What is a Thai Salad? A simple breakdown...
There are many types Thai salads to enjoy. They can be broken down into four main categories.
Translated as ‘mix’ this is the simplest salad. It can made using many variations of proteins and vegetables. Countless recipes exist and commonly include onion or shallots, lime juice, sugar and chillies.
This style of salad generally refers to a salad that has in some way been pounded. The famous Papaya salad is one example. Chillies, onions, young papaya and other vegetables and herbs are lightly pounded in a large mortar to release their flavour. They are usually dressed in a similar way to Yum, with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chillies.
Often called Laab or Larb this salad originating in Laos is widely eaten in Thailand too. It can feature cooked or raw proteins combined with pounded rice (khao khua) and fresh herbs. The dressing is a combination of sweet, sour, salt and spice in the form of sugar, lime, fish sauce and chillies. Try my delicious Laotian Chicken Larb recipe!
Phla salads are similar to Yum with a couple of notable differences – proteins are often served rare or raw and thin slices of lemongrass and galangal are added for more fragrance. They also feature on occasion a curry paste, like a red Prik King paste.