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Thai seafood salad on a plate.

Authentic Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad (Pla Goong)

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


Need a tasty idea for a quick lunch? Try Pla Goong, a spicy Thai shrimp salad full of flavor. It has fresh herbs, big juicy shrimp, and spicy Thai chili peppers. The dressing is tangy and spicy too. 


  • 1 1/2 pound large jumbo shrimp, tail on but shell peeled, deveined, and heads off.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai Nam Prik Pao PLUS 1/2 tablespoon of the oil part that floats to the top. Make sure to use 1/2 tablespoon less for a less spicy taste. Or use store-bought paste here
  • 1/3 cup shallot, sliced long and thin
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped small
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped into 2/3 inch pieces.
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced very fine. Use only the 4-5 inches of the bottom part
  • 3 Kaffir lime leaves, julienned
  • 1-10 Thai bird’s eye chilis. Adjust according to spicy tolerance level.
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, Squid or Mega Chef brand
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice. More as needed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced


  1. Prepare shrimp by peeling, deveining, and removing heads. Rinse with cold water, towel dry, and set aside until the water is ready.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Use a few cups of water to cover the shrimp when cooking. Add the shrimp and cook for -2 minutes, depending on how rare you like your shrimp. Don't overcook it. No more than 3-4 mintues. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and let cool.
  3. While the shrimp are cooling, make the salad dressing in a medium bowl by combining Nam Prik Pao (Thai chili paste), garlic, chilis, sugar, and fish sauce. Mix well until sugar mostly dissolves. Set aside.
  4. Add the shrimp to the salad dressing in the mixing bowl. Stir and taste. It's so good! It's practically done here if you want, but let's keep going!
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl using shallot, green onion, mint, cilantro, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Toss and adjust the seasoning with lime juice, fish sauce, or sugar. Done!

Serve fresh with chopped lettuce, cabbage, or sliced cucumbers.


  • You can omit the herbs if you have a picky eater who doesn't like greens. It's so tasty, with or without
  • Double up and make extra dressing to drizzle more on the side over some hot rice or a platter of fresh vegetables you can use to serve Pla Goong. 
  • If you can't handle the spices, adjust the spice level by controlling the amount of Thai bird’s eye chilis or use sweet pepper instead. 
  • This Thai salad recipe airs on the spicy and sour side. Add extra lime juice for a tangy lime zest flavor. 
  • For a healthier option, use monk fruit sugar instead of regular sugar. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Thai salads
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai