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.
Yam Samun Phrai (Northern Thai-style Herb Salad)
Recipe adapted from "Pok Pok" by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
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.