Thai Foods Ep.10
Lemongrass Salad | Yum Takrai
I’m always excited to discover new Thai salads. (well, they’re not actually new in terms of Thai cuisine, just new to me) I think part of my excitement stems from not having tried all of the various Thai salads, and really, not knowing all of the possibilities that exist. Although most Thai salads of the “yum” variety feature tons of fresh herbs and an intense spicy and sour dressing, it’s fascinating to me to taste the subtle differences between them. Hubby grew up eating these salads, in all their various forms. For him, Thai salads are simply variations on a delicious theme. So even though he wasn’t quite as excited as I was by the novelty of this lemongrass salad that I recently discovered, we both agreed that it was totally delicious! This salad is aptly named, as the star of the show is definitely the finely sliced fresh lemongrass. Its citrus fragrance permeates the rest of the ingredients, bringing together unlikely components such as ground pork, shrimp, and toasted cashews in a wonderfully refreshing way. Each bite is bursting with flavor, from the herbal notes of the lemongrass and mint, the spicy and sour flavors of the dressing, the heartiness of the meats, and the nuttiness of the toasted cashews… Needless to say, I’m pretty happy to have discovered this refreshing, yet hearty Thai salad! Do you guys have any Thai salads you love that should be next on my list to try?
- 1/3 cup ground pork
- 1 Tablespoon dried shrimp
- 8 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 2 Tablespoons shallots
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemongrass
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1 red Thai chili
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2.5 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon palm sugar
Start by dry roasting your cashews and dried shrimp. Heat a large flat pan over medium heat, and add these ingredients, separately, stirring around the pan until they are toasted on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Heat a pot of water over medium heat until it is simmering. Add the shrimp and allow them to cook through, removing as soon as they are done. Then add the ground pork to the pot, again allowing to cook through, stirring occasionally to break up large chunks. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Slice the lemongrass as finely as possible, using only the tender part of the stalks. Slice the shallots and red Thai chili finely, and coarsely chop the mint and cilantro.
Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar in a small bowl, stirring until the palm sugar is dissolved into the mixture. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed to suit your palate.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked shrimp and pork, toasted dried shrimp and cashews, and sliced herbs. Pour the salad dressing on top and gently mix everything together.
Serve over a bed of wild pepper leaves, if available, and with a side of hot jasmine rice. Enjoy!