12 Asian Salads for a Refreshing Crunch

12 Asian Salads for a Refreshing Crunch

Feeling like having a light, nutritious lunch or a refreshing side for dinner? Toss up some Asian salads for that delightful, juicy crunch

The beauty about Asian salads is that they incorporate locally produced fruits, your favorite Asian sauce mixes, and that coveted bit of kick from various spices or good old chili padi. Often served as an appetizer, side or even main dish, these healthy Asian salads made for perfect pairing with your savory main dishes from the East as they share similar spices and condiments that bring your meal together in a way that western salads can’t.

1. Thai Mango Salad

Omph! The spice always hits us right in the nose for this one, but Thai Mango Salad is such an addictive classic that many of us never fail to order it in Thai restaurants. Shredded young mangoes offer a nice bite, while that sweet, savory spiciness from the tomatoes, shrimps and chili give it its distinctive flavor and vibrant colors that make it so irresistible.

2. Din Tai Fung Chilled Cucumber Salad

You’re not alone if you can’t kick off your Din Tai Fung meal without their popular Chilled Cucumber Salad. This cold, crunchy and slightly sweet appetizer is surprisingly easy to create at home and also equally easy to polish off. The sea salt bath helps to draw out the moisture from the cucumbers, giving it that savory crunch we all love.

3. Jackfruit Salad (Kerabu Nangka)

Pineapples and jackfruit covered in a zesty spicy sauce make for a bright, scrumptious side that’s packed with fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Serve this popular Malaysian Jackfruit Salad warm or chilled, depending on your preference – it’ll leave your taste buds tingling either way!

4. Gado Gado

Gado Gado is a popular Indonesian salad that is typically made up of steamed or blanched vegetables, mixed with hard-boiled eggs and tofu. The crunchy and creamy peanut dressing is what gives this dish its unique texture and flavor, and it goes so well with coconut-based dishes that both Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine is famous for. 

5. Zesty Thai Style Tri-Colored Quinoa Salad

Need some convincing that salads can look good and taste good too? Look no further than this Zesty Thai Style Tri-Colored Quinoa Salad, which is brimming with protein, vitamin C and amino acids. Whip this up as a midday snack or a post-workout boost and we’re certain it will be a treat for your senses!

6. Peanut Butter Chicken Salad

Fans of peanut butter can rejoice – there’s actually a salad made just for you! Creamy peanut butter and tender juicy chicken actually compliment each other really well in this Peanut Butter Chicken Salad, giving you a healthy eye-catching side that is slightly moist, soft and crunchy at the same time.

7. Vietnamese Shrimps and Glass Noodles Salad

This Vietnamese Shrimps and Glass Noodles Salad is fulfilling enough to be a meal on its own, while still providing that refreshing bite that we all love in our salads. Succulent shrimps provide a touch of color and protein, while julienned carrots and blanched beansprouts add a satisfying crunch with every mouthful. Whether you have it as a starter or main, it’s easy to fall in love with the oceanic sweetness of the fresh shrimps and springy texture of the glass noodles.

8. Rojak

Crispy, stick and nutty, with warm, earthy aromas that makes your mouth water, freshly made Rojak doesn’t exactly count as a diet-friendly dish, but it’s surely one of the most delicious Asian salads out there. Toasted or deep-fried You Tiao (dough fritters) and Tau Pok (beancurd puffs) add that chewiness in between zesty sweet bites of jambu, green mangoes, cucumbers and pineapples. Add a bit of spice to your liking and dig into this immensely popular Southeast Asian fruit salad!

9. Healthy Fruit Salad

If Rojak is too sinful for your tastes, why not try out this rainbow Healthy Fruit Salad? A wide variety of brightly colored fruits are incorporated in this simple fruit salad that will give you an instant immunity boost. Swap out hard-to-find fruits with tropical ones such as pineapple, jambu or pomelo for an equally cooling salad.

10. Flavoursome Nutritious Quinoa Gado Gado

Flavoursome Nutritious Quinoa Gado Gado is a power-packed version of its traditional cousin, featuring high-protein additions such as hearty quinoa and soft tempeh. It’s perfect a post-workout meal to repair and rebuild those sore muscles, and it can be made ahead and chilled for a quick lunch break.  

11. Thai Green Papaya Salad with Beef

Thai salads vary in their ingredient mix, and if green mangoes are difficult to find, unripe papayas make a great substitute for this well-known traditional dish. In this Thai Green Papaya Salad with Beef, tender and lightly charred beef slices add an earthy richness to the green mix, and all of the ingredients pairs so well with the aromatic and spicy salad dressing.

12. Ant Eggs & Betel Leaf Salad

Delicate, tangy and almost unbelievably peculiar, celebrity chef Luke Nguyen delves into why you should try this incredible Ant Eggs & Betel Leaf Salad once in your life. Yes, this Vietnamese salad is made from caviar-like Ant Eggs that pop in your mouth, along with locally sourced vegetables that are not readily available in most typical Asian households, but it makes for a fascinating viewing experience nonetheless. 

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