A simple cilantro salad with crunchy snap peas, peanuts, and fried shallots is a delicious bite on its own, but is also a great topping to sticky rice, fish, or noodles.
Some salads just have the confidence to be as simple as can be, like this one, that takes cilantro from garnish status to center of the plate. This salad from artist Alma Allen is great on its own, but is also perfect with sticky rice, noodles or on top of fish.
Step by Step Guide to Making Cilantro and Snap Pea Salad with Toasted Peanuts
Prepare the Shallots:
- In a medium skillet, heat the 3 tbsp of coconut oil over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is melted and shimmering, add the sliced shallots.
- Cook the shallots until they become crispy and have a golden-brown color. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the fried shallots to a paper towel or a clean dish towel to drain any excess oil. Keep the remaining oil in the skillet for later use.
Toast the Peanuts:
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the peanuts to the same skillet.
- Toast the peanuts until they turn golden brown. Ensure to stir occasionally to prevent them from burning.
- Once toasted, transfer the peanuts to the towel alongside the fried shallots, letting them drain any residual oil.
Prepare the Dressing:
- From the skillet, measure out 2 tablespoons of the reserved coconut oil and transfer it to a small mixing bowl.
- Add in the soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and salt to the bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.
Prepare the Snap Peas:
- For each snap pea, remove its stringy spine.
- Slice the snap peas on a diagonal angle, ensuring the inner peas are visible.
Assemble the Salad:
- In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced snap peas and the cilantro leaves.
- Drizzle the previously prepared dressing over the snap peas and cilantro.
- Toss the ingredients together ensuring everything is well-coated with the dressing.
- To finish, sprinkle the salad with the toasted peanuts and the crispy fried shallots.
- Season with additional salt, if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!
I am an artist and a photographer, but when I am not making art in my studio, I am growing my own vegetables, eating salad, and feeding salad to my creative friends. I find people whose work I admire, I cook with them, share a meal, and take their photo. Like me, all of these influencers in their respective fields use their kitchen as a creative sanctuary, a place where they can “make something” that is easily shared with others.