The word ‘yum’ means delicious in English however in Thai it means a yummy tossed spicy sauce dressing into a salad noodle bowl.
The word “salad” is translated as “yum” in Thai but the taste and its looks are not the same as a western salad with a variety of vegetables served with different kinds of dressing. The Thai version adds many different kinds of herbs and it’s spicy.
“Yum” is “Spicy Salad”. Most yum-type dishes are spicy, sour and a little sweet. They are a bit challenging even for those who love spiciness but can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.
There are many kinds of yum. Yum usually consists of a type of meat or seafood and basically lemon juice, fish sauce, chilies and other vegetables. With the added flavours of seasoning then you will have a great yum.
Thai people usually eat yum as an appetiser. Some people use it as a type of food which you eat along while drinking. It’s not common to have yum as a part of main meal although it can be eaten with rice.
For example Yum Tua Plu or wing bean shrimp salad (pictured) is normally served with rice, a shared dish is placed in the centre of the table and guests take a spoonful onto their plate to eat as they like.
It is made from Thai winged beans, but long green beans can be used instead. The flavour is of coconut, both from coconut milk in the liquid and from desiccated coconut added to the salsa at the end.