Prawn, Calamari, and Scallop Salad (Aham Talay Yum)
Salads are always the hottest part of a Thai meal. Once you break into a sweat you know you are ready for an amazing intense attack on your flavor senses. Thai food is NEVER, never boring. You donít ever finish eating a Thai meal shrugging, well that was OK. Thai food is always over the top-simply amazingly wonderful and exciting.
Typical of a Thai dish this salad resonates with the four taste notes with a hint of sourness, followed by saltiness, then sweetness, and then a back heat of chiles for that special spiciness. You can adjust the heat by balancing the other notes of sweet, salty and sour to your palate.
You can offer the condiment of Nam Pla Phrik for diners to adjust the heat upwards to their desired taste.
This melange of flavours results in an exciting Thai-taste recipe that is popular all over The Kingdom of Thailand. You can opt to make your own Nam Prik Pao or purchase in a jar at an Asian Market. Pantainorasingh Brand (labeled as "chilli paste with soya bean oil) is my favourite commercial Nam Phrik Pao.
1/3 lb squid, cleaned and sliced , and blanched
1/3 lb sea scallops, blanched and sliced
1/3 lb prawn, cooked, shelled and deveined, then sliced
1/3 lb mussels, steamed, removed from the shell
3 tbsp nam prik pao (roasted chile in soybean oil)
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 cup juice of fresh lime
*optional minced Thai chiles to taste
1 tbsp date palm sugar
2 tsp tamarind concentrate mixed with 3 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup shredded cabbage
1/3 cup shredded carrot
2-3 green onions, cut into 1" pieces juilenned
1/3 cup cashew nuts lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Butter lettuce or red lettuce leaves
Mix nam prik pao, fish sauce, sugar and tamarind juice together until smooth. Place in a small saucepan at medium/low heat and stir until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add lime juice, fish sauce, and stir just until blended.
Place the shellfish into a bowl, and pour sauce over it. Add the green onions and gently mix with the seafood.
To serve: Arrange the lettuce leaves over the plate, place on the ends of the serving plate, and arrange the shellfish mixture on the cabbage. Add the shredded carrots on the sides.
Garnish mint leaves and chopped cashew nuts.
Optional garnish: Fried garlic and shallots.
Serve with bowls of steamed Jasmine rice. (Thai Hom Mali-new crop rice)
* If you prefer you can use peanuts in place of cashews.