Packed with fresh herbs and tossed in a tangy, savory dressing, Thai Shrimp Salad is a fresh (and quick!) way to enjoy delicious Thai flavors.
One of the first…possibly the first Thai dish that Frank and I learned to make when we lived in Thailand was Thai Shrimp Salad. I still remember it as the first time that I fully understood the full range of flavors found in many beloved Thai dishes - sour, sweet, spicy, savory. But this dish has even more - so many fresh herbs. It’s absolutely bursting with color and flavor and best of all, it’s easy to make. Prep the ingredients and the shrimp cooks in just a couple minutes.
Thai Shrimp Salad Video Recipe
Here’s how to make it!
First, Make the Dressing
The dressing used for this salad is a variation on the classic. My go-to is this Simple Dressing for Thai Salads, but for shrimp salad it gets an extra boost of flavor from Nam Prik Pao.
What is Nam Prik Pao?
Let’s talk Nam Prik Pao (Roasted Thai Chili Paste). This smoky, sweet and savory chili paste or jam is an absolute powerhouse of flavor used in Thai cooking. It is the key ingredient in Tom Yum Goong. Many versions have a balanced, not super spicy, flavor so they’re a great option to add flavor without lots of spice. It includes shrimp, so be aware of this if you cannot eat seafood.
Look for Nam Prik Pao at an international market (I always like Mae Pranom brand). I’ve also seen the Thai Kitchen brand in the international aisle at my local grocery store. Like most American-made brands of Thai condiments, it’s not as flavorful as Thai brands but I love that it’s widely available. It’s also not at all spicy, so a great option if you don’t want spice.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian, shrimp-free version, I’ve got you covered here.
Next, Chop the Fresh Herbs
After the dressing, the key to the bright flavor of Thai Shrimp Salad is fresh herbs! Cilantro, shallots, and mint are straightforward to prep, but the authentic flavor of this salad also comes from lemongrass and makrut lime leaves. It’s worth noting that the salad is still delicious even without the lemongrass and lime leaves, but they’re absolutely worth tracking down if you can. Both ingredients are available at many well-stocked grocery stores (Whole Foods carries both) and any international market.
For tips on how to prep lemongrass, I always like this guide by TheKitchn.
Finally, Cook the Shrimp
The last step to this delicious salad is to boil the shrimp just until cooked through. Shrimp cooks fast, within a couple of minutes, so keep an eye on it and drain it as soon as it turns pink and opaque. Toss it with the dressing while it’s still warm so that it has a chance to soak up the dressing. Then toss it with the fresh herbs. Serve right away while the herbs are still bright and fresh.
You’re going to love this one!
If you try it, be sure to leave me a note in the comments or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing everything you’re cooking!
More Shrimp Recipes
- Ginger Shrimp Potstickers with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Lemony Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Jerk Shrimp with Coconut Rice
- 30 Minute Shrimp Teriyaki Noodle Bowls
- Honey Lime Shrimp
Thai Shrimp Salad
- Mixing Bowl
- 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Roasted Thai Chili Paste (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons grated Palm Sugar (substitute brown sugar)
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 1 finely chopped Thai Bird’s Eye Chili (optional, can substitute red pepper flakes)
- 1 pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ cup Cilantro Leaves
- ¼ cup thinly sliced Shallots
- ¼ cup very thinly sliced Lemongrass
- ¼ cup small Fresh Mint Leaves
- 6 Makrut Lime Leaves, stems removed, leaves very thinly sliced
- Jasmine Rice, for serving
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Add shrimp and simmer just until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Drain shrimp well.
- Toss warm shrimp with dressing. Add cilantro leaves, shallots, lemongrass, mint, and lime leaves and fold everything together until evenly combined.
- Serve over rice.