The salads you'll find in 'The Land of Smiles' are always exciting, and they taste unlike any other salad you've ever eaten. You can eat them in the street food markets in Bangkok or in restaurants along the country. So next time you are in Thailand, explore the menu and take a break from the Pad Thai. Be sure to try some of the following four Thai salads.
Guest Post by Maria Onzain of Travel Food Hub
1. Som Tam Thai
The ubiquitous Som Tam is one of the highlights of Thai cuisine, and there are many variations of this salad. In essence, it is a dish of chopped papaya with chili, lime, peanuts, tomatoes, and garlic.
But it is the seasoning and the combination of these ingredients what makes it so exciting. Som Tam Thai is the mildest version of this type of salad with a dressing that combines lime juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. You'll see street food carts selling this delicious salad so grab a chair, sit down, and enjoy the zingy freshness of Som Tam Thai.
2. Laab Moo
This salad takes the conventional idea that a salad should be full of fresh vegetables and turns it on its head. Instead, Laab Moo is composed almost entirely of meat.
Toasted sticky rice is mashed with a pestle and mortar and combined with thinly sliced shallots, chili flakes, fish sauce, and lots of fresh mint. This is all added to minced pork that has been stir-fried until cooked through.
Eating a plate of Laab Moo with some sticky rice is one of Thai cuisine's quintessential experiences so don't miss out on trying this salad in Thailand.
3. Yam Kai Yeow Maa
If you're an adventurous eater, Yam Kai Yeow Maa is a dish worth trying in Thailand. But be warned, this salad contains preserved eggs, which take on an off-putting clear brown colour due to the preservation process.
If you approach this dish with an open mind, you'll be rewarded with an unbelievably creamy and rich egg that tastes a million times better than it looks. The addition of lime juice and crunchy vegetables cuts through the richness of the eggs, making for a well-balanced and delicious salad.
4. Yam Naem
Yam Naem is another salad reserved for adventurous eaters. But the adventure results in a great reward because Yam Naem is an incredibly moreish dish that you won't be able to get enough of.
Naem is a type of fermented pork with a wonderful sour taste to it. The pork is combined with coriander, deep-fried chilis, shallots, lemongrass, and fish sauce. This is another meaty Thai salad without many vegetables that tastes great.
No trip to Thailand is complete without experiencing the great flavours of Thai cuisine. Go beyond the classic Pad Thai and order something more adventurous. Try one or more of the above Thai salads and you'll be rewarded with some of the best food you've ever eaten.