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Thai Pork Salad Recipe

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Thai pork salad recipe featuring aromatic lemongrass, spicy chilies, and refreshing mint. Tender slices of pork are tossed with fresh herbs and a savory, umami dressing of lemon juice and fish sauce. This healthy dish is the ideal choice for a quick lunch or a light dinner.

Thai pork salad with lemongrass and red chilies, garnished with fresh mint and lime on a banana leaf.

Thai lemongrass pork salad

Thai cuisine is a collection of explosive flavors, and this Thai lemongrass pork salad is the perfect example! In this quick and easy recipe, we skip the marinating and cook the pork with fresh lime juice.

Smiling woman holding a plate of Thai pork salad with lemongrass, mint, and chilies on a banana leaf.

The pork, soaked in fresh lime juice, becomes deliciously tangy and refreshingly zesty

Lemongrass is a staple in Thai cooking and one of the key ingredients for this recipe. You’ll love the way the crisp, citrusy bite of thinly sliced lemongrass melds with the aromatic kaffir lime leaves, coriander, mint, and green onions.

A wooden spoon holding a serving of tender pork, finely sliced red chili, and lemongrass, hovered over a colorful Thai-style salad.

Thai chili peppers like bird’s eye chilies add an intense amount of heat to the salad. If fiery isn’t your jam, just skip the chilies. As for me, I can’t have a Thai dish without a little heat!

To round things off, we’ll toss everything in a tangy dressing with freshly squeezed lime juice, a splash of traditional fish sauce, and just a tablespoon of white sugar for a perfect flavor balance.

Tangy, spicy, sweet, and salty, every bite of this Thai pork lemongrass salad leaves you wanting more!

Close-up of spicy Thai pork salad topped with fresh herbs and spices.

For more authentic Thai recipes with pork, check out my authentic moo dad deaw recipe, Thai pork larb, or grilled pork moo yang recipe.

Choosing the best cut of pork for salad

Everything starts with choosing the right cut of pork. If you prefer a lean and quick-cooking option, go for pork tenderloin. A spicy Thai pork tenderloin salad is a great all-rounder and a great pick for a light salad that comes together quickly.

If you’re after deeper flavors and more richness, choose the shoulders, neck, or butt cuts. These will take a bit longer to cook, but they’re more flavorful and contain a bit more fat.

Close-up of lemongrass pork salad with slices of lemongrass, lime leaves, mint, and red chili peppers.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai pork salad arranged on a banana leaf, labeled with chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime, mint, coriander, green onions, pork, water, fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and white sugar.
  • Pork – You can either make a spicy Thai pork tenderloin salad or opt for other cuts like neck, shoulders, or butt. Tenderloin is lean and cooks quickly, while shoulder or other cuts add more flavor.
  • Chilies – I’m a big fan of spicy food, so I usually add quite a few chilies. Customize the heat to your liking; go wild with bird’s eye chilies, use a milder type of chilies, or keep it mellow without them.
  • White sugar – A bit of sugar is needed to balance out the spicy and tangy flavors.
  • Fish sauce – Fish sauce is a traditional ingredient of Thai cuisine which adds a salty and umami flavor.
  • Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves – If you can, use fresh ingredients. If not, you should be able to find frozen lemongrass and makrut lime leaves at an Asian supermarket
  • Coriander, mint, green onions – Feel free to add your favorite fresh herbs.
  • Water
  • Lime

Preparation tips for this Thai pork salad

  • Lemongrass: Aromatic lemongrass adds a citrus note to this salad, and since we’re not cooking it, it’s best to slice it super thin. Start by trimming an inch off the bottom and top of the stalk, and peel away the tougher outer layers to get to the tender part. Then, using a sharp knife, slice it paper-thin for a citrus flavor in every bite.
Close-up of two hands handling a knife slicing fresh lemongrass into thin strips on a wooden cutting board.
  • Kaffir lime leaves: Kaffir lime leaves bring a unique freshness to Asian cuisine, especially when sliced finely. Here’s a quick hack for slicing kaffir lime leaves: stack a few leaves, roll them up tightly like a cigar, and then finely chop them with a sharp knife.
Three images showing steps of how to slice kaffir lime leaves: a stack of fresh kaffir lime leaves, rolling the leaves, and slicing them into thin strips.

Short recipe video

@hungryinthailand.com

Enjoy a unique and healthy Thai pork salad featuring lime-infused pork, a tangy dressing, lemongrass, and fresh herbs! https://hungryinthailand.com/recipe/thai-pork-salad/ #thaifoodrecipe #thaisalads #thailand

♬ จุ้มแจ้ม – เอ้ย จิรัช

How to make pork lemongrass salad

  1. Combine pork slices with 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a mixing bowl.Top-down view of raw slices of pork with water in a cooking pot.

  2. Then, add water to a pot over medium heat. Add the pork and let it simmer until thoroughly cooked.Overhead view of cooked pork slices in a pot.

  3. Transfer the pork slices to a mixing bowl once cooked. Add white sugar, fish sauce, and the remaining lime juice. Mix thoroughly until the meat is well coated with the flavoring ingredients.Top-down view of cooked pork slices in a large glass mixing bowl.

  4. Toss the pork with the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.Overhead view of pork with herbs and spices in a mixing bowl made of glass.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Cooking pot with spoon
  • Mixing bowl

Recipe variations

  • Protein variations: This Asian pork salad recipe is versatile and can be made with other protein like beef or chicken.
  • Seafood or vegetarian: If seafood or vegetarian options are more your style, shrimp and tofu make fantastic substitutes. Just remember, when using shrimp or tofu, skip cooking with lime juice and opt for plain water instead. Use vegetarian fish sauce for a vegetarian meal.
  • Extra vegetables: Load up your salad with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, bell peppers, or mushrooms for more freshness and an extra healthy meal.
  • Toasted rice powder: Sprinkle on some toasted rice powder for a delightful crunch and some authentic Thai flavor.

How to serve

Serve this quick Thai salad on its own as a nutritious choice for a healthy lunch or dinner. For a more filling and complete meal, pair it with Thai sticky rice. You can also turn it into lettuce cups, similar to larb gai salad lettuce cups.

Alternatively, you can serve as part of a larger meal with other Thai food:

How to store

Transfer the leftover salad to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will remain fresh for up to 3 days.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this in advance?

You can prepare this salad ahead of time by cooking the pork in advance and tossing it with the rest of the ingredients when you’re ready to serve.

Is this salad recipe suited for vegetarians?

You can turn this into a vegetarian salad recipe by substituting the fish sauce for vegan fish sauce, and the pork for tofu.

I can’t find kaffir lime leaves, what do I do?

If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, you can simply omit them.

More Thai salad recipes you’ll love

  • Mushroom larb – A twist on the regular larb recipe with enoki mushrooms.
  • Yum woon sen pork – Traditional Thai glass noodles tossed with minced pork and fresh herbs and spices.
  • Thai pork larb – An authentic larb salad, originating from Northeastern Thailand, Isan.
  • Som tum Thai – Green papaya shreds with yard-long beans, tomatoes, roasted peanuts, and more.

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Thai Pork Salad Recipe

Thai pork salad with lemongrass and red chilies, garnished with fresh mint and lime on a banana leaf.
Tender pieces of cooked pork tossed with a tangy dressing and refreshing herbs.
Praew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course, Salad
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces pork tenderloin or shoulder, bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice 2 x 2 tablespoons
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.8 ounce lemongrass sliced thinly
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves sliced into thin strips
  • 3 chilies to taste
  • 1/3 cup coriander
  • 1/3 cup mint
  • 1/3 cup green onions

Instructions

  • Combine pork slices with 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a mixing bowl.
  • Then, add water to a pot over medium heat. Add the pork and let it simmer until thoroughly cooked.
  • Transfer the pork slices to a mixing bowl once cooked. Add white sugar, fish sauce, and the remaining lime juice. Mix thoroughly until the meat is well coated with the flavoring ingredients.
  • Toss the pork with the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

Video

@hungryinthailand.com

Enjoy a unique and healthy Thai pork salad featuring lime-infused pork, a tangy dressing, lemongrass, and fresh herbs! https://hungryinthailand.com/recipe/thai-pork-salad/ #thaifoodrecipe #thaisalads #thailand

♬ จุ้มแจ้ม - เอ้ย จิรัช

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • The pork can be substituted for chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.
  • Feel free to add your favorite herbs or veggies.
  • For a vegetarian version, use a vegetarian fish sauce and sub pork for tofu.

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