Yam Som O in is a spicy Thai pomelo salad. Pomelo is a large tropical grapefruit like citrus fruit native to South East Asia. The salad includes shrimp, toasted coconut, shallots, peanuts, tossed together with a spicy chili-coconut lime dressing.
While I love the traditional Thai yam som o (click here) the conundrum is finding pomelo if you do not live in the tropics. That said I have found ruby red grapefruit to be an ideal stand in for the pomelo in an equally zesty Yam Som O.
The recipe that follows otherwise adheres to the traditional ingredients of this salad which will require gathering together some Thai ingredients that you may not have on hand as well as preparing a roasted Thai chili paste which I promise will fill l your kitsch with a â€œbreathtakingâ€ aroma of an authentic Thai kitchen. This chilli paste can be prepared in advance and refrigerated.
Thai roasted chili paste
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons dried red birdâ€™s eye chills, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small saute pan set over medium heat. When hot add the shallots. Saute until wilted. Add the garlic and saute until the shallots and-garlic are golden. Then Add the chills and saute until softened.
Transfer the contents of the pan to mortar, or small processor and set the pan aside. Add the shrimp paste, fish sauce, and sugar and pound or process the mixture until emulsified.
Add dd the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the chili mixture and saute for several minutes until reduced to a paste like consistency.
Allow the mixture to cool and then transfer it to a jar. Bets used while fresh, or refrigerate for up to a month or so.
The dressing may also be prepared ahead and refrigerated.
- Â½ cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons roasted chili paste
Pour the coconut milk into a small sauce pan and bring to a low boil. Add the palm sugar and swirl the pan until dissolved. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and swirl to combine. Then add the roasted chili paste and stir until it is incorporated. Reduce he heat to a low simmer and cook for10 minutes. Set aside to cool and then store in a jar with lid and refrigerate.
Thai Yam Som Oo saladÂ Â Â Serves two
- 2 cups precooked and de veined small shrimp that has been well chilled
- 2 tablespoons shallots tht have been thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons garlic that hat has bee thinly sliced lengthwise
- 4 tablespoons toasted shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh red chills
- 2 cups fresh ruby red grapefruit sections
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
- 2 iceberg lettuce cups for lining the individual serving bowls
Place the chilled shrimp in a non reactive salad bawl. Scatter the sliced shallots and sliced garlic over the shrimp. Scatter three quarters of the toasted coconut and chopped fresh red chilies over the contents of the bowl. Pour some dressing over all and toss, adding more dressing as needed until the salad is evenly dressed.
At this point the salad may be refrigerated briefly while you prepare for serving.
Divide the salad into two individual serving bowls lined with iceberg lettuce. Tuck ruby red grapefruit sections into the salads generously. Spoon a little more dressing over the salads if needed. Sprinkle toasted peanuts and coconut over the salads. Add the remaining grapefruit on top of the salads and dust with a few pinches of peanuts a toasted coconut and garnish with fresh coriander leaves or zesty sprouts and serve.