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Cooking For Fun

Thai Salads

Prawn Salad (Pla Gung)

This recipe can also be made with squid or scallops, or any combination of prawns, squid and scallops. If using squid, use only the body tube. Slit the body and press flat, score diagonally, and cut into 2 inch squares.

1 lb Prawn tails
3 cups Water 2 tbsp Lemon grass chop coarse
1 tbsp Lime leaves chop coarse
1 tbsp Coriander leaves chop coarse
2 tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp Palm sugar
1 tsp Garlic chop fine
1 tsp Ginger chop fine
1/2 tsp Black pepper ground
1/2 cup Green onions sliced
1/2 cup Mint leaves

Bring water to a boil and add lemon grass, lime leaves and coriander. Boil for five minutes. Drop in prawns and cook 1 minute. Remove and rinse under cold water. Combine lime juice, palm sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a bowl. Mix to dissolve sugar. Pour dressing over prawns and toss to coat. Add green onions and mint leaves, toss to mix.

Yield - 3 cups

Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

2-1/2 cups shredded green papaya
4 medium red and green serrano chilies (or to taste)
2 large cloves garlic, skinned
1 cup green or string beans, cut 1" pieces
6 cherry tomatoes, cut each in half
2 tsp ground peanuts (optional)
2 tbsp small dried shrimps
Cabbage and Iceberg lettuce leaves
5 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp finely ground dried shrimps

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Using a mortar and pestle, pound chilies and garlic to coarse texture. Add papaya, green beans, tomatoes and pound 1-2 minutes longer, mixing with a spoon while pounding. Add dried shrimps, peanuts, dressing and mix well. Serve immediately with cabbage and lettuce leaves. Goes well with Thai style BBQ chicken and steamed sticky rice. Makes about 4-1/2 cups of salad, about 4 servings.

Yam Yai

Salad Ingredients

Chinese lettuce (or other broad leafed veggie) to form a base for the saladbowl.
1/2 cup of onion, sliced
1/2cup of tomato wedges
1/2cup of cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup prik chi fa (Thai jalapenos), julienned
1/2cup of broccoli florets, blanched
1/2 cup of bean sprouts

Line a serving bowl with the lettuce leaves, then toss the other ingredientsand place on the lettuce, garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves, lime leaves, thinly sliced shallots, and julienned spring onions.

1/2cup of lime juice
1/4cup of peanuts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons [rice] vinegar or nam makham piag (tamarind juice)
2 tablespoons nam tan paep (palm sugar)
1 tablespoon prik ki nu daeng haeng (dried red chilis), ground
1 tablespoon khao koor (toasted rice)

In a dry skillet or wok, toast the peanuts until light golden brown, allow to cool and crumble (a few sharp blows with the flat of a cleaver should suffice, and avoid turning them into peanut butter, as the use of a foodprocessor is inclined to). Toast 2 tablespoons of uncooked long grain rice (either white or brown, to taste), and then when cool, grind to a coarse powder (khao koor). Combine the ingredients to form the dressing, and place in a small bowl. Thai salads are not served 'dressed', this being left to the diners. If available you could also add a few of the different Thai dips (nam prik kiga,nam prik kapi are suitable for vegetables, and can be adapted to vegetarian/vegan life styles without serious loss of authenticity).

Green Papaya Salad (Pham)
Mai Pham's The Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking

3 Fresh Thai Bird Chilies -- Or More To Taste
Or Any Red Chilies -- Thinly Sliced
1 Clove Garlic -- Thinly Sliced
1 Shallot -- Thinly Sliced
3 Dried Shrimp -- Soaked In Warm Water For Five Minutes And Rinsed -- Optional
2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
1/2 Teapsoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
4 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Small Unripe Green Papaya -- Peeled Julienned -- Rinsed And Patted Dry With Paper Towels (About 2 To 3 Cups)
1 Large Carrot -- Peeled And Finely Shredded -- Soaked In Ice Water For Ten Minutes -- Drained
8 Cherry Tomatoes -- Cut In Half
1 Small Head Red Leaf Lettuce -- Leaves Separated And Washed
2 Tablespoons Chopped Roasted Peanuts -- For Garnish

1. Combine the chilies, garlic, shallot, shrimp and sugar in a mortar and pound into a paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the salt, fish sauce and lime juice and blend well.

2. Add the papaya to the mortar. Using a spoon continuously turn the papaya, gently pound it so the fruit bruises slightly, about 1 minute. You may have to work in several small batches. Add the papaya to the spice mixture.

3. Add the carrot and tomatoes and toss. Transfer to a serving plate lined with lettuce leaves and garnish with peanuts.



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