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

Thai Food Recipe: Laab Ped Tod Grob (Crispy Mandarin Duck)

Crispy Mandarin Duck in Isaan Sour and Spicy Salad, Laab Bped Tod Grob


1 mandarin duck (1kg.)
5 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced lemon grass
1/2 cup kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. fried or roast peanut
7 dry chili peppers (fried)
1/4 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. roasted uncooked rice (ground finely)
Any vegetables you like


Cooking Instructions:

1. Clean the duck very well. Cut the meat part that attached to its skin. Boil it in boiling water cut it a bite size and rest them drain in a filter.

2. Heat the pan on medium flame. Fry red onions, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, one after each one. When they get crunchy, remove from the pan and leave it drain in the filter.

3. Next, in the same pan, fry the boiled mandarin duck. When it turns gold and crunchy, remove and leave it drain.

4. Now, in a big bowl, add chili powder, lemon juice, fish sauce and mix well. Add fried red onion, lemongrass, kaffir lime leave, peanut, fried dry chili peppers and roasted uncooked rice.

Making it taste more or less sour and spicy are up to you. Balance the taste with sugar. Arrange fried mandarin duck on the plate and dress the spicy and sour salad on top.

Put fresh vegetables on a side, any kind that you like. I would love to have cucumber, long string bean, cabbage, winged bean for sure, and eggplants. Laab Bped Tod Grob is one of my favorite recipes from Sisaket. πŸ™‚ You can either grill the duck or fry before you mix with Isaan spicy and sour salad.

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food Recipe: Spicy & Sour Cockles (Yum Hoi Crank)

Cockle Spicy and Sour Salad - Yum Hoi Crank


1 cup cockle (cook and take just the meat)
1/2 cup lemongrass (slice)
1/3 cup mint
4 cloves garlic
5 chili peppers (red and green)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. chili paste for Tom Yum
2 tbsp. sliced red onion
1/2 sliced sour mango
3 fried dried chili peppers


Cooking Instructions:

1. Ground garlic and chili peppers altogether.

2. In a big bowl, mix cockle, lemongrass, mango, garlic, peppers, lemon juice, fish sauce, and chili paste for Tom Yum. Add sliced red onion and sliced sour mango then mix well.

3. Chili paste for Tom Yum will make it a little bit sweet and sour from mango to go very well with the salad so when you add lemon juice, add some small amount and taste until it is right.

4. Dress the salad with fried dried chili peppers and mint. You may add roasted peanut if you like.

I and my friends from university went to the Isaan restaurant by victory monument in Bangkok. We had Yum Hoi Crank (Cockle Spicy and Sour Salad) which is a Bangkok style salad because they add chili paste for Tom Yum in it. It had a sweet taste more than spicy and sour taste. Well, I can say it was not spicy at all.

Maybe, we’re from Isaan region so we can taste the difference. I loved that they add a lot of fresh lemongrass and I enjoyed eating the whole thing.

I still kept eating it even after everybody stopped. I just want to finish the last piece…. haha :p Anyway, I got the lemongrass piece stuck in my throat. Make sure you slice it thinly and take only the young part.

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Thai Food Recipe: Pla Som (Sour Fish)

Sour Fish in Thai, Pla Som!


1 fish of any kind (tilapia is recommended) scraped and clean very well
(Carp or cyprinid is the other choices) but any Fatty fish is the best.
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 cup steamed rice
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp. rice flour
1 egg (beat)
1/2 cup sliced red onion or minced garlic (fried)
4 kaffir lime leaves (fried)
4 dried chili peppers (fried)
plastic bag
plastic container


Cooking Instructions:

1. Mix rice flour with water and clean the fish with it.

2. Clean inside the mouth and stomach really well.

3. Soak steamed rice in the water and drain it.

4. Put clean fish in a big bowl and sprinkle the salt all over the fish. After that, add minced garlic, steamed rice and mix it altogether.

5. Tuck the rice into the fish mouth and stomach. Then put the fish in a plastic bag and seal it.

6. Store the fish in plastic container and seal very well. Leave the fish outside refrigerator at the room temperature for 3 days.

7. On the forth day, move it into the fridge.

8. It should be sour about this time. πŸ™‚

9. Remove all the rice that cover the fish but leave some of it inside the stomach.

10. The smell is going to be very smelly for someone but I know for Thais, we are going to finish 2 plates of rice with this recipe.

11. Dip the fish into a bowl of beaten egg then fry on medium heat while the vegetable oil is hot.

12. When you serve it, dress the fish with fried onion, fried garlic, fried chili peppers and fried kaffir lime leave. (Squeeze 1 piece of lemon if it is not sour enough)


Serve with steamed rice or sticky rice.

If the place where you live is usually cold, you should leave it in room temperature for a longer time, maybe 5 days. Make sure the fish was really clean before to process the preservation, or you will get rotten fish as a result. πŸ™‚

In Yasothon, where I lived when I was 11, they produce the Pla Som as the main product for the whole province. If there is anybody wants to buy it, they know Pla Som from Yasothon is the best. πŸ™‚

I don’t like the kind of preserved fish they made from carp. It has too many bones and really destroyed my appetite. Me and my grandma, we love the fish with fatty stomachs. πŸ™‚

Not so healthy!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food Recipe: Grilled Squid in Spicy & Sour Salad (Yum Pla Muk Yang)

Grilled Squid Spicy and Sour Salad in Thai, Yum Pla Muk Yang


1 big squid (1.5 pound)
7 red onions (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (sliced)
1 group coriander
10 red chili peppers (minced)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. hot sauce
1 group Chinese celery (cut 1 inch long)


Cooking Instructions:

1. Clean the squid very well. Grill until it’s cooked. Don’t make it too dry because it will hurt your teeth.

2. After that, slice into a bite-sized pieces.

3. Mix red onion, onion, ginger, Chinese celery, and minced chili pepper altogether.

4. Add lemon juice, fish sauce and hot sauce with 5 tbsp. hot water. Mix well.

5. Now, arrange lettuce on the plate and put grilled squid on top.

6. Pour spicy and sour salad mixed over it and dress with coriander. Sliced tomato on a side is your choice.


I almost cried when I was eating (Yum Bpla Muek Yang) a restaurant somewhere. They over cooked the squid until it got brown, then they mix it with spicy and sour sauce. I thought I would loose my tooth when I chew it. The squid was so tough!

I think you should cook it until the squid gets a little hard. Cooking it in a microwave might work but this way you won’t get a unique smell like you would get from grilling.

For me, I have it done after 2 long breaths (10 seconds) because I don’t want the heat to shrink down the size of my big SQUID! Now you know how much I love it, don’t you? Anyway, I risk myself for a bad business in the next morning after eating uncooked squid.
Sawasdee Ka - Joy