A salad is where it's at, especially when you crack that code of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.
17 Aug 2018 - 11:37 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2019 - 2:16 PM

It's all about that crunch!

Thai salads, just like their hot and steamy curries are all about finding that sweets spot between the sweet, salty, sour & spicy. Well, we've done all the legwork and found you ten salads that are a textural delight - that includes this winning recipe of soft-shell crab with a fresh papaya salad from The Chefs' Line Thai week restaurant, Long Chim. #restaurantqualitymadeathome

Soft-shell crab stir-fry with green papaya salad

Thai beef salad with roasted rice and deep-fried shallot dressing

Oyster, soy and fish sauces, as well as white pepper, are front and centre in this marinade. Layers of marinated beef, roasted rice, pickled eschallots and a spicy, deep-fried shallot dressing are keeping this weeknight salad win fresh and utterly delicious. While you can easily serve this as an entree or light main, you can also add 150 g of cooked rice noodles to the salad for a heartier meal.

Prawn and chilli jam salad (pla goong)

This spicy yet refreshing prawn offering is an absolute cinch to make and packs a punch with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fresh chilli and mint. The magic really comes from the chilli jam and be sure to use whole green prawns - peeled, cleaned with heads and tails all intact.

Wing bean and pork salad

There's a legume that absolutely loves tropical weather and it's called a wing bean. Here Luke Nguyen uses this somewhat unusual ingredient, with a  tangy chilli jam, to make a quick pork salad.

Glass noodle seafood salad (yum woon sen)

Salt 'n' pepper squid: the noodle edition. Dried shrimp, king prawns and squid take to the stage in this Thai street food favourite and it only takes a few minutes before you are eating this divine plate of seafood noodles

Chicken and lemongrass salad (yum gai)

Another super-healthy salad, this is light in both texture and flavour. Be sure to use the freshest herbs you can find, and not overcook the chicken so it stays lovely and tender.

Green papaya salad (som tum)

All over Bangkok, food vendors pound together this irresistible combination of green papaya, chillies, fish sauce and lime.  Make this salad as tradition dictates with a large mortar and pestle to really amalgamate the flavours and this version is from the Feast magazine archives.

Som tum

Coconut noodle salad (khanom chin sao nam)

If you think pineapple only has a place in sweet fruit salads and pizza (it's controversial, we know!) think again. This rice noodle throw-together teeters on the sweet and savoury side thanks to the additions of coconut cream, dried shrimp, ginger and a chilli-lime syrup. 

Banana blossom, coconut chicken and chilli salad

'Blossom' to your full salad potential by getting this vibrant ingredient at your Thai grocer - chicken salad will never be the same again. Served raw, banana blossoms lend crunch to all sorts of South-East Asian salads and be sure to look for large, firm blossoms without discolouration. To prepare this vegetable, remove the coloured outer leaves until you reach the pale heart, similar to the way you prepare globe artichokes. 

Chargrilled squid salad (pla muek yang)

A Luke Nguyen favourite is this chargrilled squid and herb salad. "For me, it represents everything that I love about Thai cooking. The grilled squid in this dish is light, textural and smoky, tossed with fresh lemongrass and bound in a sweet and spicy dressing. The salty/sour/spicy/sweet notes are in perfect balance..."

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? The Chefs’ Line airs every weeknight at 6pm on SBS followed by an encore screening at 9.30pm on SBS Food Network. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!

Takeaway Thai
The lowdown: Thai cuisine
Far greater than the gamut of your local restaurant menu, Thai food is diverse in form and flavour. Carrying a symphony of sweet, spicy and tangy notes, dishes vary from the lightness of green papaya salad to the meaty intensity of Massaman curry. These are our tips to sharpening your Thai cooking skills.
Thai prawns with coconut milk and seaweed

Simple to make and packed with health-boosting antioxidants.

Meet the family behind Sydney’s much-loved Thai food institution
They've built a restaurant empire from scratch – now they’re redefining paddock-to-plate dining with 30 types of eggplant and more types of basil than you can count.
Classic Thai fish cakes

These crunchy fish nuggets are fragrant with lemongrass and kaffir lime, with punch from homemade red curry paste.

Add these terrific Thai curries to your week
Green, red, yellow... what is your go-to Thai curry?
A peek into the endless world of Thai sweets
From creamy coconut puddings and custards to rich layer cakes and sticky rice, these are some of Thailand’s best desserts.
Mango and Thai basil ice-cream with fresh coconut shavings

On a hot summer's day, there's nothing like this refreshing ice-cream to cool you down. The balance of the sweet mangoes and herbaceous Thai basil is truly a flavour explosion. Choose mangoes when they are in season and at their peak.

Thai pork rib noodle soup (nam ngiaw)

Typical of Northern Thai cuisine where the flavours are uncompromisingly hot and sour, versions of this dish also appear in northeast Burma and in Yunnan province in China. In Thailand, it’s made using khanom jeen noodles, a type of fresh, fermented rice noodle - for ease, this version uses thin dried rice stick noodles. Cubes of congealed pork blood and the dried flower of the red cotton tree, said to add a sour dimension, are also used in Thailand.