Thai Food Recipe: Yum Woon Sen (Spicy Glass Noodle Salad)

Yum Woon Sen - Mung Bean Noodle Spicy Salad, from Thailand.

Yum Woon Sen – Cellophane Mun Bean Noodle Spicy Salad


1/2 minced pork
1/2 cup seafood (optional)
1 cup mung bean noodles (bean thread noodles)
2 tbsp. sliced onion
2 tbsp. sliced tomato
3 tbsp. scallion (cut 1 inch)
3 tbsp. Chinese celery (cut 1 inch)
2 tbsp. chopped carrot
1/2 tsp. salt

Prepare sauce:

2 tbsp. chopped red chili pepper
1 pickled garlic (sliced) with 1 tbsp. juice
7 tbsp. lemon juice
5 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 crushed coriander roots


Cooking Instructions:

1. Boil minced pork and seafood in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes. Add salt.

2. While the pork is being cooked, soak mung bean noodles until it’s soft.

3. In a different pot, add water and wait until it’s boiling. Then, drop mung bean noodles and leave it for 3 seconds. Next, drain and leave it in a bowl.

4. Prepare the sauce, mix chopped red chili pepper, pickled garlic and its juice, lemon juice, fish sauce, crushed coriander roots and sugar altogether.

5. In the pot with minced pork, add the sauce from number 4 and mung bean noodle. Put Chinese celery, scallion, onion, tomato and carrot. Mix well.

6. Dress with lettuce, sliced cucumber and tomato.


Today at lunch, I made our Thai food favorite at our office, Yum Woon Sen, for the first time after a long time. I like to add a lot of vegetables and make it more sour and spicy than usual. The color is so red because I crushed the pepper real good. πŸ™‚ To make it red like in the picture but keep the same spicy level, you should cut the red pepper in half and then throw away the seed. Some restaurants in Thailand use hot sauce to make it red, but I never try it. I think the hot sauce make Yum Woon Sen taste strange.


Note from Vern

I first had yum woon sen in Tampa, Florida at a Thai restaurant. I wanted to try something new because I had already bought my one-way ticket to fly to Thailand and I knew I was going to have to get used to the food. All I knew at the time was tom yum soup and pad Thai noodles! Well, the cook at the Thai restaurant knew to dumb it down for me a bit and take the spice out. They also made it a bit sweet for me, and not so sour. There was only like 1 chili cut up in mine.

I liked yum woon sen immediately. I was in for somewhat of a shock once I arrived in Thailand and got my first true Thai version of the dish. It was very spicy, very wet, and the vegetables were so perfectly done. It was so much better than it was in the USA. I love spicy food, and this was definitely spicy, but eventually I got used to it. If you’re afraid you might not get used to the level of spice in the country, I would say that you shouldn’t worry. Just tell everyone NO chilis. Mai ow prik na krup (na ka, if you’re a woman). It will STILL be spicy, because Thais just don’t know how to make anything that is supposed to have chilis – with at LEAST one chili in it, but you’ll get used to it and soon you’ll be eating it like me.

I like it so hot, that when they ask, I say, “Pedt silop suh lai.” It means, make it so hot that I fall into a coma. Sometimes they actually do make it that hot! Be careful what you ask for.

Come to Thailand and taste authentic Thai food! I’m trying to get Joy to teach classes to visitors that want to learn how to make a couple of dishes during their vacation. I hope she goes for it and quits her other job!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food Recipe: Potash Preserved Eggs in Spicy & Sour Salad (Yum Kai Jeauw Maa)

Potash preserved eggs in Thailand.

Potash Preserved Eggs with Spicy and Sour Salad, Yum Kai Jeauw Maa


Potash preserved egg insides from Thailand.


2 eggs that were preserved in potash or ammonia (Kai Jeauw Maa)
1 cup crumb
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. wheat flour

2 cups vegetable oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. minced chili pepper
1/4 cup sliced ginger
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup sliced scallion


Cooking Instructions:

1. Cut the eggs into 4 pieces.

2. Mix wheat flour with water. Dip the egg into it and roll it over the crumbs.

3. Fry the eggs in hot vegetable oil until it turn gold. Rest it in the strainer.

4. Next, mix fish sauce, lemon juice, chili pepper and sugar together.

5. Add ginger, red onion and scallion then pour the sauce over fried eggs.


Here is another Yum Kai Jeauw Maa recipe;


3 Kai Jeauw Maa (cut into 4 pieces)
2 tbsp sliced lemon grass
2 tbsp. roasted peanut
3 tbsp. cut red onion
2 tbsp. cut chili pepper
1 tbsp. cut lemon (don’t peel)
2 tbsp. dried small shrimp
1 tbsp. chili paste for Tom Yum
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. sliced scallion
1 tbsp. sliced coriander

When you cook, just mix all the ingredients together and make it taste the way you like. Pour it over the egg. Let sour and spicy taste lead all other tastes, that way we call it Yum. You don’t have to cook the egg at all because it was already cook at the preservation process. What if you like it harder, boil it for 5 minutes before you peel off the shell.

Kai Jeauw Maa literally means eggs and horse’s urine. Hope that it won’t ruin your appetite. I never eat it because of the name until I turned to 20 years old. Since I tried it, I couldn’t stop eating it! Haha πŸ™‚

It is so funny how the name and its color can ruin our appetite. I have just known why my uncle told me the name when they show me this recipe at someone’s wedding. It was because he didn’t want us, young children, to grasp all of Kai Jeauw Maa away from him. That way, he cut out all the rivals at the table because Kai Jeauw Maa tastes so good!

Anyway, don’t worry. The preservation process doesn’t have anything to do with horse’s urine. πŸ™‚ I just wanted to scare you. hahaha

Hope you can find Kai Jeauw Maa in Asian market.

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Som Tam Spicy Papaya Salad Thai

Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad), a Thai Favorite

Som Tam comes from the northeastern “Isaan” region of Thailand which is near the border of Laos. Residents eat this meal daily for lunch or dinner. It is usually accompanied by “Gai Yang” – barbequed chicken or pork and some condiments: cucumber, lettuce, and green beans. Som Tam Thai has peanuts, and dried baby shrimp. Som Tam is very delicious and my favorite Thai food! My husband has also grown to like it – he says it’s addictive.
Som Tam Recipe


2 cups coarsely graded unripe Papaya
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1-4 small red or green chilis
(in Isaan we often use 10 or more!)
2 garlic cloves
1 long squirt of fish sauce
1 lemon/lime (minao in Thai)
1/4 cup yardlong beans (green beans) if you wish
Dash of salt, sugar to preference (1 tsp)



1. Combine chili peppers, garlic, tomatoes, salt, sugar, with mortar and pestle. The sound of pounding the ingredients makes a bpok bpok noise. Some people call som tam, “Bpok Bpok”! Some parents in Thailand name their kid Bpok!

2. Squirt in some fish oil and squeeze the lemon juice into the mix. Add the papaya in small groups to make sure it mixes well.

When mixed thoroughly serve in a bowl. Rice is always served with this – the som tam is eaten with rice to take the spice out of it a bit, and just because Thai people eat LOTS of rice! Sticky rice (steamed rice) is the preferred rice in Isaan, but you can use boiled white Jasmine rice.

This video is of a night market close to Teung C. Muang park in Ubon Ratchathani in the northeast of Thailand (Isaan region). This woman is my favorite som tam maker. You can see her squeezing the “minao” (lemon/lime) and adding the papaya to the mortar and pestle. She makes HUNDREDS of these dishes everyday! > Som Tam Woman Video

Click here to watch how to make Som Tam video


Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food Recipe: Yum Pla Dook Foo (Fried Catfish in Spicy and Sour Salad)

Yum Pla Dook Foo - Fried Catfish in Spicy and Sour Salad


1 grilled catfish
2 cups vegetable oil
bread crumbs

Salad Mix:
1 handful shredded raw mango
4 tbsp. thinly sliced shallot
6 red chili peppers
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. palm sugar + 1 tbsp hot water
4 cloves garlic
3 coriander roots
2 tbsp. thinly sliced lemongrass

1/2 cup roasted peanut or cashew nuts
1 branch coriander (cut out the root)

Cooking Instructions:

Prepare the fish
Now that we have grilled fish. πŸ™‚ I am going to buy it at Somtam stand near my house to save time. Many Thai people eat their Somtam with grilled catfish. Baking would be ok too I guess. The point is to have the fish meat dry so it will be easier when we fry.

Peel of the skin and bone. Leave its head, middle bone and tail for decoration. Separate the meat. Now, mince the meat finely and then crush it to make sure that the meat will rise beautifully. πŸ˜€

Then, spread the meat on a big plate and let it dry. (If not, the meat will whole vegetable oil too much and won’t rise.)

After that, mix the meat with bread crumbs. (3 tbsp. fish meat/5tbsp. bread crumbs)

Add a little bit of vegetable oil into the bread crumbs mix. This will make the bread stick better to the meat.

Then, heat the pan, add vegetable oil and wait until the the pan get very very hot. Fry the mix in small portion (3/5 as mentioned above). Remove when the mix turn yellow. Place it on top to the fish body which we have already separated from the very first step.

Making salad and spicy sour sauce
Finely crushed chili peppers, garlic and coriander roots altogether. Put it into a big bowl. Add fish sauce, palm sugar, lemon juice and mix well. Taste it the way you like. The way I like must have all 3 tastes balance well together.

Try adding with 1:1:1 (fish sauce: lemon juice: sugar). Keep adding until you get the right taste but start from a very small amount.

Add shredded mango, shallot, roast peanut and mix well. Pour the salad sauce on top of the fried fish and place coriander on the top. You make also decorate it the way you like. πŸ™‚

Thai Food Recipe: Tuna and Herbs in Spicy & Sour Salad

Yum Pla Tuu - Tuna and Herbs in Spicy and Sour Salad


1/2 cup tuna
1 tbsp. minced red and green chili peppers
2 tbsp. sliced lemongrass (small and thin circle)
2 tbsp. sliced ginger
2 tbsp. sliced galangal
2 tbsp. sliced galingale
2 tbsp. sliced red onion
2 tbsp. minced kaffir lime leaves
25 leaves of herb in the betel family Piperaceae
5 red chili peppers


1 tsp. minced chili pepper
1tbsp. minced coriander root
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sugar


Cooking Instructions:

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Taste it the way you like. You may add more lemon juice if you like it very sour.

2. In another bowl, add tuna, minced chili pepper, lemongrass, ginger, galingale, galangal, kaffir lime leaves. Pour the sauce and mix well. You can skip any herbs that you think it has too strong taste of course.

3. Put lettuce on the plate. Arrange the salad and dress it with red chili peppers.

4. Serve with herb in the betel family Piperaceae on a side.

My mom used to make this recipe for us when we were young. We didn’t like herbs at all because we hate vegetable with smell and taste but this Tuna and Herbs in Spicy and Sour Salad changed our mind. We asked for more. My mom will use steamed Platuu with salt instead of tuna in a can.

I hated whenever my mom and my aunt introduced me new herb to eat. There are some kinds that I can’t make my mind to eat it yet. Anyway, I started to like more herbs since I get older.

My first aunt and my grandma were the winner of herb consumer. They told me it helped their asthma and aging. My grandma was 98 when she gone. My aunt is now 67 with no gray hair. Since she ate so many kinds of herb, she can’t tell me which one of them helps her about the hair never turn gray.

I don’t believe. I think she sneaked out to the hair salon, got her hair done and used that as a trick to make me eat more herbs.

I do believe, herbs have special essence to provide us great health but not without gray hair.


Sawasdee Ka - Joy