This Asian broccoli salad with peanut dressing combines shredded broccoli, carrots, edamame and red onion. It's tossed with peanut sauce and garnished with crunchy salted peanuts. Simply satisfying with amazing flavours!
When I'm looking for a different way to serve broccoli instead of roasting or steaming it, I turn to a broccoli salad! Lately, I've been loving this Asian broccoli salad with peanut sauce. It's fresh, it's crunchy and it has a dreamy creamy peanut dressing!
The deli in my local grocery store makes a similar Thai broccoli salad. I've bought small containers of it many times. I find myself criticizing it every time: the broccoli pieces are too big, there's not enough dressing, there are hardly any peanuts . . . and so on!
Time to stop complaining and make it myself!
❤️ Why this recipe works
- Easy and quick. You don't need to blanch the broccoli first! Chop it very finely or shred it.
- Fresh. Crisp, crunchy and fresh!
- Satisfying. With extra protein from edamame, this salad makes a hearty lunch. Ideal for a potluck, too.
- Flavour: Spicy peanut sauce gives it an Asian flair and a creamy texture.
So much more interesting than plain old broccoli!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are a few details about the ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfectly every time.
- fresh broccoli: You'll need one head (about 4 cups) either shredded or in tiny florets. No need to blanch if you're cutting it very small. I recommend using a fresh head instead of pre-cut broccoli florets in a bag, as they've sometimes lost their crunch.
- carrots: julienne cut, or sliced into matchsticks
- red onion: if you find red onion too pungent for your taste, soak the chopped pieces in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain and use in this recipe.
- frozen, shelled edamame: so quick and easy!
- toasted sesame oil: you'll toss the edamame in this for a delicious layer of flavour.
- peanut sauce: make this homemade sauce as mild or as spicy as you like.
- roasted, salted peanuts and cilantro: to add extra crunch and flavour!
You'll find complete directions in the recipe card below, but first, here's a quick summary of how to make this Asian-flavoured broccoli salad.
- You'll start by making the peanut sauce. Add all the ingredients to a blender and whir away.
- Next, prep the broccoli. I like to use my food processor for this recipe, pulsing until the broccoli is finely chopped with a few small florets remaining. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a sharp knife or even the coarse side of a box grater.
- Carrots are next. Either use a julienne tool to cut them into thin strips, or use a sharp knife to slice them into matchsticks. You can also grate them.
- Dice a small amount of red onion (and soak in ice water for a few minutes if they're too pungent for you.)
- Rinse the frozen edamame with room temperature water to thaw, pat dry, then toss with a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil.
- Toss the salad with the peanut dressing, then garnish with coarsely chopped salted peanuts and/or finely chopped cilantro.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
This salad makes enough for four. If you want to save some for the following day, just add the peanut sauce dressing to the portion you'll be eating. Pack the dressing separately when packing this salad in your lunch.
If your peanut sauce has thickened after being refrigerated, pop it in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds. Like a thinner dressing? Add a tablespoon or two or hot water and stir.
❓Questions you might have
No, it's not necessary. The dressing helps to soften the broccoli a little. If it's chopped or shredded into very small pieces, it's easy to digest.
If you really don't like raw broccoli, you can certainly blanch it first. Add the chopped broccoli florets and stalks to a pot of boiling water. As soon as they turn bright green (about 1 minute) remove them and add them to an ice bath to prevent them from cooking any further. Drain and cool before adding to the salad.
🔁 Possible Variations
Want to transform this recipe into an Asian Broccoli Slaw instead?
Easy! You can substitute thinly sliced red cabbage for the red onion if you'd like. And if you're in a hurry, start with a store-bought bag of broccoli slaw, add the edamame, peanut sauce, garnish and you're done!
How about Asian Broccoli Salad with Almond Dressing? Simply substitute almond butter for the peanut butter in the peanut sauce recipe, and top with coarsely chopped almonds instead!
If you don't like edamame, or can't tolerate them, substitute with chickpeas.
⏰ Storage Instructions
This Asian broccoli salad or slaw will last up to three days when kept covered in the fridge. If you don't plan to eat it all on the first day, don't add the peanuts to the serving bowl, as they will lose their crunch and become a little soft.
🍽 Serving suggestions
This broccoli salad goes well with so many other dishes!
- Easy Thai Baked Chicken
- Asian Glazed Garlic Chicken
- One Pan Spicy Miso-Ginger Chicken Thighs
- Mandarin Orange Miso Glazed Salmon
🗒More salad recipes
When you make this recipe, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing how my recipes turned out for you, or what adaptations you made. Thanks in advance!
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Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce
Broccoli Salad Ingredients
- 1 head broccoli, either shredded or cut in tiny florets
- 2 medium carrots julienne cut, or matchsticks
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup peanut sauce
- ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- cilantro leaves, for garnish
Peanut Sauce Ingredients
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce) or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ inch knob fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Make the peanut sauce by blending all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and set aside.
- Use a food processor or a sharp knife or a grater to finely chop the broccoli. Pulse the broccoli stalks first, remove them from the bowl of your food processor, then pulse the florets just until they're in small pieces. You don't want to make broccoli "rice."
- Peel the carrots, then use a julienne too to cut them into thin strips. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to cut them into thin matchsticks.
- Dice the red onion.
- Rinse the frozen edamame under room temperature running water to thaw. Pat dry, then toss with ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
- Combine the vegetables in a large bowl, then toss with peanut sauce. Garnish with coarsely chopped peanuts and finely chopped cilantro leaves.