Snap pea salad is a simple Asian inspired salad with sugar snap peas, cucumber, red onion and bell pepper in a umami rich toasted sesame dressing. It’s one of those salads that goes with everything.
a simple snap pea salad packs a mean crunch!
With 200+ salad recipes on my site it’s hard to surprise me when it comes to anything salad related, but this snap pea salad caught my eye in the prepared foods case of a local market. It’s something I haven’t had before, and it such a perfect way to enjoy those snap peas that usually only come out of the fridge for a crudité platter or a quick grab and go snack. Their epic crunch makes this a standout salad to freshen up so many different kinds of meals.
what you’ll need for the snap pea salad
- sugar snap peas
- Sugar snap peas are a cross between snow peas and regular garden peas, and they’ve only been around since 1979! You’ll find them pre-packaged in most grocery stores, or you may find them in local farmers markets in summer. In either case you want fresh, tender pods, so give them a taste. The packaged pea pods seem to me to be more tender than ones I find fresh, but that’s just my experience. I don’t find most snap peas these days need to have their ‘strings’ removed, but check yours to be sure.
- bell pepper
- This adds a sweet flavor and a pop of color. I use red for visual reasons and because it’s super sweet. Yellow or orange will also work.
- I use minis, but English cucumber (the kind that comes shrink wrapped in plastic) will work too.
- red onion
- I like to cut them in thin slivers.
- toasted sesame seeds
- Toasted sesame seeds have more flavor than raw ones, so look for the word ‘toasted’ on the label.
ingredients for a simple Asian style vinaigrette
- toasted sesame oil
- It’s what gives this snap pea salad its personality. Toasted sesame oil is different from regular sesame oil, so be sure to read the label. You’ll find it, usually in small bottles, in the Asian section of your supermarket. It has a fabulous flavor and aroma.
- Tamari soy sauce
- rice wine vinegar
- fresh ginger
- Fresh ginger is essential here. You can always freeze any leftover for later, just pop it in a zip lock freezer bag.
- wasabi sauce
- This is optional but gives the dressing a little kick. You could also use chili paste, to taste.
- pinch of sugar and salt
raw or blanched snap peas ~ it’s your choice
A snap pea salad is all about the crunch, so you can definitely use your snap peas raw, but I find that for this dish it’s a little better to blanch them very briefly to take that raw ‘edge’ off. I drop them into boiling water for 1-2 minutes (don’t even wait for the water to come back to a boil, set a timer the minute they hit the water.) Then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. This keeps that crunch but tenderizes the pods.
more plant based vegetable salads
- Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)
- French Carrot Salad
- Chopped Asparagus Salad Recipe
- Marinated Tomato Salad
- French Potato Salad
- Avocado and Herb Salad
- Fennel and Citrus Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette
- Favorite Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe
Snap Pea Salad
snap pea salad
- 1 lb sugar snap peas
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in small dice
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly slivered
- 1 mini or baby cucumber, diced
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
toasted sesame dressing
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp prepared wasabi sauce, or more to taste
- pinch salt, if needed
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and taste to adjust it to your liking.
- You can use your snap peas raw, or you can briefly blanch them to tenderize them, it's your choice. If you want to blanch them, bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large pot and drop the peas in for 1-2 minutes only, giving them a stir once or twice so they cook evenly. Then drain and plunge the peas into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towels so the pods are not wet.
- Trim the stem ends from the snap peas and cut in half. Add to a salad bowl.
- Add the bell peppers, onions, cucumber, and sesame seeds to the bowl. Toss with enough dressing to moisten but not drench the salad, you may not need all of it.
- Serve right away or refrigerate until needed.