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Crunchy Asian salad with peanut dressing

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This crunchy Asian salad with peanut dressing is amazingly tasty, colorful and refreshing, with a lot of crunch and flavor! Lots of vegetables: spinach, cucumbers, red bell pepper, carrots, sugar snap peas – all tossed in a delicious, homemade peanut dressing, and topped with toasted peanuts and sesame seeds. The salad dressing is both sweet and sour, and very creamy!

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What I love about this salad is that it makes use of so many good ingredients, vegetables, and the dressing is quite addicting! Gluten free, vegetarian, healthy recipe, full of fiber and nutrients!

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Crunchy Asian salad with peanut dressing

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Crunchy Asian salad with peanut dressing


    Peanut salad dressing:
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten free Tamari soy sauce for gluten free version)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or more, if you like it sweeter)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • Salad:
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves or other greens, washed, and dried
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped in half
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted


    To make salad dressing:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine and whisk together all dressing ingredients, except for 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  2. Salad:
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, and cook for about 5 minutes, until peas are crisp tender. Drain, rinse under very cold water (to stop cooking), drain again and set aside.
  4. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad, just enough to coat (you don't have to use all of the dressing, unless you want to). Sprinkle the salad with the remaining tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Juliana July 21, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Wow this salad looks so pretty with all colors, I love the peanut dressing…this is my kind of meal.
    Have a beautiful week Julia 😀

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking July 22, 2014, 12:27 am

    This salad looks so fresh and perfect for summer. I love anything with peanut dressing! I am sure this salad will be no exception!

  • Ashley July 22, 2014, 7:44 am

    That peanut dressing sounds fantastic! And so many pretty veggies and colors in this salad – it looks so good!

  • Holly - Beyond Kimchee July 22, 2014, 8:08 am

    Wow, this is one mega salad packed in nutrition. Love all the colors and the peanut dressing sounds perfect combination for it.

  • Sarah and Arkadi July 22, 2014, 9:30 am

    Love the colours and the crunch!

  • c July 22, 2014, 7:54 pm

    Looks fantastic Julia, wish this was my dinner tonight! So fresh and vibrant!

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 10:16 pm

      Thank you! I love fresh salads!

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy July 22, 2014, 7:54 pm

    Soy sauce actually has gluten (I noticed that you labeled it gluten free). Make sure you use Tamari for it to truly be gluten free!

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:34 pm

      Thank you, Matt, you’re right – I just added a correction to the recipe to use Tamari sauce for a gluten free version.

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl July 22, 2014, 11:04 pm

    This is such a happy harvest salad! It screams fresh and Summer!

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:35 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it’s very colorful – perfect for the Summer!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche July 22, 2014, 11:52 pm

    im always on the look out for delicious and healthy salads to make during the week for my vegetarian household.. thanks for sharing this recipe, i definitely will be recreating it.

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:37 pm

      Thanks, Thalia, I tried to use a variety of vegetables in this recipe, and I think they all work together really well! Especially, with homemade Asian dressing!

  • sarah k @ the pajama chef July 23, 2014, 9:47 am

    what a pretty salad!

  • Laura Dembowski July 24, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Love salads like this! I just bought sugar snap peas at the farmers’ market and they were such a treat.

  • Jennifer Lonton October 9, 2014, 7:24 am

    Hardly home made sauce when you use prepared peanut butter

  • Stephanie August 29, 2015, 4:37 pm

    HA! Get over yourself….

  • Nina September 16, 2015, 8:43 am

    We made the salad. Great salad ingredients. The dressing was a bit heavy on the fattiness and needed some acid to cut through it and we added lemon juice. Might be just us because we love lemon. Next time we might cut out the almost 1/2 a cup of oil (sesame/olive) and just stick with the peanut butter. The peanut butter really coated everything well. Have no idea if right for others. Thanks!

  • Amanda February 8, 2016, 12:18 pm

    I’m always trying to eat healthy but most salads are so boring and uninspiring and tend to stray away from them. This salad was the exact opposite. Oh my goodness I just want to put that dressing on everything. Light, refreshing and filling and 100% making again!

  • Pamela King May 3, 2016, 12:21 pm

    This salad is delicious! I subbed cashews and cashew butter for the peanuts and used apple cider vinegar because I was out of rice vinegar. SO good! Thank you for sharing!

  • Katrina Weiss August 13, 2016, 5:09 pm

    This salad was very refreshing on a hot summer evening. The dressing really gave it a unique taste. My mom loved it as well. My dad rarely comments about meals, but he ate quite a bit of it so I know he enjoyed it as well. Used a cucumber, peas, and peppers from my garden.

  • Katherine October 14, 2017, 1:11 am

    Hi Julia,

    Your Crunchy Asian Salad is just amazing.
    I would love to feature this in our website, Greenthickies. Would it be okay if I used one of your images here for it? I will not be posting the actual recipe, but only one image, title, a small quote and link back here.
    Will that be all right?

    Thanks a lot 🙂

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