• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 1 Servings

Yam Sami ("Husband's Salad") Pt 1

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Thai

 Ingredients List

  • 8 Dragon shrimp (fresh water
  • -shrimp, 2-3 to the pound)
  • 1 lb Shrimp (16-20 to the pound)
  • 1 lb Ham
  • 1/4 lb Bologna, sliced
  • 1/4 lb Sliced roast pork
  • 1/4 lb Shaved beef
  • 1/4 lb Cooked chicken, sliced
  • 1 c Nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 1 c Nam manao (lime juice)
  • 4 tb Nam si-ew wan (sweet dark
  • -soy sauce, or use oyster
  • -soy)
  • 6 tb Kratiem (garlic), minced
  • 12 tb Khing (ginger), minced
  • 12 tb Bai chi (coriander/cilantro
  • -including the roots),
  • -chopped
  • 1 c Ton hom (green/spring
  • -onions)
  • 1 c Hom daeng (shallots/purple
  • -onions), thinly sliced
  • 4 tb Sesame oil
  • 4 tb Chilli oil
  • 1/2 c Prik ki nu (bird's-eye
  • -chillies, mixed red and
  • -green), sliced
  • 2 tb Khao koor (see method)


Description: My wife and I recently attended the marriage celebrations of
the son of a friend of ours, and this dish is our contribution to the food
(Thai wedding celebrations are often one long banquet... interspersed by
visits to temples and paying respects to parents and grandparents).

Because it was offered as part of the "husband's side" food, I have called
it yam sami, but a similar, if rather simpler recipe, recently appeared in
an advertisement for a firm that packages ham and sausage, and called yam
ham kung, which would be an alternative name (except I don't like using
obvious imports in language...)

It is similar in concept to such dishes as yam nuea or yam mu (beef or pork
salads respectively), and we in fact bought the shrimp freshly cooked from
a vendor near our home on the way to the festivities, allowing this to be a
"no-cook" recipe. However I would usually prefer to start from scratch so I
include the method for preparing the shrimp. Note that when I describe them
as 'fresh' the jumbo shrimp are taken from a live tank for sale in most
shops here...

The dish is loaded with meaning, so I have left the quantities large, but
you can of course scale it down for your own needs. The number of large
shrimp (8), their colour (red), even the local name (dragon) are indicators
of wealth and success in life, so highly significant for the young couple.
One local tradition here is for the couple to each feed each other a shrimp
~ less messy than the American cream cake! Eight shrimp also means one each
for the Bride and Groom, their parents, and the best man and chief
bridesmaid (the latter being a recent tradition of western origin).

Finally yam means tossed (as a salad is tossed), and signifies the tossings
of fortune in life...

Method: First prepare the khao Koor - place about 5 tablespoons of uncooked
long grain whit rice in a wok over medium heat, and toast gently until
light brown. Allow to cool and then grind to a coarse powder in a mortar
and pestle, or spice grinder.

Next cook the shrimp: the jumbo shrimp should be grilled or barbecued until
pink. To avoid burning this is best done with the heads and carapaces still
on. Thais eat almost the whole shrimp (including some of the shell), so
would serve them like this. You may prepare to remove the head and legs,
shell (except the tail), and de-vein them. Set them aside. The smaller
shrimp are best dry-toasted in a wok over medium heat, tossing continuously
to avoid burning until pink. Again they are best de-headed, shelled and
cleaned after cooking.

Slice the cooked meat into half inch strips, and then cut any long pieces
into smaller bite sized pieces. Tease the chicken apart with the tines of a

Cut the white bulbs from the spring onion, and then slice the green parts

Place the chicken, sliced meat, and small shrimp in a large bowl. In a
mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients and then pour them over the
mixed meats and shrimp. Toss to thoroughly coat and leave to stand for at
least an hour before serving.

Serving & Storage: Place the tossed ingredients on a large serving platter,
surround with a circle of alternating tomato segments and slices of
cucumber, and place the jumbo shrimp like the spokes of a wheel, heads
innermost then garnish with coriander/cilantro and mint leaves.

continued in part 2

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