Ploy has gone down with a bad cold; the monsoon season is upon us - we even have a severe weather warning for Saraburi - and she has been out and about at all hours getting customers for her new job. And yesterday, despite looking like death warmed up, she spent the day getting the papers I need to renew my work permit.
So I was once again left to my own devices last night as Ploy dragged herself up to bed, suitably dosed up with pharmacy concoctions. I actually hadn't really planned anything for dinner as I had been working non stop all day (yes really) so I was left looking around the increasingly empty fridge for something to eat. All the easy options had already been taken - sandwiches of various descriptions, cheese eaten, ham eaten, I had tuna for lunch; but then I noticed some moo yaw at the back of the fridge.
Moo Yaw is a pork sausage, usually from Vietnam and the closest thing I can compare it with from the West is polony. As a child I used to love polony, lavished with mustard, which may account for my like of it now.
Yum Moo Yaw is a salad of which the main constituent is not surprisingly, Moo Yaw. The Moo Yaw is easy to prepare, just slice it and boil in a little hot water for a minute or so.
The dressing for the salad is the Thai holy trinity. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 limes into a bowl. Add about the same amount of Nam Pla (fish sauce) or less depending how salty it is, (Nam Pla varies in its saltiness between brands but also batches). Add a little sugar and whisk (I guess if you wanted to be healthier you could try honey; I haven't). Taste and adjust the proportions to your preference.
Chop 7-8 chillies and add to the dressing. Slice one small onion and chop 3-4 spring onions into largish pieces and add to the dressing too. Slice two small tomatoes, removing the pulp and also add. Now add the slightly warm Moo Yaw and top with some chopped coriander. Mix everything together and there you have it. Dinner in seconds. Sometimes I add some mint but I didn't have any so I didn't.
I like to have this with some prawn crackers and yes, I had a beer with it as a treat, I am not a monk. It is impossible to eat this meal without a cold beer.
Thailand has a lot of salads, the most famous being Som Tum which is also probably my least favourite. Instead of Som Tum try Yum Mamuang which is a salad of green mango or Moo Manao, which sliced boiled pork served with raw vegetables and that same salad dressing, (with the chillis of course), or Yum Pla Grob which is a salad topped with pieces of deep fried fish. Often the salads are not shown on the menu but you just have to ask; any Som Tum stall will almost certainly offer Yum Mamuang.
p.s. I believe the Thai word for 'salad' is 'salad'. 'Yum', I believe, means mixed together.
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