Yam is a Thai word for Salad. Yam Woon Sen usually combines dried or fresh prawns and minced pork with this thin Asian vermicelli noodles ( or glass noodles) mix with a uniquely fragrant dressing. The glass noodles are made from mung bean starch and are popular in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. They come in dry white bundles. Once cooked, they are transparent with a texture like jelly. They absorb all the flavours from the dressing.
This dish is usually prepared extremely spicy when eating in Thailand. It is sometimes overwhelming and losing the subtle flavours from the prawns and vegetables.
My dressing's recipe here still preserves the traditional Thai flavours of the dish but tones down the degree of spiciness. It is a great starter to a Thai meal.
For the salad
A small bundle of glass noodle ( 100g)
1 cup of cooked prawns ( I prefer to boil them and preserve the cooking water for dressing)
1 cup of cooked minced pork
2 spring onions, slice into 2cm length
2 Chinese celeries or normal celeries roughly chopped
Iceberg lettuce to serve
For the dressing
1 big red Thai Chilli (Prik Shee Fah)
1 tsp Thai pickle garlic ( or a small pickle onion )
3 coriander roots ( or 1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 Thai rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp of Thai fish sauce
For the dressing
Bash chilli, coriander roots, pickle garlic in a mortar. Scoop it out put it in a small saucepan.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil on a gentle heat. Take it off the heat and set a side to cool.
For the noodles
Soak the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes. Then boil it for 2 minutes. Drain well.
Assembling the salad
Mix the dressing with the noodles.
Add the prawns and pork
A few spoonfuls of the preserved Prawn cooking water
Then add the salad and mix gently. Serve immediately.