Northern Thai-Style Herb Salad Recipe

Recipe adapted from "Pok Pok" by Andy Ricker with J.J. Goode

TT Test Kitchen Tip: You can find white turmeric (also known as mango ginger) at Indian markets. If you're unable to find it, replace the white turmeric with 2 tablespoons julienned parsnips and 1 tablespoon julienned fresh young ginger.

To learn more, read "Yam Samun Phrai is Thai for 'Delicious'" in our National Edition.

Recipe adapted from "Pok Pok" by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode

Yam Samun Phrai (Northern Thai-Style Herb Salad)
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This spicy herb salad with dried shrimp, key lime and fresh ginger is the perfect summer salad from Andy Ricker of Pok Pok.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 30 minutes
  • For the Pork and Dried Shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
  • For the Salad
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons palm sugar simple syrup (1 part palm sugar to 1 part water, boiled until the sugar dissolves)
  • 1½ tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 2 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup lightly packed julienned carrots, cut into 3-inch-long strips
  • ¼ cup lightly packed thinly sliced yellow onion
  • ¾ cup lightly packed julienned white turmeric, cut into 3-inch-long strips (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced lemon grass, tender parts only
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted roasted whole cashews
  • ½ teaspoon thinly sliced fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh betel leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced sawtooth herb or cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced Thai basil
  • 1 tablespoon Hom Daeng Jiao (fried shallots)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Make the pork and dried shrimp: Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce and cook until the pork is cooked through, another 2 minutes.
  2. In a dry skillet over medium heat, add the dried shrimp and cook, stirring regularly until the shrimp becomes completely dry and crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Once cool, pound the shrimp in a mortar and pestle or process in a food processor until broken down to a powder. Note: The powdered shrimp can be made up to 3 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature.
  3. Make the salad: Combine the fish sauce, palm sugar simple syrup, Key lime juice, coconut milk, chiles and the cooked pork in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook until the dressing is just warm, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the carrots, onions, white turmeric, lemongrass, peanuts and 1 teaspoon of the shrimp powder to the skillet and gently toss until all the vegetables are coated. Transfer the salad to a platter and top with cashews, Kaffir lime leaves, betel leaf, sawtooth herb, Thai basil, fried shallots and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
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