Wing Bean Salad with Seafood (Yam Tua Pou Tha-lay)

Wing Bean and Seafood Salad (Yam tua pou Tha-lay) is a central Thai dish featuring “wing beans” which are blanched and tossed with coconut milk, roasted chili paste, toasted coconut, tamarind, palm sugar and peanuts. If you can’t get wing beans where you are, they can be substituted with green beans or snap peas.

  • 2 cups wing beans 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut 
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts 
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk 
  • 1 tbsp lime juice 
  • 2 tbsp roasted chili paste 
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste 
  • 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tsp palm sugar 
  • vegetable oil for frying the shallots 
  • 3-4 small dried chilies 
  • 2-3 medium sized shrimp 
  • 2 tbsp shallots (1 tablespoon if you use pre-fried shallots)
  1. Slice the fresh coconut meat into match-stick size strips, about 1″ (2cm) long. 
  2. Remove the skin of the shallots and slice thinly. 
  3. Roast the coconut on medium heat in a dry pan until light brown. Keep stirring so it does n’t burn. Set aside on a flat plate to cool. 
  4. If your peanuts are not already roasted, dry roast them now like you did the coconut. 
  5. Crush the peanuts with a stone mortar and pestle or the side of a heavy knife. 
  6. Fry the shallots in enough vegetable oil to cover them on medium heat until golden brown. Be careful not to burn. 
  7. Remove before dark brown as they will continue to cook for a minute or two once removed from the pan. 
  8. Fry the chilies in the oil until browned. 
  9. Boil the eggs in water until hard-boiled, about 10 minutes. Replace the hot water with fresh cold water to stop the cooking. Peel and slice however you wish (halved, quartered, or sliced thin). 
  10. Clean the shrimp by peeling off the heads and legs, and removing the “vein” (intestine), but leave the tail on. 
  11. Trim off the ends of the wing beans and boil whole in salt water for less than a minute just enough time to turn a darker green. You want them to still be crisp and crunchy. Rinse in cold water and slice into 1/4″ pieces. 
  12. Heat the coconut milk in a pan until boiling. 
  13. Add the shrimp and cook until pink. 
  14. Turn off heat and add the palm sugar, tamarind paste, roasted chili paste, lime juice, fish sauce, peanuts and coconut. Mix well. 
  15. Add the wing beans and mix. Remove to a plate and arrange the eggs along side. 
  16. Garnish with the fried shallots and chilies.
  • There are a few variations on this dish which include adding small pieces of boiled chicken or pork along with the shrimp. 
  • If you cannot get fresh coconut where you are, or are too lazy to do that step, do not substitute for the dried coconut in the baking section of the supermarket. It's better to just leave it out. 
  • It's essential to use good brands of coconut milk from Thailand. If you're using homemade coconut milk use just the cream (hua kati).