I was tempted to name this recipe ‘Peanut sauce & Thai salad’, because once you try preparing this, you’ll quickly realise that the salad is just an excuse to eat the peanut sauce – which, as the name says, is glorious. And somewhat addictive, to be honest.
The truth is that there is not much cooking involved to prepare this salad. Every ingredient is used in its raw form and the only “cooking” needed is to blend the sauce with a food processor or hand blender. This salad is also very ambivalent and adaptable. These are the three main ways you could enjoy it:
- Plain salad
- Salad + noodles
- Salad + noodles + prawns (or chicken, turkey)
I also mixed it with some boiled brown rice and you could potentially eat it with other grains (barley, buckwheat, quinoa…). It depends on how hungry you are or how much energy you need.
The reason I named this recipe Benja’s is because, if Ben was a dish, this would be it. The red cabbage, carrots, radishes, red pepper and scallions make this salad a fresh, crunchy and earthy one. It’s great for warm Summer days but, if you add noodles to it, it is suddenly transformed into a yummy cold Winter day lunch or dinner.
The original recipe can be found at the Feasting At Home blog. I get regular inspiration and ideas to cook from this food blog, as it focuses, but isn’t limited to, seasonal and plant-based recipes. Worth checking it out!
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did 🙂
Recipe: Benja’s Thai peanut sauce & salad
Total time: 30 mins
Notes: serves 6-8, depending on whether you add noodles or eat it as a plain salad
- 1/2 red cabbage
- 6 large carrots, spiralised
- 10 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper
- 6 spring onions/scallions, chopped
- a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped – save some to sprinkle at the end
- 1/2 cup peanuts, crushed – save some to sprinkle at the end
- 3 slices ginger
- 1 garlic clove
- 2-3 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy, if you have it)
- 1 orange, the juice
- 1 lime, the juice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp honey or agave syrup (add a little, taste, then adjust)
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or ground dried chili
- ½ tsp salt
- Asian-style noodles e.g. pad thai, soba, brown rice…
- Prawns, sprinkled with paprika and pepper, sauteéd.
- Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. If you want to add noodles, set a large pot with water to boil, cook noodles according to package instructions. If adding prawns, set a pan to medium heat, add 1 tsp oil and sauteé them until they become orange and are cooked inside.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together, whisk well until the sauce acquires a thick creamy consistency.
- In a bowl, add the salad (+ noodles + prawns), 1 tbsp sauce and sprinkle with extra cilantro and crushed peanuts. Mix well and enjoy!
Storage tip: If you think you won’t finish the salad in one go, a tip to preserve it better in the fridge is to store the salad in a container and the sauce in another one. If you mix the salad with the sauce and store it in the same tupperware, the salad might get soggy and last very little. I would also recommend keep the toppings (cilantro, peanuts) in a small container, separate from the rest of ingredients. That way, the freshness is preserved for longer.