Recipe: Yum Salad, Laotian Style Salad

Recipes by Tina Carroll

With all the food shows on television and the abundance of “foodporn” on the internet I’m inspired to start cooking however, my culinary skills are not quite at expert level. I turn to my sister, of course. She is great at cooking and loves to do it. She’s one of those ladies who will feed you when you visit her and when you do, she’ll cook for an army. I suppose growing up in a large family, we got used to cooking for a crowd.


Yum salad is a Laotian style salad with a heavy dressing. It’s not your typical grazing type food for dieters. You will get full eating it. There are different variation of this dish, beef can be substituted with pork, chicken or whatever you like. The dish is defined by the dressing, which has all the traditional Lao cuisine flavors combining sweet, savory, and salty in a single bite.

Here is Tina Carroll’s recipe for Yum Salad. Enjoy.

Serves: 4 to 6 people
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes



  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, torn
  • 2 large tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, approximately 1 bunch
  • 1/2 cup green onions (optional)
  • 1 pound of beef, sliced thinly or ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, whites sliced for salad, yolk mashed for dressing


  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)


  1. Add vegetable oil to a skillet and stir fry beef for about 10 minutes or until brown, adding salt for taste. Drain excess fat and juices.
  2. Hard boil 6 eggs, then separate the whites from the yolk. Slice the egg whites and set aside yolk for dressing.
  3. Loosely cut or tear lettuce and cilantro. Halve/slice cucumbers and tomatoes into large pieces. Slice green onions into approximately 2 inch pieces.
  4. Toss all vegetables and cooked beef into a large bowl.
  5. For the dressing, mash the egg yolk that was set aside previously. Add fish sauce, lime juice, crushed roasted peanuts, fried garlic, sugar, mayonnaise and mix into a creamy consistency. Add more salt, lime or sugar to adjust for taste if needed.
  6. Dress the salad and toss. Keep in mind, this style of salad is heavily dressed and can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Variation – For a creamier dressing add an extra 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and mix dressing in blender. Beef can be substituted with pork or chicken and can be boiled instead of stir fried.


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