes is entirely up to you. I used one red chilli in the salad and another (with seeds) in the dressing, but where you put the chilli(s), how many, and whether you remove the seeds is totally your decision.
Dry roasted peanuts This salad needs a salty, savoury crunch and roughly chopped dry roasted peanuts are the best way of delivering this by a long way. Their texture is quite different to a standard peanut, so they really stand out from the creamy dressing and crunchy vegetables.
Peanut butter As your dressing will be blitzed until smooth, it doesn't matter if you use smooth or crunchy peanut butter - whatever you have in the cupboard!
Lime Thai food is famous for its sour / salty / sweet combination so the lime juice is vital to the overall flavour of the dish. However adding citrus (and salt) to raw vegetables will start to release their juices and their crispiness will diminish, so leave off the dressing until the very last minute.
Soy sauce I almost always use Tamari - a more rich and less salty version of soy sauce. It has a darker colour, so you can use a little less, then use salt to adjust the seasoning as required.
Sesame oil gives this dressing its final Thai-flavour flourish. If you don't have any to hand, make sure you substitute in a flavourless oil like sunflower or rapeseed, and not olive or anything with a strong flavour.
Of course you could use a manual spiraliser* instead, or else a julienne cutter - I have a julienne attachment on my OXO Grate & Slice Set* which is really handy, or you can use a julienne peeler like this one* instead.
If you don't have any of these gadgets, a sharp knife and a bit of patience and you will have beautiful carroty matchsticks in no time!
LUNCHBOX THAI SALAD
This lovely salad is also perfect for taking to work in a lunchbox - you could prepare two days' lunches in one go, just don't add the dressing until lunchtime or the veg will go soggy.
There are some really nifty lunchboxes available with in-built dressing pots, (like this one from Sistema*), which are so handy for saving us from soggy salads.
Reader Testimonials: Spicy Thai Salad
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This is one of my all time favourite salads, it is INSANELY good. I’ve done it for dinner parties a few times and it goes down so well. When it’s just us we like to have it with spring rolls so you get the goodness of the green and something naughty also. Balance right? " @lydslivinggreen
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This Thai salad was amazing! I could eat it any day." Lizet
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Spicy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
For the Salad
- 2 medium or 1 large carrot
- ½ a cucumber
- 3 spring onions
- 1 red pepper
- 70 g mange-tout peas (or sugar snaps)
- 1 red chilli (seeds removed)
- 150 g beansprouts
- handful fresh coriander
- 25 g dry roasted peanuts
For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 red chilli
- Prepare the vegetables: spiralize (or thinly shred) the carrot and cucumber and place in a large bowl. Finely slice the spring onions, red pepper, mange tout peas and chilli and add to the bowl. Add the beansprouts, then finely chop the coriander and peanuts and add to the salad. Toss everything together.
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender or mini-chopper - juice the lime, and finely slice the chilli, (you may prefer to remove the seeds for less heat). Blitz until completely smooth.
- Add the dressing right at the last minute so that the salad doesn't go soggy. Enjoy!