Thai Green Salad

Thai Green Salad

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
287 Calories
22g Fat
19g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 287
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 12g 61%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2386mg 104%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 16mg 78%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 852mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Thai green salad makes a wonderfully cooling side dish to spicy curries, pad thai, and other Thai favorites, but it's also an unexpected treat for non-Asian meals, too. This easy recipe can be put together in a matter of minutes and includes a simple Thai-inspired salad dressing that's delicious, fresh, and slightly creamy. The dressing is also healthy and can be made as mild or as spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes.

If you haven't worked with fish sauce before, it is a key ingredient in Thai dishes. It lends an umami kick to this dressing that cannot be substituted.


  • 1/2 to 1 cucumber

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, torn or roughly chopped

  • 4 cups romaine, or other green leaf lettuce

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

  • 2 green onions, sliced

  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil

  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, or cashews

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Green Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Slice the cucumber lengthwise into thick matchstick-like pieces and add to the bowl. For a fancier presentation, use a potato peeler and peel the cucumber into long, thin ribbons. If the slices turn out too long to eat easily, cut them in half or in thirds.

    cucumber slices and cucumber ribbons on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Add the cucumber and cilantro leaves to a salad bowl filled with the greens and toss all the ingredients together.

    cucumber and cilantro leaves to a salad bowl filled greens

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. To make the dressing, combine the coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and brown sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add crushed red pepper flakes to your preferred level of spiciness.

    combine the coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and brown sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Top with the sliced green onions, torn basil, and chopped peanuts or cashews. Serve immediately.

    Thai Green Salad in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg


  • When making this salad for dinner parties, prepare the dressing and bowl of greens ahead of time, keeping them separate. When ready to eat, toss the salad with the dressing and plate it, adding the onion and basil on top.
  • Coconut milk becomes somewhat solid when refrigerated. If you've refrigerated the salad dressing, simply take it out a few minutes early and let it sit at room temperature. Give it a stir and it's ready to use.
  • Double the salad dressing recipe and keep any extra in the refrigerator for up to two weeks to be used for all your salad needs.

Recipe Variations

  • Entrée salad: Marinate slices of raw beef or chicken in soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and sesame oil for at least an hour. Sauté until cooked through and use the protein such as cooked tofu, edamame, or shrimp, to top the salad for an entrée.
  • Gluten free: Replace the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos, both of which are gluten free.