Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing

Good with chicken too!

Have you had a big reunion yet for either high school or college? My 50th high school union was last year and this year was my husband’s (yes, I have to admit I was a cougar even before that was even a word referring to marrying a younger man; he’s only 9 months younger though.) and I have to say it was so much fun seeing everyone. Our high school, (in Caruthersville ) back then may have had 500 students total, so it was easy to know just about everyone in the whole school.

I knew almost everyone that walked through the door at the brunch that one of his classmates had at her house (thanks Geneva). How time flies; everyone looked the same, just a little older, grayer and a few more wrinkles than we had in high school. One friend, asked my sister and I if we remember one night after a football game that we were racing one of my husband’s friends when we were going home (my sister was driving I’m sure) and we went air bound off the road and landed in a field. How could we ever forget that; we probably (maybe) never raced anyone again. No one was hurt, just a little shook up. We did a lot of crazy things back then that I’m sure even our kids never heard about.

Before attending the reunion, we drove to Chicago to see our son and his family. We are always cooking up some new recipe and my daughter-in-law, Missy found this recipe on Pinterest. Grandsons Oliver and Charlie helped me make Oreo ice cream twice and their mom made three salads she had found on Pinterest; this was one of them. I liked it so much I decided to post it to the blog incase you didn’t see it on Pinterest.

This recipe came from and after a few tweaks I decided to take it to my bunco group. I added a little more heat to the salad by adding a thinly sliced jalapeño and I substitute sugar snap peas for the snow peas because they have more of a crunch than a snow pea that tends to go limp when dressed. I also added some oil to the dressing. The original recipe had no oil because it was part of a healthy week of eating for this blogger. The additional oil seemed to give the dressing a smoother texture so I cut back on some of the water that was in the recipe.

Hope you will try this salad and if you come up with other variations or substitutions, please let me know in the “comment” section below.

Note: after serving this at my bunco group I had a huge bowl of the salad at home that did not have any dressing on it. The next night I added some chopped grilled chicken to the top of the salad with some of the peanut dressing and also added a layer of Asian dressing (see recipe below) and it made a wonderful main dish salad. The peanut dressing and Asian went perfectly with the chicken.


The second time I made this I used napa cabbage. You can use savoy or regular green cabbage; I like the wrinkles in the napa.


The original recipe calls for snow peas but the sugar snap pea is fatter and crunchier.


Mix up all the dressing ingredients in a blender or small processor.


Mix all the salad ingredients carefully except for the avocado and sesame seeds.


Add avocado, dressing and then toss gently.


I decided to add a little more heat to the salad (optional) by adding a finely sliced jalapeño pepper.


With all the left over (undressed) salad I had from serving this at bunco, I decided to add some grilled chicken and then added a little Asian dressing along with the peanut dressing and topped with more cashew nuts.

Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing
Serves 12
Crunchy cabbages, avocado and carrot makes this one delicious side salad. Add some chicken and have a main dish salad.
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  1. 1 small head napa cabbage, thinly shredded
  2. 1/4-1/2 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
  3. 1 c. julienned carrot
  4. 1 - 8 oz. pkg. sugar snap peas, cut in 1/3 rds
  5. 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
  6. 1/2 c. cilantro leaves
  7. 1 large jalapeño,seeded, sliced very thinly
  8. 1 large avocado, diced
  9. 1/4-1/2 c. roasted cashews
  10. 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds (can use white, I used both)
  1. 2 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter
  2. 2 Tbsp. rice-wine vinegar
  3. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  4. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  5. 1 tsp. soy sauce
  6. 1 tsp. honey or brown sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp. sriracha (or hot sauce)
  8. 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  9. 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  10. 1 Tbsp. water
  1. Pull the strings off the sugar snap peas and cut on diagonal into thirds.. Put the finely shredded napa (savoy or regular green cabbage can be used if you can't find napa), carrots in a bowl. Toss to combine.
  2. Add in the jalapeño, basil and cilantro leaves and toss. Right before serving add the cashews and sesame seeds then toss with enough dressing to just glisten the salad then add in the avocado.
  3. Serve immediately.
  1. I used about 1/2 cabbage because mine was a pretty small head. I bought my carrots already julienned because it same time in prep work. I added more cilantro than the original 1/4 cup called for because I love the taste.
  1. 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or any cooking oil)
  2. 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon honey (or agave
  4. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  6. pinch of salt and black pepper
  7. Whisk all ingredients until blended
Adapted from
Rosemary and the Goat

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