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Thai Spicy Tempura Fried Morning Glory Salad

Updated on January 12, 2010

This is a great Thai spicy salad that tosses quickly fried tempura morning glory (pak boon), ground pork and shrimp in a spicy and sweet dressing.

It’s a lot of fun, and if you’ve never had it before, it’s something that’s quite different from other Thai salads.

Although you will have to deep fry the morning glory, with some ready mix tempura flour on hand this step is pretty easy – and the rest of the dish can be put together in about 5 minutes.

Although most yums (spicy salads) in Thailand have a fairly similar sour-salty-spicy-moderately sweet taste profile, this unusual Thai salad breaks with convention a bit and is sweeter than usual.

Thai Spicy Tempura Fried Morning Glory Salad

  • ¼ lb of morning glory (root trimmed) and cut into 2 inch segments all the way up to the leaves
  • ¼ lb of ground pork
  • ¼ cup of raw shrimp, chopped up a bit (use cheap smaller shrimp here – there is no point in paying for size and then chopping it down!)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk
  • Oil for deep frying
  • ½ cup of ready made tempura flour (you can buy tempura flour mix in Asian supermarkets – or if you’d prefer, you can make your own tempura batter as you like it)
  • ¾ cup of ice cold water


  • 2 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 4 Tbls of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbls of sugar
  • 2 Tbls of coconut milk
  • 2-8 Thai bird chilies, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2 Tbls of Thai Chili Paste (available at Asian grocery stores). You can use less if you don’t like spicy food and if you can’t find this, you can omit this ingredient


  1. In a fry pan, heat the coconut milk until it just starts to bubble and then toss in the ground pork and chopped shrimp, and cook stirring, until the meat has cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Mix together all sauce ingredients (taking care to make sure that the sugar gets dissolved). Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice, fish sauce or sugar as needed so that the sauce is salty, sweet and sour…and tasty!
  3. Heat some vegetable oil for deep frying
  4. Mix the tempura flour with the ice cold water and when the oil is hot (375) dip the morning glory pieces in the tempura batter and the fry in batches. The morning glory is cooked as soon as the batter turns golden.
  5. Let the morning glory drain off on paper towels and then arrange the morning glory on a serving plate. Pour the cooked meat and shrimp over the morning glory and then drizzle the sauce over the top of it all.
  6. Serve immediately, so that the tempura stays crisp.


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