Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

Thai Inspried Prawn Salad
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This Thai Inspired Prawn Salad looks great, tastes amazing and is simple to make. 

I’ve had a number of requests from readers, asking for a new way of serving prawns. This dish may be just what you’re looking for if you want something a little different for the festive season.

What would an Australian summer be like without prawns? Yes, you can certainly throw some on the barbie. I, too, love them that way and will definitely be cooking some on warm, balmy days. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “barbie”, it is Australian slang for barbecue.

However, I’m always on the look-out for simple dishes that don’t require much attention but still have great flavour. This Thai Inspired Prawn Salad meets those criteria. It is a simple salad, quickly and easily prepared. If you wonder how such a simple salad could taste so good the answer lies in the combination of classic Thai flavours. It has all the right flavour notes of sweet, sour and salty with just as much heat, or as little, as you require.

This is a fabulous salad for entertaining, as you can complete the majority of the preparation prior to your guests arriving.

For easy preparation, I prefer to buy locally caught, cooked prawns. Today they were only available in the shell which added about 10 minutes to my preparation time.  I added the shelled prawns to a bowl of finely sliced lemongrass, chilli, shallots and kaffir lime leaves, along with a generous quantity of mint and coriander leaves. I prepare a dressing from coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Toss them together and you have a salad that’s full of flavour.

When entertaining, I prepare the two components and store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To preserve the colour of the herbs it’s best to toss them together at the last moment. I have eaten leftovers, a day after preparation, and they are still delicious, but the dressing has dulled the appearance of the coriander and mint leaves.

This vibrant, tasty, salad will look very impressive on a large platter for your festive celebrations or it will be equally impressive served in individual bowls. For cocktail parties, I like to serve individual prawns with the dressing and herbs on Chinese spoons or on baby cos lettuce leaves.

Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

Although I’m suggesting this delicious prawn salad is ideal for celebrations, it’s also a dish which can you can look forward to, and prepare, even after you’ve had a long day. Such simple food pleasures are a delight to anticipate. Just thinking of the creamy, coconut dressing, the crunchy, salty peanuts, the tang of lime and the heat of the chilli will provide the motivation.

As an added bonus, it is also a healthy dish. Eating healthy foods, that are quickly made, does not mean it’s necessary to deny yourself flavour.

If you like prawns and you like Thai flavours I encourage you to try this lovely salad. Refreshing and spicy, this recipe is a winner! Be sure to give my Thai Chicken Larb, Mushroom San Choy Bow and Vermicelli Noodle Salad a try too!


Xx Alex

Adapted from a recipe by Jill Dupleix in her book “Totally Simple Food”.

5 from 89 votes

Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

This delicious prawn salad is so easy to make that you can even prepare it after a long day. It has all the beautiful Thai flavours that we’ve come to love and I’m sure you will enjoy the refreshing combination of prawns, coconut, lime, coriander and mint. 

Course Appetizer, Entree, Starter
Cuisine Asian Inspired, Thai
Keyword asian flavours, dairy free, delicious, easy, festive, fresh, gluten free, prawn, salad, simple, thai
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 130 kcal
Author Alexandra



  • 16 cooked prawns * medium sized, shelled
  • 1 stalk lemongrass the white part only *
  • 1 long red chilli *
  • 2 shallots * large
  • 3 large kaffir lime leaves *
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves loosely packed


  • 1 tbsp caster sugar superfine
  • 45 ml lime juice
  • 25 ml Thai fish sauce
  • 80 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp salted peanuts finely chopped, optional *
  • lime wedges for serving optional


  1. De-vein the prawns* see the notes below

  2. Set the prawns aside. 

  3. Trim the lemongrass as per the notes below and, as finely as possible, slice the white section only. As lemongrass is quite coarse, I also chop it finely after slicing.

  4. Finely slice the chilli and shallots. When using the long red chilli, for a better appearance, I remove the seeds and membrane.* 

  5. To finely slice the kaffir lime leaves, I fold them firmly in half lengthways, and, with a very sharp knife or cleaver, I remove the central spine. I then slice them as finely as possible. These, too, are very coarse if not cut very finely. 

  6. Combine the lemongrass, chilli, shallots, lime leaves (or zest), mint and coriander in a bowl.

  7. Add the prawns and toss gently.

  8. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut milk and add to the prawns.

  9. Toss lightly and serve scattered with the chopped peanuts if using.

    Serve with lime wedges if desired.

Recipe Notes

*If you buy prawns in the shell, remove the shell. It’s not necessary to leave the tail attached but I think it makes for better presentation. De-vein the prawns. To get maximum benefit from the prawns, the shells and heads are ideal to make into an excellent stock.
* To devein cooked, shelled prawns, run a sharp knife down the back of the prawn from the top to the tail. There is generally a dark vein, although it is sometimes clear. Remove it with the tip of a knife, your fingers or rinse under a tap. If you rinse the prawn, pat dry with a paper towel.
* Choose lemongrass stalks that are firm and unblemished. With a sharp knife or cleaver, remove the leafy top part. Peel off the tough, outer layers of the lemongrass, until you get to the pale, lower section. Use a sharp knife to chop off the root end.
*The heat from long red chillies varies considerably. Check to ensure how hot it is so you can use an amount to suit your taste. The one I am using today is quite hot, which is what I personally prefer. However, they are sometimes very mild. If you want really hot chilli, I recommend you use the small chillies.
*The shallot will look like a small onion. It has a milder, more delicate flavour than an onion. If your shallots are small I suggest you use 4.
*Kaffir lime leaves are readily available, fresh or frozen, from most Asian grocers. If you are not able to find them, substitute with 1 teaspoon of lime zest.
*For larger gatherings, this recipe is easily doubled.
*For cocktail parties, you could serve individual prawns and some dressing on Chinese spoons or leaves of baby cos lettuce. When serving on Chinese spoons, I chop the prawn into 4 or 5 pieces. If serving on cos lettuce, I recommend you place the salad on the leaves at the last moment to avoid the leaves becoming soggy. Or, you could put the salad on a platter, surrounded by cos leaves, and let the guests assemble their own.
*The dressing can be made the day before and refrigerated until needed.
*The salad ingredients can be prepared in the morning, covered with cling wrap and refrigerated until needed.
*It is best to combine the salad and the dressing at the last moment.
*If you’re uncertain that one of your guests may have a peanut allergy, either omit them completely or serve them in a separate bowl.

Nutrition Facts
Thai Inspired Prawn Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 707mg31%
Potassium 280mg8%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Vitamin C 23.8mg29%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

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About the Author


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I'm Alex – a passionate foodie and writer. I love sharing delicious and simple recipes to inspire you in the kitchen. Try a recipe? I'd love to see your creations! #itsnotcomplicatedrecipes

146 Comments on “Thai Inspired Prawn Salad”

  1. 5 stars
    oh this is such a refreshing recipe! I love, love, love your rendition of a thai inspired prawn salad but might i suggest adding a little bit of crushed peanuts to really give it more texture ❤️

  2. I just had our big Thanksgiving meal so i am not hungry yet but this looks great for any get together. We all love prawns and those looked so perfect.

      1. 5 stars
        I love how bright and fresh the salad looks. It has everything that I love — mint leaves, coriander, prawns, and coconut milk. Just the thought of it is heaven.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a very impressive salad and I think it would be a lot of fun to make it for guests. I’m definitely interested in trying the dressing.

  4. 5 stars
    Looking at this make me hungry. I always love Thai food especially their salad as it is very apetizing. I love how you serve on the spoon as the presentation look super cute and pretty. Going to try this out for my Xmas party dinner. I also like how low the calories and healthy.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, it’s a great one for presenting in many different ways! Hope you will love this as part of your festive dinner! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I absolutely love prawns, love the way you’ve combined the flavours. I’ll be giving these recipes a go, i’ll have to let you know how they go x

  6. I’ll be keeping this salad in mind. Especially because I just became a pesactarian and this would be a great way to start a meal or have for a meal.

  7. Oh my goodness my hubby would be in heaven with this salad! I am going to have to trying this soon 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Yum! What a great festive salad. This looks pretty and tasty. I love light dishes for Australia’s hot summer Christmas and holiday periods! Cheers

  9. 5 stars
    YUM this looks amazing! I’m headed to Thailand in January and this is definitely giving me cause to be excited for the amazing cuisine.

  10. I love shrimp and think this recipe looks amazing! I would love to try making this sometime.

  11. 5 stars
    We love Thai inspired food and this salad sounds yummy! Perfect for a side dish or starter too!

  12. 5 stars
    I totally love shrimp and this makes my mouth watering! I’ll have to try this recipe this weekend.

  13. 5 stars
    This looks like a brilliant recipe! I have recently discovered Thai food and flavours so really want to try this out! Thanks for sharing ?? D x

  14. 5 stars
    Ph my gosh this look sos amazingly delicious! Some things I love: Thai food, prawns, coriander, mint. This must be my perfect dish! I really like how you have shown three different ways to present the salad.

  15. Oh yum! We love Prawns and have never tried them like this before. The idea of serving a little portion in spoons is great and perfect for entertaining 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I love how versatile this recipe is, it looks like you can serve it in so many different ways! And all of these herbs must make the dish super fresh – yum!

  17. Good tips at the end on how to make it taste best. I learned the hard way not to add dressing until ready to serve. 😉 This looks great!

  18. your recipes are always amazing, and love all of the different ways this one was presented – definitely perfect for entertaining! xx

  19. 5 stars
    I’m not a big prawn fan but I do really like Thai flavours so I may give this a try. It looks really light and fresh.

  20. Yum, this looks great. I love that this can be an easy dish to serve for company. I am always preparing things when people are over and I like to find things that can be done ahead.

  21. I love salads I make them all the time. This prawn salad would make a nice addition to my repertoire

  22. This looks good. I enjoy Thai flavors and shrimp. Are coriander leaves synonymous with cilantro? I’m not sure where to find Kaffir lime leaves near me, but we should have some Asian markets. I’m in the U.S. (Our word differences may have given that away.) I have two cousins though that spent many of their growing up years in Melbourne and still have their Australian accents years later, living in Maryland, U.S. 🙂

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks so much for stopping by – yes, coriander and cilantro are the same 🙂
      Oh, how lovely! Have you travelled to Australia yourself? I will be visiting the U.S. for the first time next year and I cannot wait!

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  29. This looks absolutely delicious! I cant wait to try it soon. This looks like something my family will love, I like that it isn’t too many ingredients to track down. I will definitely give it a try this weekend.

  30. 5 stars
    I love prawns! It looks like a truly delicious salad and I’d like to try it out soon! It would make a wonderful side dish for a meeting with friends. 🙂

  31. 5 stars
    This recipe looks amazing and it presents so well too! I love the color combination, and I am sure the flavor is equally impressive. I can’t wait to try it out 🙂

  32. 5 stars
    Salad + Prawn?? That sounds heaven to me. I would very much love to try this over the weekend. Hope I can make it as pretty as how you did your plating.

  33. Omg this recipe looks perfect for an upcoming girls night that I am planning! Light and healthy! Can’t wait to try this!

  34. I am a lover of sea food I really can’t control it when I happen to come across prawns meal or any seafood, I have a couple of meals I can’t do without like the Singaporean noodles and prawns, I have pined this page and I will get back to it later, thanks for the ingredients, great post and I will sure pass it on to others.

  35. 5 stars
    I love thai prawn salad! Actually, I love the Thai flavors. Whenever this is served in banquets, I would eat them. haha Never thought of making it though. I might now. 😀

  36. 5 stars
    I love Thai food so it’s always nice to see a Thai-inspired recipe. This looks really fresh and appetising.

  37. This looks delicious … Agh i am alergic to prawns neither I can eat them not I can clean them 🙁

    1. Sania, I am so pleased that you like the look of the prawn salad but sorry that you can’t eat it. I hope that we have some other recipes that you will enjoy. 🙂

  38. I’d love to make a prawn salad. Unfortunately, in my area of the world they’re extremely expensive. But this salad looks delicious!

  39. 5 stars
    Wow! This salad looks amazingly delicious and very enticing too. And my motto is that “When I SEA food, I’m getting hungry”

  40. I love a recipe like this. It’s healthy and so full of flavor. Since I started eating more healthy foods, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that aren’t boring.

  41. It’s Refreshing and fragrant, you can’t beat limes for adding instant zing/ spike to dishes. This prawn salad is a great family dinner when in a rush and for diet conscious.

  42. I am not a huge fan of seafood but I occasionally make some for my family, I just might impress them one of these nights. Thanks for sharing

  43. 5 stars
    I love eating salads in the summer! Nice dish presentation ideas as well. This prawn salad recipe is a keeper. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for the great comments. I am so pleased that you like the different ways in which to serve the prawns. This is one of my favourites and I do hope that you also enjoy it. 🙂

  44. 5 stars
    Wow, this Thai recipe looks so delicious.. I really missed eating prawns.. Thanks for sharing the recipe.. ?

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