This easy pork salad recipe with yam beans, aromatic Southeast Asian herbs and peanuts is a light, refreshing dish with fragrance, texture, crunch, and spicy pork flavours. Made with yam beans or jicama, it’s the latest in our Cambodian salad recipes series and it’s fantastic on its own or part of a Southeast Asian feast.
This super-easy pork salad recipe with yam beans, aromatic Southeast Asian herbs and peanuts makes another of Cambodia’s best salads and it’s next in our series of Cambodian salads that we are recipe testing for one of our Cambodian cookbooks. It’s not only incredibly delicious, it’s also super-easy to make.
So far, we’ve published Cambodian salad recipes for the Cambodian minced pork larb (yes, we love our pork) called laab sach chrouk and a Cambodian grilled beef salad, nhoam sach ko. In the week ahead we’re publishing a few more classic Cambodian salad recipes for green mango salad with smoked fish, a green papaya salad with dried shrimp and peanuts, and a banana flower salad with chicken, and we have a lot more to come.
If you enjoy this pork salad recipe with yam beans recipe and our other Cambodian salads, please consider supporting the work that we do here on Grantourismo by becoming a patron of our epic Cambodian cookbook and Cambodian culinary history on Patreon. This original project documents the stories and recipes of Cambodian cooks for the first time and you can support it for as little as the price of a cup of coffee (or a Cambodian salad!) a month.
Easy Pork Salad Recipe with Yam Beans and Aromatic Southeast Asian Herbs
This pork salad recipe with yam beans is so incredibly delicious but it’s also very healthy. Yam beans or jicama are known for their abundance of vitamins, fibre and minerals and can be eaten raw and cooked. Local cooks in Cambodia love yam beans. Yam beans are used in salads to add crunch, as well as in deep fried spring rolls.
Yam beans are also eaten on their own, as are other root vegetables, such as sweet potato and purple taro. While jicama, which is used more than ‘yam bean’ here in Cambodia, is used as a vegetable while it’s young in many Southeast Asian recipes, it’s important to note that the more mature yam pods are highly toxic and should never be eaten raw.
While we think of yam beans or jicama as being very Southeast Asian, interestingly, one of the best known dishes using pork tenderloin and jicama is a dish from the Yucatán in Mexico. In this pork tenderloin with jicama, avocado and red onion dish, jicama is used as a salad dressed with lime juice and grapefruit juice.
So half a world away from Southeast Asia there’s a dish that’s similar to this Cambodian pork salad recipe with yam beans. Making those discoveries is what we love about researching culinary history.
You can find yam beans or jicama in recipes across Southeast Asia, as well as outside the region, which is why a good place to look for them is in Asian supermarkets around the world, despite their roots (sorry) being in Latin America.
Tips for Making this Pork Salad with Jicama Recipe
If you can’t find yam beans and still want to make this easy pork salad recipe with yam beans, jicama is very similar in taste and texture to a slightly unripe green apple – but note that you’d have to add your julienned apple to a salad at the last minute to avoid discolouration.
You can use pork shoulder for this easy pork salad recipe. The extra fat content is fantastic. However, a brined pork loin with the marinade is very tasty and the loin lends itself better to getting even thin cuts of the finished pork.
The food safety recommendations from the USDA and the National Pork Board in the USA lowered the minimum temperature of pork several years ago to “63˚C followed by a three-minute rest time”. I cook it a little less, say 60˚C and it comes up to 63˚C after a short rest in a warm spot in the kitchen.
The result is way more juicy and tender than cooking it so it’s no longer pink inside. A good instant-read meat thermometer makes this so much easier – and is a kitchen essential of home cooks.
Pork Salad Recipe with Yam Beans and Aromatic Herbs
- 200 g pork tenderloin
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp palm sugar - crushed
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 g yam bean - jicama
- 70 g carrot
- 70 g cucumber
Mixed Salad Herbs
- ¼ cup mint
- ¼ cup Thai basil
- ¼ cup Holy basil
- ¼ cup coriander
- 2 limes - juiced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp palm sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts - unsalted, coarsely ground
- Brine the pork with salt and sugar for at least an hour.
- Dry the pork off. Mix together the fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic, chilli powder and vegetable oil and marinate the pork for at least 1/2 an hour.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and grill on a BBQ. Paste the pork with the marinade as it cooks. Cook to your liking, but we stop cooking at 60˚C, with a final internal temperature of 63˚C after resting. Rest the pork under foil on an oven tray. Once it’s cooled down, slice the pork loin thinly.
- Peel the yam bean, carrot, and cucumber (optional, we like the cucumber skin) and julienne them to around 7cm length.
- Combine the mixed salad herbs with the vegetables and pork and dress with the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.
- Garnish with peanuts before serving.
Do let us know if you make our easy pork salad recipe with yam beans or jicama as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.