Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)
Although many of us in the West assume that lemongrass must be cooked before it’s eaten, cooks in southern Thailand adore its crunchy texture and intensely citrusy flavor. Pom, the cook in Phatthalung who gave us this recipe, sometimes uses dried whole anchovies (known in Thai as pla kem) when he makes this vibrant salad. We found this dish to be perfectly satisfying without them.
- 15 stalks fresh lemongrass
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped ginger
- 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
- 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
- 4-6 red thai chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4" pieces for garnish
- Steamed jasmine rice
- Trim and slice lemongrass. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl; separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.