A fresh salad bursting with the flavour of garlic, chilli and lime, moo ma nao is one Thai salad that is well known among the local population but not commonly seen outside Thailand.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and chopped
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies, sliced thinly, plus extra sliced chilli to garnish (optional)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli (gai lan), trimmed
  • 300 g (10½ oz) pork loin, cut into 5-mm (¼-in) thick slices

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chillies into a coarse paste. Add the salt, lime juice, fish sauce and caster sugar and stir to mix well. Check for seasoning; the mixture should be sour, salty and spicy. Adjust the seasoning with extra lime juice or fish sauce if necessary.
  2. Fill a large bowl with iced water and set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat and blanch the Chinese broccoli for 1 minute, until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Chinese broccoli to the iced water to shock, then to a colander to drain.
  3. Bring the saucepan of water to a rolling boil again and blanch the sliced pork for 20 seconds, or until just cooked through. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain.
  4. Arrange the Chinese broccoli and pork on a serving plate and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with sliced chilli, if desired. Serve immediately.


Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99