Shrimp namtok

Shrimp Namtok
Namtok means waterfall in Thai. Why then would a grill beef salad be called that? I’ve heard stories that the way the juices from the meat is cooked with the sauces looks like a waterfall, hence the name. In any case, I love having beef namtok in the summer. A filling cooling salad with taste!

For this healthy kick I’m on, I will say I haven’t had much salad. I actually really hate salad. Unless, of course, it’s an Asian salad my mother makes me. Alas, the sad thing about being an adult is that I live far from her. Probably for a good reason. Nagging Asian mothers can be a bit much to handle but the food…glorious!

Since I’ve been on my diet, I haven’t had much beef. Instead, I’m stocked up with fish and seafood. And my mother had mailed me some laab/namtok powder that’s quite hard to find in New York City (REALLY!).

So with just a few ingredients, I made a version of nam-tok. Shrimp namtok.


  • 10 shrimps, cleaned and deveined
  • 1-2 cups of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of red mint – you can get them at the Asian market normally
  • 1/4 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp of the laab/namtok powder
  • 1/3 of lime, squeezed
  • PAM

Optional ingredients

  • 1 stalk of scallion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh chili pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 of red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green or sweet mango

Raw ingredients. As you can tell, I’m missing red mint, which makes it takes amazing!

PAM is a great alternative for oil in many cases. Such as this where we’ll need it to grill the shrimp. Use the laab/namtok package wisely. It can burn your tongue. I’ve tried it first hand.

Make sure when you’re “grilling” them, you give them space. It’ll only take a few minutes on medium heat to turn the shrimp red. If you like it charred, keep it on the stove longer.

Add fish sauce, vinegar, laab/namtok powder, lime juice, salt and sugar to taste. Then mix well!

The best part is serving it on the salad with the other veggies and for a roasty taste, I added a dash of crushed toasted rice. I don’t like soggy salad so make sure you eat it right away! I’ve been using for over a year now to keep track of my food and recipe. And putting all the food in, it came out to about only 100ish calories!

But please PLEASE, fair warning, the laab-namtok powder is REALLY SPICY! Do not use a lot of it unless you plan to feed 50 people. The first time I made this recipe, I was about to cry, it hurt so much. Even my roommate wouldn’t eat it and she LOVES spicy food. So for the adventurous and spice lover, I hope you like this recipe.