Crunchy Asian Salad with Shredded Brussels Sprouts for the Lunch Win! With a simple Asian flavored dressing and all the delicious crunchies, this is one quick and satisfying salad. Add chicken to make it a meal.
I really love a good crunchy salad. This Crunchy Asian Salad is one that I've been making variations of for years. It makes a quick side dish that will dress up even the most boring main dish. If you add some rotisserie chicken, it makes a hearty, filling meal for lunch or even a light dinner.
The secret of course is in the dressing.
It's a simple dressing, just a handful of ingredients, but it's packed with flavor. Even when I throw a pound of shredded Brussels Sprouts in, my kids fall so hard for this dressing, they don't even have time to complain about the veggies.
The key to a winning salad in my book though is the combination of flavor plus crunchiness. A salad without crunch just isn't going to cut it at my table.
The crunchies in this Asian Salad are a blend of healthy vegetables (bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, and cucumber) with a sprinkling of chopped cashews and black sesame seeds. You can stop there and the salad is great! Perfectly healthy and satisfying.
Let me tell you about one last optional addition though - the junk food crunchies.
Do you remember the part in Little Women with the pickled limes? Everybody at school had pickled limes and Amy March just absolutely HAD TO HAVE pickled Limes.
Well, it seems like every year my kids come home talking about the newest pickled lime equivalent at school. Last year it was smencils (yes, smelly pencils). This year it's Takis.
Takis are kind of like Doritos, but they're rolled up and really crunchy. I finally caved in December and made all my kids social acceptance dreams come true when I finally bought a bag. Now they can't come home and tell me they're the ONLY kids in school that haven't tried Takis. And, while they are total junk food, and I most definitely won't buy them with any regularity, they are also DELICIOUS.
When you want your kids to eat salads made of Brussels Sprouts, it can be a step in the right direction to toss a handful of junk food crunchies on top. Pictured above are the smaller version of Takis called Churritos - Red Chili Pepper and Lime. They are wonderful on this salad. You can find Churritos / Takis at most grocery stores.
For the Dressing
- 3 tablespoons Tamari
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper oil (optional)
For the Salad
- 3 cups shredded cabbage, purple and green
- 2 cups shredded Brussels Sprouts (see note below)
- 2 carrots, shredded or chopped
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup chopped cashews (raw or roasted)
- fresh limes
- Churritos for topping - Red Chili Pepper and Lime (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl, toss together all of the vegetables and cilantro until well blended.
- When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing until evenly coated. Top with sesame seeds, cashews, avocado, and a squeeze or two of fresh lime. Sprinkle with Churritos (optional).
- To make this a heartier meal salad, add 2 to 3 cups of chopped, cooked chicken.
To shred the cabbage, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, I used the grater attachment on my food processor. I stuck in the whole Brussels Sprouts to shred.
For a shortcut, buy a bag of coleslaw mix with the already shredded cabbage and carrots (although you may want to add an extra carrot).
Do not add the dressing to the salad until you are ready to eat. The salad will turn brown if left to sit with the dressing on it.