Spicy Lemongrass Salad with Cashews (Yum Ta Krai)

This is a truly authentic traditional Thai dish that few foreigners eat because it’s so simple. It pulls in some of the classic Thai tastes that people in Thailand love and they don’t need anything more once they taste it.

There is always some major ingredient like shrimp, chicken, or pork in it so that’s the main point of the dish.

Still, it’s the flavor of the lemongrass and the spice that brings people back to this salad over and over. Spicy lemongrass salad with cashews is always on the table when a large group of people eat out.

Spicy Lemongrass Salad and Cashews Preparation

1 cup thinly sliced lemongrass
1 cup minced pork (cooked)
10 big shrimps (peeled, deveined, and cooked)
3 tbsp. sliced chili peppers (or as much as you like)
1 cup shallots (sliced)
1 cup sliced scallion and coriander
1 cup cashew nuts (or as much as you like)
1 handful mints
1/4 cup fried dry shrimp
1 tbsp. crushed coriander roots


3 and 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
4 and 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2-1 tbsp. palm sugar

Lemongrass Salad Cooking Instructions

1. In a big bowl, add fish sauce lime, and palm sugar. Stir the mix until the palm sugar is dissolved. Taste and change it to the way you like.

Make sure the balance of 3 tastes is right. We’ll add chili after we finish everything because the spiciness stops your ability to taste the saltiness, sourness, and sweetness.

2. Now, add pork and shrimp. Then add dry shrimp, lemongrass, scallion, coriander, mints, shallot, and coriander roots.

3. Lastly, add the sliced chili as much as you like. Mix well and serve it with fresh betel leaves.

If you are asking me which is the healthy Thai food cuisine, I would recommend this one almost automatically. It consists of various herbs; lemongrass of course takes the main lead in this recipe.

Some of the herbs that you find in Thai food, galangal in Tom Yum Soup, for example, I bet you wonder whether you can eat it or not.

Thai people eat those galangal the same as lemongrass in this recipe, we eat them believing that it is good for our stomach and helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, and excess fats.

Later, we have lemongrass juice. I am not so sure whether that is a Thai or Western recipe.

Anyway! Not many people know about this recipe. It is not as famous as Yum Woon Sen, or Pad Thai. If you like Thai Salad recipes, I really recommend this one. 🙂

Enjoy your cooking everybody!  (^_^)

Where Did Spicy Lemongrass Salad with Cashews Originate?

Thai Spicy Lemongrass Salad and Cashews is a relatively new dish originating in the early 20th century. It is also known as Yum Ta Krai, is a popular dish in Northeastern Thailand and eaten countrywide.

The varied ingredients all blend together to make it a taste Thais can’t resist! It is made with lemongrass, chili peppers, red onion, shallots, mint, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and roasted cashews. It is often served with boiled shrimp, chicken, or pork.

It is thought to have been invented by street food vendors in the Northeastern city of Udon Thani north of Ubon Ratchathani and South of Nong Khai.

The delicious salad quickly became popular throughout the region and is now one of the most popular Thai salads in the world among Thai communities.

Not only is the taste special, but it is also a very healthy dish, packed with vitamins and minerals.

Yum Ta Krai Variations

There are many different variations of the Yum Ta Krai recipe.

Some recipes call for adding other ingredients, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, or chopped peanuts. Other recipes call for using different types of meat, such as beef, vegetarian tofu, or other types of seafood like fish and squid.

If you are ever in Thailand, be sure to try Yum Ta Krai. If you have a Thai partner, you’ll probably get to try it within weeks of arriving in Thailand!

Cost of Spicy Lemongrass Salad in Thai Restaurants in Thailand?

The cost of Yum Ta Krai in a restaurant in Thailand can depend on the type of restaurant and the location. At an on-the-beach restaurant in Phuket the price is going to be multiples of what it would cost at a street vendor in Udon Thani!

It’s almost always affordable because it’s so simple. The average price in Thailand ranges from 50 to 200 Thai baht (approximately $1.50 to $6.00 USD) per plate in 2023.

If you are eating at a street food stall or a small, local restaurant, you can expect to pay at the lower end of the price range.

If you are eating at a more upscale restaurant or a restaurant in a tourist area, you can expect to pay much more, even higher than 200 THB.

Yum Ta Krai Prices from Different Restaurants in Thailand

  • Street food stall: 50 Thai baht
  • Small, local restaurant: 100 Thai baht
  • Upscale restaurant: 200-250 Thai baht
  • Restaurant in a tourist area: 200-400 Thai baht

My Yum Ta Krai Video on YouTube

2 thoughts on “Spicy Lemongrass Salad with Cashews (Yum Ta Krai)”

  1. That looks so fresh and deliscious .If it is not a so known thai recipe, I must thank you for giving details about how its made! .Thanks a lot!

  2. I am going to open a Asian restaurant. It serves Japanese Thai Vietnamese Chinese Korean foods. I really love ur Thai foods recipes. Hope u can upload some new dishes soon. So I can learn more Thai foods from u ^*^

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