Spicy Thai Cabbage and Rice Salad with Sweet Potatoes

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 7 cups salad + 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
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This eclectic dish puts an adventurous twist on traditional Thai flavors. Each plate starts with a base of warm mashed sweet potatoes that offer delicious contrast to the cool, crunchy salad piled on top. Shredded cabbage, two types of rice, and a medley of fresh herbs are tossed in a tangy vinaigrette to create a slaw-like mixture that’s reminiscent of a fresh spring roll. But the most unexpected and satisfying element of this recipe is the addition of juicy grapes and spicy chiles to the salad: The combo delivers a sweet heat like you’ve never tasted before. Top everything with crushed peanuts, and dig into this veritable rainbow of tasty flavors.

Note: Chile peppers contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with them.

For more grain-forward salads, check out these tasty ideas:

By Shelli McConnell,


  • 3 medium (8 oz. each) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 2 to 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups hot cooked wild rice
  • 4 cups slivered green cabbage
  • 2 cups halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 fresh Thai chile, seeded and thinly sliced (see note, recipe intro)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts


  • Place sweet potato pieces in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, 8 minutes or until tender. Transfer sweet potatoes to a bowl; mash with a fork or potato masher. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired consistency.
  • Meanwhile, for dressing, remove 1 teaspoon zest and squeeze ⅓ cup juice from limes. Place in a large bowl. Add the next six ingredients (through black pepper); whisk to combine.
  • Add rices and cabbage to dressing; toss to combine. Let stand 10 minutes to allow cabbage to slightly wilt, stirring occasionally. Stir in grapes, chile slices, ⅓ cup cilantro, and ¼ cup mint.
  • Spoon sweet potatoes on serving plates. Top with rice mixture, peanuts, and additional fresh herbs.

Comments (6)

(5 from 4 votes)

Recipe Rating

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An extremely delightful variety of flavors and texture in each bite. Tasty and filling for lunch or dinner and an excellent dish to bring to a potluck.


Where to find Thai peppers?


Nice combination of different textures and tastes. I reduced the amount of rice but it still turned out well.


I'm adding this to my list of favorite go-to salads. This is delicious! The lime in the dressing just brings out all the flavors, and the textures are wonderful. I have made this three times now, and it comes out perfect every time. It's so easy to prepare, just keep a bowl of the shredded veggies and a bowl of cooked rice and sweet potato. Perfect! I didn't even add the grapes, although I think they'd be wonderful. I love fruit in my salads. I only added one tbsp of rice vinegar because too much makes me sneeze! Thanks for this awesome recipe. Wish I could grow a lime tree!


Is the maple syrup just for sweetness? Could date paste be subbed?

Megan Edwards

Hi LouAnn, Yes, you could easily sub date paste here to bring a little natural sweetness to the dressing. Let us know how it turns out!

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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