Spicy Thai Peanut Salad

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I work near this incredible Deli/Cafe, Gateway Cafe, near the San Jose Airport, which serves up fresh sandwiches, salads, and yummy daily specials for breakfast and lunch daily.  Every Tuesday, they serve this amazing Spicy Thai Chicken Wrap as a lunch special item and it is my absolute favorite lunch item walking distance from work. For the past few years, this has been my go-to place for lunch on Tuesdays and Tuesdays quickly became one of my favorite workdays! My coworkers and I are huge fans of the addicting creamy and spicy peanut sauce that is smothered in either the chicken wrap or the veggie wrap.  When I don’t want a wrap, they accommodate my special request to get the amazing spicy peanut dressing poured over a salad instead.

Unfortunately, since the pandemic situation happened at the beginning of March, I have not been back to the office and I don’t think they have been opened.  There are many times that I miss and crave my favorite Tuesday lunch special from Gateway Cafe.  I’ve been playing around with this Spicy Thai dressing and it seems to have the majority of flavor components, taste, and texture as the Thai Peanut dressing from Gateway Cafe. Not 100% the same, but close enough! I hope I get to go back to the office again soon to be able to get hooked up with my favorite Tuesday lunch special, but in the meantime, I will be content and enjoy my homemade version!

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:
4 ounces green cabbage, shredded
2 ounces roasted peanuts
1 ounce carrots, shredded
1 ounce purple cabbage, shredded
1 ounce cucumber, julienned
1 ounce cherry tomatoes
1/2 ounce red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 ounce cilantro (optional)

Spicy Thai Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced

Steps:

Prepare Spicy Thai Dressing– Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl. Mix to fully combine. Adjust sugar and lime juice as needed to desired taste.

Prepare Salad – In a medium salad bowl, combine green cabbage, carrots, purple cabbage, cucumber, red onions, peanuts, and cilantro. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of dressing over the salad and toss.

Tips:

  • It is important to adjust the dressing ingredients as necessary to taste.
  • For a non-vegetarian option, add 3-4 ounces of protein like chicken, salmon, or tofu if you want extra protein!
  • Mix and match the ratio of the veggies or add more or fewer veggies to your liking.
  • If you do not have chili paste, you can use Sambal chili paste, Sriracha, or another similar Asian style chili sauce or paste.

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