Thai Inspired Peanut Salad with Salmon

The peanut dressing alone is the reason you should make this salad. Topped with pan-seared salmon, this kale salad is one you’ll make over and over. Let’s be honest though, it’s the dressing for me; it’s so good that I could drink it straight. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I use it as a dressing, marinade or dipping sauce. Be sure to make extra, I know you’ll want more!

Now that I’ve confessed my love for the peanut dressing, let’s get to the salad. It’s has the perfect amount of crunch with kale, cabbage, cucumbers and peanuts. The red cabbage, carrots and edamame bring so much color and life to this salad. It really is the opposite of boring. Top it with some marinated salmon and it’s just to die for.

What I love about Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines is it’s freshness. Even if you’re eating a sauce-y noodle dish, there’s something so unique about the flavor and theres always the addition of fresh elements like lime or herbs. Don’t skimp on the lime and cilantro in this recipe, it really brings it all together.

If you’re not the biggest fan of salmon, marinate some chicken breast or thighs the same way. If you’re looking for something vegetarian, make some tofu instead. Add a touch of corn starch (about a tablespoon) if you’re making tofu to help it crisp up slightly! Either way, you’ll be able to eat this salad day after day, it’s easy and packed with so much flavor.

Perfect for a group dinner or for meal prep. I would recommend putting the dressing on slightly before serving to really make sure its coated. If storing in the refrigerator, keep the dressing separate and dress before enjoying!

Thai Inspired Salmon Salad

Ali Fagan
Bored of your usual salad? This crunchy, delicious salad which is loaded with vegetables, topped with warm marinated salmon, and tossed with creamy peanut dressing – it's about to change everything. Looking to make it vegetarian? Swap out the salmon for tofu!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine thai
Servings 6 servings



  • 6 filets salmon
  • tbsp soy sauce gluten free or regular
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • 6 cups kale cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cups red cabbage cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup edamame shelled
  • 1-2 scallion thinly sliced
  • ½ large cucumber quartered and chopped
  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro


  • 2 inches fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce gluten free or regular
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter creamy
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp +1 tsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce

Optional Toppings

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges for serving


Marinate Salmon

  • Place the salmon filets into a bowl or sealable plastic bag.
  • In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, and honey needed for the marinade. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the marinade into the bowl or plastic bag. Be sure to fully cover the salmon filets. If using a bowl, cover the bowl or seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.

Prepare the salad

  • In a large bowl, toss together the kale, red cabbage, carrot, edamame, scallions, cucumber, peanuts, and cilantro. Set to the side.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. One combined, slowly whisk in up to ¼ cup water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have reached your desired consistency.*

Cook the Salmon

  • Before eating, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
  • Once hot, add in the salmon, skin side down, if it has skin.
  • Cook undisturbed until most of the sides of the salmon have turned a pale, cooked pink. About 4-5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 4 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness.

Assemble Salad

  • If serving the entire salad now, toss the salad with 1/2-3/4 the dressing. Be sure that all of the salad is coated in dressing. Add more dressing if desired.
  • If serving part of the salad now, package up what you would like to save and toss the rest with the proportionate about of dressing.
  • Plate the salad and place 1 salmon filet on top.
  • If desired, top with black or white sesame seeds and extra cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and any extra dressing on the side.


When making the dressing, I usually use the full 1/4 cup of water. I like the dressing to be thinner which I find easier to mix into the salad. 
I love a lot of the dressing on this salad. It’s so good that I could just drink it. Some people prefer lighter dressing though which is why I advise to toss the salad with less than the recipe calls for. Serving whatever is extra on the side allows people to add more if they would like.
If the extra dressing is not used – it can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce!
Keyword asain, cucumber, easy, healthy, kale, peanut, salad, salmon

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