This one’s an oldie, but a goodie!
I came up with Thai Quinoa Salad during the spring semester of graduate school because I wanted to start challenging myself by using ingredients that I wasn’t too familiar with. Quinoa was really starting to rise in its popularity, so I knew I wanted to try it out.
Little did I know that quinoa and I would not get along.
But I tested and tried and failed and tried again until this recipe happened. It was my first successful recipe with quinoa, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Bonus? It’s also a big hit with my family and friends!
Here’s how you make it.
Start with preparing the quinoa. In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, pour in 1½ cups of water with some salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. When the water is boiling, add in 1 cup of rinsed brown quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork before setting aside to assemble the salad.
In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables for the salad.
Shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper, and some shelled edamame (fresh soy beans!). I love how this salad has a bunch of bright colors and many different textures. After all the vegetables in the bowl, set it aside and prepare the sauce.
The best way to make the sauce is in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can microwave the peanut butter and honey together in a microwave safe bowl and then add the additional ingredients to it!
In the bowl of the food processor, add in some smooth peanut butter, some low-sodium soy sauce, honey, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and some grated fresh ginger. Please do not swap the low-sodium sauce for regular – the peanut sauce will be way too salty. If you would like, add in some red pepper flake. I really recommend that you add it – it really takes the peanut sauce over the top!
Finally, add in a big squeeze of fresh lime juice. All that’s left is to turn the food processor on and blend the sauce together. If it is too thick for your liking, you can thin it with a bit of water. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings (adding more lime, more honey, etc.) to your preference.
Now it’s time to assemble the salad.
Add in the cooked quinoa to the vegetables.
Pour in half peanut sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine. Add more sauce until you reach the sauciness you desire!
Add in some chopped scallions.
And garnish with cashew halves and some fresh cilantro leaves.
Definitely one of my favorite recipes!
Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!
- 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
- 2-3 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1½ cups shelled edamame
- 2-3 medium scallions, sliced
- ½ cup roasted cashews halves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flake, optional (but highly recommended!)
- Juice of ½ a lime
- Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
- Bring 1½ cups of water seasoned with salt and pepper to a boil over medium heat. Add in the quinoa. Bring mixture back to a boil, cover, and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove cooked quinoa from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add in peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, vinegars, olive oil, grated ginger, and lime. Blend to combine. Add water to thin if you would like. NOTE: If you don't have a food processor, you can microwave the peanut butter and honey together in a microwave safe bowl and then add the additional ingredients to it!
- In a large bowl, add cabbage, bell pepper, edamame, and scallions. Add in quinoa and half the dressing – stir thoroughly to combine. Assess if the salad is too dry and add more dressing if needed. Garnish with cashews, cilantro leaves, and lots of lime wedges.