Thai seafood salad or Yum Talay, is a vibrant and flavorful classic Thai salad showcasing Thailand's best coastal cuisine. The key ingredients include fresh shrimp, a tangy dressing, and a generous amount of fresh herbs and vegetables.
For more seafood dishes you'll love, check out these popular recipes. Pla Goong, Thai spicy shrimp salad, Thai grilled garlic shrimp, shrimp mango salad with shrimp and cashews, Thai glass noodles salad with shrimp.
- Why You'll Love Yum Talay
- What Seafood Options Can I Use for Yam Talay?
- Squid Vs. Calamari
- Ingredients for Thai Seafood Salad
- How to Make Thai Seafood Salad
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- How to Serve Your Thai Seafood Salad
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Recipes
- Authentic Thai Seafood Salad (Yum Talay)
- More Authentic Thai Recipes You'll Love!
Why You'll Love Yum Talay
Not only is Yum Talay a delicious spicy Thai seafood salad, but it is also a healthy choice packed with nutrients. The irresistible hot dressing will delight your taste buds with flavor explosions from spicy, tangy, and umami tastes.
The best part? It is incredibly easy and fast to assemble, making it a great, quick, satisfying meal option. You can easily put this salad together in less than 20 minutes!
What Seafood Options Can I Use for Yam Talay?
This refreshing salad combines a variety of fresh and succulent seafood options, allowing you to choose from an array of delectable ingredients. The possibilities are endless, from plump fresh mussels and farm-raised clams to tender scallops and decadent lobster.
Whether you prefer the briny sweetness of crab meat or the luxuriousness of lobster, Yam Talay promises a delightful seafood medley that will tantalize your taste buds. Wild clams in Thailand are very common and are my family's favorites!
Squid Vs. Calamari
Squid and calamari are both cephalopods, but they do have some differences. The main distinction lies in their culinary usage. Squid typically refers to the creature in its raw or uncooked form, while calamari refers to squid prepared and cooked for consumption.
So essentially, calamari is a squid transformed into a delicious seafood dish.
Ingredients for Thai Seafood Salad
- Squid. I used frozen whole purple calamari squid with heads, eyes, and tentacles intact. I found mine in the frozen section of the Asian market.
- Large fresh shrimp, deveined, shells removed. Tails on are ok. You can use any combination of seafood you like. You'll need a total of 1.5 pounds for my recipe.
- Tomato. Use Roma or cherry tomatoes.
- White onion, thinly sliced. Shallot or red onions are fine for substitutes.
- Chinese celery, stems, and leaves. Italian parsley or regular celery is the next best thing if Chinese isn't available.
- Green onion and cilantro add extra aroma and flavor. Save a few pieces for garnishing.
- Fresh lemongrass. Find these in the Asian market. If fresh ones aren't available, check the frozen section; they often sell the whole of them in a vacuum-sealed bag. Sliced frozen lemongrass is the next in line if fresh and frozen aren't available.
- Kaffir lime leaves, julienned. Fresh or frozen is fine. Read more about kaffir lime leaves here.
- Thai bird’s eye chilis (adjust spice level). Red or green chili are both great. Adjust the spiciness level as needed for your taste buds.
- Fish sauce (Squid or Mega Chef brand). Add the extra umami flavors to this Thai seafood salad!
- Lime juice. If you love the sour taste in your salad like I do, add up to 1 more tablespoon of lime juice. Go easy first, then add more as needed!
- Sugar. White or palm sugar is fine for this recipe. I've seen and used both types of sugar in and out of Thailand.
- Three tablespoons stock or water (use the water from boiling the shrimp and squid. *See helpful notes below.
How to Make Thai Seafood Salad
Step 1. Prepare seafood – slice squid, peel shrimp, and set aside. *See note below on how to prepare whole purple calamari.
Step 2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have enough cooking water to blanch 1.5 pounds of seafood. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water if desired. Once boiling water, dunk the shrimp and squid with a slotted spoon. Work in batches. Cook for 1-2 minutes only. Remove and set aside.
Don't cook squid for more than 3-4 minutes; the meat will turn into rubbery, chewy chunks. Not good.
Step 3. While the seafood is cooling, In a medium-large bowl, make the dressing by combining fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and diced chilis. Mix until sugar dissolves.
If short on time, rinse the seafood in cold water to speed up the cooling time.
Step 4. Add the seafood to the dressing and mix together with a spatula.
Step 5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Sample a bite, then adjust using sugar, lime juice, or fish sauce. Add more stock if you want more liquid in your salad.
I like to let my salad sit for 3-5 minutes to meld the flavors together. Serve and eat right away for the freshest taste. Garnish with more cilantro leaves and chili flakes for added heat.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Use shrimp boiling liquid for added flavor in the dressing.
- If using whole squid as I did, remove the quill- the clear and long plastic-like stick inside the calamari. It's tough and unpleasant to chew on if left on.
- Also, I used whole squid for my recipe, meaning the squid's eyes, tentacles, and innards must be removed. I left the tentacles on, but this one is up to you.
- If using the purple calamari squid, scoop out the shrimp stock first (for the salad) before blanching the squid, or the water will turn a purple hue. If you don't mind the color, then ignore this tip. (:
- The colored water will not alter the flavors, but your Yum Talay might have a purple hue. It's pretty for photos, and it's all-natural coloring! (Photographer speaking here!) (:
- A slotted spoon for blanching the seafood is extra helpful to scoop out the seafood.
How to Serve Your Thai Seafood Salad
- Enjoy Yum Talay on its own or as a refreshing side dish. Serve over a bed of lettuce for a delightful presentation, or have a little jasmine rice with it to help temper the heat.
- For a vegetarian version of Yum Talay, use crispy fried tofu instead.
- Thai seafood salad is best enjoyed fresh but can be refrigerated for a day and no more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use cooked seafood for Yum Talay. However, it may not have the same freshness as using fresh seafood. You may still need to blanch it briefly to hydrate it lightly.
The four types of Thai salads are Yum Woon Sen (glass noodle salad), Yum Nuea (spicy beef salad), Yum Mamuang (green mango salad), and Yum Pla Duk Fu (crispy catfish salad).
"Yum" in Thai cooking refers to a type of salad that is usually spicy, sour, and tangy. It is typically made with fresh ingredients, herbs, and a dressing.
Thai salads, including this seafood salad, can be healthy as they are often made with fresh ingredients, herbs, and a balanced dressing. However, it is important to be mindful of the portion size and the ingredients used in the salad.
Seafood salad sauce uses lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and herbs. The specific recipe can vary depending on personal preference and the type.
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