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Yum Pla Muk Recipe (Authentic Thai Squid Salad)

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Yum pla muk recipe is that authentic Thai grilled squid salad you’ve been searching for – it’s quick to make and doesn’t skimp on flavor. With a perfectly balanced tangy, sweet, and spicy dressing, it’s basically all the good flavors tossed into one simple, healthy dish.

Yum pla muk, a Thai squid salad with vegetables, served on a porcelain plate, arranged on a banana leaf.

Don’t miss out on some of my best Thai seafood salads! The spicy yum talay and this unbelievably easy pla goong salad.

What is yum pla muk

Yum pla muk is a classic Thai squid salad beloved for its tangy and spicy dressing. This seafood dish combines fresh squid with a zesty dressing, fresh herbs, and spices.


‘Yum’ refers to a hot and sour salad, and ‘pla muk’ is fish in Thai.

Spicy Thai squid salad recipe

Making this Thai squid salad, or yam pra-muek – yam pla muek – yum pla muk , at home is super easy and seriously rewarding. The dressing of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy is a winner every time.

Traditional Thai squid salad, yum pla muk, on a white dish set against a patterned fabric and banana leaf.

Hit up your local Asian market or fish market for the freshest squid – it makes all the difference.

This spicy salad is a staple in Laos and Thailand, and I’ll guide you through how to make it at home.

Close-up of Thai yum pla muk, a spicy Thai squid salad, highlighting the tomatoes, lettuce, and seafood.

Don’t let the spicy and tangy tag scare you. This Thai salad with squid is totally customizable to your heat level and taste.

Not feeling the squid? Swap it out for shrimp or another seafood favorite. It’s all about what you love!

Why try this Thai squid recipe

  • Healthy and delicious: Yam pla muk is a healthy choice; it’s low-kcal, low-fat, and packed with lean protein and nutritious vegetables.
  • Light yet satisfying: It’s the perfect balance of filling but does not weigh you down. Perfect for a healthy lunch or a light dinner.
  • Easy to customize: Whether you like it mild or spicy, this recipe is simple to adjust. Don’t shy away from switching up the vegetables or herbs!
  • Quick recipe: This salad comes together quickly and without too much fuss, perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

Thai yum salad

Thai yum salads, known as ‘yam’ in Thai cuisine, are typically sour, spicy, salty, and sweet.

They often combine proteins like seafood, chicken, or beef, with fresh vegetables and sometimes peanuts.

Check out my collection of yum salad recipes:

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 yum pla muk recipe laid out on a banana leaf: white sugar, fish sauce, squid, lime juice, garlic & chilies, vegetables & herbs.
  • Shrimp – Feel free to customize with your favorite seafood like shrimp.
  • Thai squid salad dressing – Fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and white sugar.
  • Vegetables and herbs – Celery, onion, green onions, tomatoes, carrots, coriander, and garlic.
  • Chilies – Use Thai bird’s eye chilies if you can handle the heat. Opt for a mild type of chili pepper, or remove the seeds for a milder salad. Add to taste.

Cooking instructions

Cook squid

Cooked squid in a pot.

Boil squid for 30 seconds in a pot of water over medium-high heat. Immediately remove the squid from the water to prevent overcooking, which can make it rubbery. Blanch the squid into cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain.

Make the salad

Step-by-step preparation of Yum Pla Muk, showing the progression from fresh chili-garlic mix in a mortar to the final colorful Thai squid salad ready to serve on a banana leaf.

1. Finely crush fresh chilies and garlic with a mortar and pestle.

2. Transfer the spice mix to a large mixing bowl and mix in the dressing ingredients (fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and white sugar) until well combined.

3. Toss in cooked squid pieces and thoroughly mix with the dressing and spices.

4. Combine the dressed squid with the vegetables and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Kitchen tools

  • Mortar and pestle for pounding the spices.
  • Large mixing bowl for tossing the salad.
  • Pot and colander for cooking the squid.

Recipe Tips for the best salad

  • Don’t overcook seafood: Overcooking squid will make it tough and rubbery, cook it just right.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Fresh squid is key, as well as using crisp vegetables and fresh herbs.
  • Balance the flavors: Thai cuisine is all about creating a perfect balance of flavors. Make sure to taste as you combine the dressing and adjust the flavors if needed.

How to serve

Serve Thai squid salad fresh, right after tossing it. Serve with sides like Thai sticky rice and pad mee – a simple noodle stir-fry.

Garnish with your favorite herbs, add a sprinkle of crushed nuts, offer a lime wedge, and extra chilies for those who like it spicy.

How to store

For the best taste and crunch, yum pla muk is best enjoyed fresh. If you’ve got some leftovers, seal them up in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Aim to finish it off by the next day – it’s still pretty tasty then!

Frequently asked questions

Can I make yum pla muk ahead of time?

You can chop the veggies ahead and toss before serving.

What does Thai squid salad taste like?

Thai squid salad, known as yam pla muk, is a mix of sour and tangy, sweet, spicy, and salty. The squid provides a tender yet slightly chew, with crisp vegetables adding freshness and crunch.

Can I use frozen seafood?

It’s best to use fresh seafood. You can use frozen as a last resort, thaw it properly and ensure it’s fresh before using.

More authentic Thai salad recipes you’ll love

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Yum Pla Muk Recipe (Authentic Thai Squid Salad)

Yum pla muk, a Thai squid salad with vegetables, served on a porcelain plate, arranged on a banana leaf.
This yum pla muk recipe make a delicious authentic Thai squid salad with crisp vegetables and fresh herbs. Pair with sticky rice to mellow down the spiciness.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Salad
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces squid
  • 0.7 ounces celery
  • 2.1 ounces onion
  • 0.35 ounces green onions
  • 0.17 ounces coriander
  • 1.7 ounce tomatoes
  • 0.35 ounces carrots shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 chilies add to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar

Instructions

COOK SQUID

  • Boil squid for 30 seconds in a pot of water over medium-high heat. Immediately remove the squid from the water to prevent overcooking, which can make it rubbery. Blanch the squid into cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain.

MAKE THE SALAD

  • Finely crush fresh chilies and garlic with a mortar and pestle.
  • Transfer the spice mix to a large mixing bowl and mix in the dressing ingredients (fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and white sugar) until well combined.
  • Toss in cooked squid pieces and thoroughly mix with the dressing and spices.
  • Combine the dressed squid with the vegetables and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline
  • This recipe is easy to customize with your favorite vegetables and herbs.
  • Adjust the spice level to your taste.

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