Authentic Thai Recipes

:: Spicy Prawn Salad
   (Pla Goong - พล่ากุ้ง)

Pla Goong

Unlike other famous Thai salads, this spicy prawn salad uses fresh herbs like lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and mint to enhance the flavor. The spiciness comes from both roasted chili paste and fresh chilies. There are a couple of ways to cook prawns. Some may boil them and some may grill them. With either technique, the prawns are seasoned with herbs and contain the 3 main tastes of salty, sour and spicy. The vibrant green color of mint and coriander help result in perfect presentation.


  1. Peel and devein shrimp leaving shell on the tail.
  2. Clean and chop coriander and mint.
  3. Clean and remove center vein of the kaffir lime leaves. Cut into thin slices (shredded).
  4. Remove the outer leaves. Clean lemon grass. Cut the bottom off (about 2 inches). Then cut lemon grass into thin slices.
  5. Peel shallots and cut into thin slices.
  6. Clean and remove stems from chilies. Cut chilies into 1/8" thick pieces. Optionally, cut chilies in half to reduce the spiciness.
  7. Clean and pat dry mint leaves.


  1. In a pot, bring water to boil. Add shrimp into the pot. Cook for about 4-6 minutes or until they turn pink. Once they are cooked, remove from the heat immediately and run them under cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the dressing by adding roasted chili paste, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chilies. Taste and adjust the taste to your preference.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add sliced shallots, sliced lemon grass, sliced kaffir lime leaves and shrimp. Toss well to combine.
  4. Add prepared dressing into the mixing bowl. Toss to mix.
  5. Add chopped mint and coriander into the mixing bowl. Toss again.
  6. Serve on a plate. Decorate with mint leaves on top.

  Before Cooking

  • Serving size: 2-3 persons.
  • Shrimp size is 21/25 count per pound. It is a meduim size shrimp.
  • To increase or reduce spiciness, add or lessen chilies.
  • Depending on your taste, start adding 1 teaspoon fish sauce and lime juice at a time and taste it. If you want it saltier and more sour, add more.
  • For vegetarian, omit shrimp and add tofu. Substitute fish sauce with Thai light soy sauce or salt.


1 lb Medium shrimp
1-2 tablespoons Chopped coriander
1-2 tablespoons Chopped mint
2-3 tablespoons Sliced kaffir lime leaves
2-3 tablespoons Sliced lemon grass
2-3 tablespoons Sliced shallots
4-6 Chilies
4-6 leaves Mint
1 tablespoon Roasted chili paste
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 tablespoons Lime juice