Our Asian Chopped Salad is brimming with fresh herbs and colourful vegetables. Use it as a base for your favourite protein and make it a meal, or it makes a great and easy side for weekday dinners.
I love using herbs in my salads, and this Asian inspired salad is full of beautiful fresh flavours. We have citrus-like cilantro/coriander, cooling mint and aromatic basil.
What I love about chopped salads is being able to taste a combination of flavours that are in the salad with each forkful.
What are Asian flavours?
As Asia is such a vast and diverse area with major regional cuisines from Central Asian, East Asian, North Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian and West Asian there are a vast variety of ingredients and seasonings to choose from.
However, there are some commonalities listed below, and they are best used in groups of at least two to three. This will allow you to balance the five flavours of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy that are a common feature in most Asian cuisines.
- Herbs such as Thai basil & Cilantro/Coriander and Vietnamese mint
- Soy condiments such as soy sauce and miso paste
- Seafood flavours like fish sauce and shrimp paste
- Sesame seeds and oil
- Rice vinegar
How we balanced the five tastes in this salad
The beauty of most Asian cuisines is the way the 5-tastes are balanced. In this salad we have added…
- SALTY : with the use of fish sauce and soy sauce
- SPICY : fresh chilli and ginger
- SOUR : lime juice and coriander (cilantro)
- SWEET : palm sugar
- BITTER : garlic and red onion
LET’S TALK ingredients and substitutions
- Mini Roma tomatoes – I just love these adorable pops tomatoes, sweetness. But feel free to use any tomatoes you have on hand. If you are using regular sized tomatoes then just dice them up.
- Cucumbers – choose a seedless, small variety such as Persian, Lebanese, Kirby or qukes/cukes.
- Yellow Bell Pepper/Capsicum – any pepper will do here, I just chose the yellow for a variety of colour.
- Red onion – for its bright crimson colour and pungent bitterness. White, brown or green onions will also work well here.
- Nuts and seeds – we have used roasted cashews and black sesame seeds, but peanuts white sesame seeds will also work great here.
- Herbs – we have used coriander/cilantro, Asian mint and basil. If you are not a fan of coriander, then just add more of the others to make up the quantity.
- Dressing – is simple soy, fish sauce, lime juice with a touch of chilli, ginger. garlic and some palm sugar to sweeten things up.
You Will Need:
How to Make this Salad
1MAKE THE DRESSING
I like to start with the dressing for this salad to allow the flavours to develop.
Just place everything in a glass jar and shake until emulsified (well combined). Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
2PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Wash all your vegetables and pat dry.
Cut your Roma tomatoes in half across the middle or in thirds if they are large.
Trim the tops and bottoms of your cucumbers then dice.
Remove the core and seeds from your capsicum then dice.
Remove the papery skin from your and trim the top and bottom then dice.
3PREPARE THE HERBS
Wash all your herbs, shake to remove excess water, pat dry remove the leaves from the stems then roughly chop them.
4ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
Add all the chopped vegetables, herbs, cashews and sesame seeds to a large mixing bowl, season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper. Pour over your dressing and then mix well to combine.
Some Serving Ideas
This salad makes a great side to any grilled meats; it is excellent to serve with a store-bought charcoal chicken. Or it can be made into part of an Asian dinner and serve it with a Malaysian curry, crying tiger beef, chilli chicken or whole roasted Asian fish.
Can this Salad be Made Ahead?
- This salad can easily be made up to an hour in advance with the dressing tossed through.
- If you would like to make it several hours ahead, then keep the dressing separate then add it the salad just before serving.
Explore some more of our Asian salad ideas
- 400 grams mini Roma tomatoes (2 small punnets)
- 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers (approximately 240 grams)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper/capsicum (approximately 200 grams)
- 1 small red onion (approximately 80 grams)
- 1 small bunch coriander/cilantro (approximately 50 grams)*
- 3 stems basil leaves*
- 3 stems Vietnamese mint leaves*
- 1 cup cashews (roasted)
- 2 tbsps black sesame seeds
- 3 tbsps lime juice
- 3 tbsps soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp ginger freshly grated
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Start with the dressing for this salad to allow the flavours to develop. Add all ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified, taste and adjust seasonings.
- Wash all your vegetables and pat dry.
- Cut your Roma tomatoes in half across the middle or in thirds if they are large.
- Trim the tops and bottoms of your cucumbers then dice.
- Remove the core and seeds from your capsicum then dice.
- Remove the papery skin from your and trim the top and bottom then dice.
- Wash all your herbs, shake to remove excess water, pat dry remove the leaves from the stems then roughly chop them.
- Add all the chopped vegetables, herbs, cashews and sesame seeds to a large mixing bowl, season with some sea salat and cracked black pepper. Pour over your dressing and then mix well to combine.