Spicy Thai Sweet Leaf Salad

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two bowls of spicy Thai sweet leaf salad with shrimp

Here’s what I found: The leafy green vegetable you see in the photos in this post can either be called sweet leaf, katuk, star gooseberry or sauropus androgynus. Almost all the names sound fine, except for auropus androgynus, don’t you think? Not that it’s wrong, but if I have to call my food that…I might as well not eat it so I can avoid saying and spelling it altogether 😂😂 Why have I chosen to call this vegetable sweet leaf, you might ask. That’s because it has a similar meaning to what we call it in Thai, as ‘pak’ means vegetable and ‘wan’ means sweet.

two bowls of spicy Thai sweet leaf salad with shrimp

Now this Thai spicy sweet leaf salad or yum pak wan is a dish you’ll most likely see on the menu at Thai restaurants IN Thailand. I had to emphasize this as sweet leaf is mostly grown in tropical regions. Although many countries import fruit and vegetables, I don’t think sweet leaf, let alone yum pak wan, has quite caught the international attention it deserves.

If you live in Thailand, you’ll almost always find sweet leaf at your nearest local market, but rarely supermarket. This vegetable is sold in bags. It’s usually 20-25 baht a bag (about 200 grams) and you can make about 2 salads with it. AMAZING THAILAND!

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