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Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing is a crowd-pleaser that feeds a crowd. It’s the perfect salad for your next barbecue or potluck supper.

Part salad, part slaw, this sweet and sour celebration of cilantro, cabbage, and lime will have guests begging you to share the recipe. The ease of creating Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing plus the volume it produces makes this recipe perfect for parties and potlucks. The addition of edamame adds texture and protein, but if edamame isn’t your thing, you can serve them on the side, substitute peanuts, or just leave out that component. There will still be plenty of flavor and crunch, from the cabbage, carrots, and cucumber.

This salad involves a lot of cabbage shredding, which is easy to do and needn’t involve any fancy gadgets—a sharp kitchen knife and cutting board will suffice. Start by rinsing the cabbage head with cold water, patting it dry, and removing any wilted or damaged leaves. Place the cabbage upright on a cutting board, core against the board, and slice the cabbage in half. Slice in half again so you have four quarters. Using the knife at an angle, cut out the core from the four pieces. Now you’re ready to shred.

If you’re using a knife, slice each wedge into shreds. Slice vertically for long shreds, horizontally for shorter shreds. Try to keep your slices of similar width. You can also use a mandolin to shred your cabbage. A mandolin is a metal kitchen device that produces even slices of fruits and vegetables, and you can vary the thickness. Mandolins make quick, even work of slicing and shredding, but they are extremely sharp. Be sure to use protective cut-resistant gloves or a device made for this purpose that pushes the food over the blades, protecting your fingers. Position the cabbage wedge cut side down and run it along the mandolin.

Speaking of cabbage, you might wonder why two varieties are called for in this salad: red cabbage and Chinese (or Napa) cabbage. The difference is not just in their color and shape. Though they are related, Chinese cabbage is closer to its broccoli and cauliflower cousins, giving it a slightly different texture and flavor from the red cabbage. So, be sure to use both in this Thai-inspired dish.

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Make this sweet and tangy salad for your next buffet lunch or barbecue. The crunchy cabbages and edamame play off the creamy avocado and sweet/tart dressing that bursts with citrusy cilantro flavor. A real crowd-pleaser!

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 22 1x
  • Category: Salads & Dressings


  • 2 medium limes
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Thai red chili pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 head Chinese or Napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 small head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped*
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 green onions, sliced


  1. Finely grate enough zest from limes to measure 1 tablespoon. Cut limes crosswise in half, squeeze juice from limes. Place zest and juice in a blender; add cilantro, sugar, red chili pepper (if using), garlic, salt, and pepper. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbages, cucumber, edamame, avocados, carrots, and green onions. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat.


  • English cucumbers have thin skins and few, if any, seeds. If you would like to use garden-variety cukes, peel the tough skin and, after halving lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a spoon or melon baller.

Have you tried this recipe? It’s a perfect garnish for a potluck—please tell us how it turned out for you.


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