Crunchy Thai Salad

January 21, 2014

Crunchy Thai Salad

Looking to add a little color to these cold gray days of January? We are loving this new salad recipe with Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, peanuts, chili sauce dressing, and more. This one is great for a crowd, and—unlike most salads—keeps very well for a day or two. In fact, the cabbage holds up so well that we decided we might even like it better on the second day.

Crunchy Thai Salad

One recommendation I do have is that you taste-test your chili sauce as you are adding it to your dressing. Ours turned out to be quite spicy, and I imagine different brands have different amounts of heat. Always best to err on the mild side if you’re making a large batch to share with a big group.

We’re definitely looking to bring more winter salads into our recipe repertoire. Do you have any favorite Napa cabbage or kale salads to recommend?


Crunchy Thai Salad
adapted from How Sweet It Is

Serves about 4.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 1  napa cabbage, chopped
  • ½ red cabbage, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1  cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • ½ c. carrots, chopped
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ c. roasted peanuts, chopped


  • ¼ c. sweet chili sauce
  • ½ c. rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. coconut milk
  • 6 T. brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. peanut butter
  • 2 t. fresh grated ginger
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 T. soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spritz a baking dish with olive oil spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place in the baking dish.

Combine chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, and soy sauce in a saucepan, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour half of the sauce over the chicken, coating it thoroughly. Set remaining sauce aside to dress the salad.

Bake chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

While chicken is baking, combine all salad ingredients (except for half of the peanuts) in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. When chicken has finished cooking, let cool for a few minutes, then thinly slice it. Serve salad, top with chicken, top with remaining peanuts.

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  • sybaritica January 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I like the sound of that except I am not keen on cilantro. Do you suppose Basil might do as nicely?

    • Sarah Zero January 21, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      The cilantro adds a nice bit of flavor, so I like the idea of replacing it with something rather than simply omitting it. If you have access to thai basil, I would try that. Regular basil may work, but I think of that as more an Italian flavor rather than Thai. Try it and let me know!

  • Dustin Briggs January 22, 2014 at 2:00 am

    That sounds like a delicious salad. I love Thai food, especially as you pointed out to brighten up cold winter weather! One of my favorite salads we make a lot is a garlicky raw kale salad. Check it out here.

    Looking forwards to checking out more of your posts-I’ve just discovered the blog. Love the name too!


    • Sarah Zero January 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Hey Dustin! I had never seen you and your wife’s blog, either. Cool! Thank you for sharing—will try it for sure.

  • Theresa January 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Another winner from the Couple of Zeros kitchen ! You will not be disappointed!


    • Sarah Zero January 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Thanks, Theresa! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Theresa January 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    What can I do with the left over coconut milk? Does it freeze well?

    • Sarah Zero January 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I haven’t tried freezing it, but I bet you could. Looks like it must be time to try an Indian or curry recipe here.