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Friday, May 25

Thai Crunch Copy Cat Recipe You Will Thank Me For

It's friday afternoon, I have a napping baby and I'm waiting for Ty to get home so we can go to Stone.  While I'm waiting,  I thought I would share what I made last night.  


CPK's Thai Crunch Salad: The Copy Cat version


It’s become an obsession of mine to try and replicate my fave restaurants dishes at home.  I don’t know why I think I have to do this, when often buying the real thing is cheaper…i.e. the time (this past Monday) I seriously considered making pop rocks before I had to stop myself…because they cost like a dollar.

Despite that, here’s my go at this...I think it comes pretty close to the original, and the amount of money I spent ordering this salad curbside when we lived closed to a CPK should qualify me as some kind of expert.  Oh, and this is like a $16 salad, so multiply that times the 4 servings you get here…and it’s worth slightly more than homemade pop rocks.

Disclaimer: this is not a Rachael Ray 30-minute meal.  This is a prep-heavy B.  But it’s worth it. And it’s addictive.  At least I think all of these things.

CPK's Thai Crunch Salad
(Makes 4 servings)
1 head Napa cabbage, cut into thin strips
1/2 small head red cabbage, cored and cut into thin strips  (feel free to add more cabbage…I’m not a huge fan, so I add as little as I can get away with :/)
1 cup shredded carrots (CPK julienne’s theirs…which I happened to do this time b/c I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store…but if you can, save your sanity and just buy it shredded)
2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, cored & julienned ( I don’t think you can get out of it this time..)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
2 cups cooked & shelled edamame
2 cups roasted salted peanuts (I smash mine a little..okay, a lot)
4 breasts grilled chicken   (CPK marinades theirs first in garlic, soysauce and oil…I say that’s a step you can skip, but do it if you have the time/motivation, knowing full well it makes very little difference)
1 cup cilantro-lime dressing (recipe below)
2 cups wonton strips 
2 avocados, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce (purchase in the Asian section or use my recipe below)

 Cilantro-Lime Dressing
(Because I like shortcuts, I double this recipe and freeze the leftovers…it’s good for months.  I’ve used the remainder for up to three batches.)
1 cup olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
½ cup sugar
Juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon each of salt & pepper

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Thai Peanut Sauce
(Again, you can buy this at any grocery store if you aren't a weird like me about having things taste exactly the same.
2 ½  tablespoons creamy peanut butter (emphasis on the creamy. NOT natural peanut butter.  Trust me on this one. It won’t work.)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar  (I’m super sensitive to the vinegar taste, I tread lightly here)
1 tablespoon honey
2 ½ teaspoons water
1 ½  teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cayenne pepper (I add a little more for extra spice)
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (same here, I like a few liberal pinches)
1 tablespoon canola oil

Whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, honey, water and soy sauce. Add in the sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in oil and continue to whisk until smooth. You’re welcome. 


Whew!  You're finally ready.  

Toss cabbages, carrots, scallions, cucumber, cilantro, edamame and peanuts in the largest mixing bowl you have.  I’m not kidding, real big bowl.  There’s a million “ingrediences” as Teresa Guidice would say.

Dice chicken into ½-inch pieces and add to bowl.

Stir your cilantro-lime dressing, pour onto salad and toss until evenly distributed.

Plate, and give each salad a generous drizzle or two or peanut sauce.  Top each salad with wonton strips and avo.

Enjoy!