Yum Yai Salad

By • July 31, 2015 1 Comments

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Author Notes: You can find this salad of raw, cooked, and tempura-fried vegetables with a fierce chile jam dressing at San Francisco's Kin Khao, the authentically fun restaurant from Pim Techamuanvivit and chef Mike Gaines. Originally published in the New York Times.Ali Slagle


Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup Nam Prik Pao (chile jam): https://food52.com/recipes/37434-nam-prik-pao-chile-jam
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chopped palm sugar
  • 1 pinch chopped bird's-eye chile
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups small whole green leaves, like baby kale, shiso leaves, pea shoots, or arugula
  • 3 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces blanched green beans or wax beans
  • 2 cups any mixed greens or torn lettuce leaves
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Nam Prik Pao, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chopped chile; set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber and carrot into long ribbons; set them aside.
  2. In a large skillet, put the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. While it heats, in a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the ice water, flour, and egg yolk; the batter should be lumpy and quite thin. When the oil is ready for frying, start dipping the baby kale, shiso leaves, pea shoots, or arugula leaves (one at a time) into the batter to coat, and carefully add them to the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan (fingers or chopsticks are the best tools for the job). Fry the leaves in batches, turning once, until golden brown and crisp—just a few minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain; repeat the process until you have fried all of the leaves.
  3. To assemble the salad, start layering the ingredients in a large shallow bowl or onto a platter. The beans are best on the bottom because they’re the heaviest, and the tempura leaves should go mostly on top so they remain crisp; otherwise, the order is up to you. Drizzle each layer with some of the dressing as you go; serve immediately.

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