This easy Thai corn salad recipe makes a fantastic filling salad that is the perfect light summer lunch or an ideal side for dinner when paired with spicy Thai fried chicken. Our recipe makes a simple tossed salad that’s based on a popular Bangkok som tam style pounded salad.
Summer for me means corn season and time to binge on my favourite Southeast Asian and Mexican corn dishes made with locally-grown seasonal corn. Cambodian corn comes in all kinds of colours and forms, from a pale lemon-coloured corn that is stodgy and chalky, which I really don’t like at all, to this sweet firm yellow corn that I could binge on until I grew husks.
Our easy Thai corn salad recipe makes fantastic use of our seasonal corn here in Cambodia, making a light yet filling salad that is perfect for a sultry summer lunch in between swims. It’s also ideal for a casual dinner as a side dish for spicy Thai-style fried chicken – which is exactly what we tucked into last night. Recipe for the fried chicken coming very soon.
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Now let me tell you about this easy Thai corn salad recipe.
Thai Corn Salad Recipe for a Filling Summer Lunch or a Perfect Side for Thai Style Fried Chicken
Our easy Thai corn salad recipe makes a simple tossed salad inspired by a popular Bangkok som tam style salad that’s pounded in a mortar and pestle. While we do love a good som tam – I’m publishing a classic Thai som tam recipe here on the weekend – for us, this salad works best as a tossed salad.
Like all great salads, this Thai corn salad recipe requires fantastic fresh ingredients, so do try to get hold of corn on the cob if you can. If you can’t – if corn is not in season in your neck of the woods, or you’re in lockdown – canned corn kernels would do the trick. Canned beans and tinned carrots will not.
I nearly always do my corn the same way, whether we’re eating it off the cobs or in cups or as a salad – typically, I’ll do all three ways over a few days! – and that’s doing it on a griddle pan if we’re cooking inside or grilling it on the clay brazier if we’re cooking out.
It would therefore be rare that I’d char one ear of corn on its own as we specify in this recipe. Rather, I might do four or six pieces and split them over several meals, as corn lasts well in the fridge and can always be revived by popping it back on the griddle pan or tossing it in a wok.
Tips to Making This Thai Corn Salad Recipe
Just a couple of tips for making this Thai corn salad recipe as it’s super easy. If you can grill your corn cobs over an open flame, go for it, so you have those fabulous smoky aromas as well as the pretty char marks. Since we’ve lived in Siem Reap, Terence has grilled over a traditional clay brazier on our balcony just as most Cambodians do at home and street food vendors do on the streets.
Terence loves these coconut charcoal BBQ briquettes for the brazier. When we can’t grill outdoors if it’s too hot or raining, he will often use this stovetop Korean BBQ grill pan. I like to use the griddle pan that I linked to above on the stove. If we were back home in Australia,Terence would be using one of these outdoor barbecue or grills.
Definitely cook your corn first then while it’s cooling make your dressing and set it aside so that the flavours meld together. Don’t pour it over the salad until the last minute, as you don’t want everything soggy. If you don’t mind soggy, keep in mind that while we love to make this Thai corn salad recipe as a tossed salad, you could always pound it as you would a som tam in a mortar and pestle.
Thai Corn Salad Recipe
- 1 corn cob
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tbsp creamy palm sugar
- 150 g cherry tomatoes halved
- 60 g long beans chopped into 5cm pieces
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 large mild red chilli finely sliced
- 1 purple shallot finely sliced
- 1 handful of fresh coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
- Remove the corn husk and silk threads, wash the corn cob, pat it dry, then grill it on a dry skillet pan over medium-high heat, turning it every few minutes, so that it’s nicely charred on all sides. It should take around 10-15 minutes to cook. Then transfer to a cold oven tray to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, make your dressing by stirring the fish sauce, lime juice, chopped garlic clove, and creamy palm sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved, then set aside so the flavours meld together.
- Stand the corn cob upright in a salad bowl, and using a knife, start at the top of the cob and slice the corn kernels off as close to the core of the cob as you can. Work your way around the cob until you’ve removed all the kernels.
- To the salad bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, green beans, grated carrot, red chilli, purple shallot, 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts, and a handful of coriander, and combine.
- Just before serving add the dressing, and combine, then plate and garnish with more peanuts and fresh coriander and eat straight away.
Please do let us know if you make this Thai corn salad recipe in the comments below, as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.