Thum Maak Thang: Lao Cucumber Salad


Lao cucumber saladThum Maak Thang (Lao Cucumber Salad)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: o minutes

Thum loosely means “mash or pound together.” The great thing about this recipe is that you can use a papaya (original), cucumber, carrots, or even cooked rice noodles as the main ingredient to make thum-anything. I “splurged” and went ahead and bought the $3 blue shredding tool (trust me, it’s awesome!) at the Asian store to make my life a bit more easier as authentic Lao cooks would use a knife to shred. If you can’t get your hands on padek (fermented fish sauce), you can use fish sauce if that’s what you have on hand but be sure to add sparingly and taste as you go!

Ingredients (serves two hungry adults)

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Thai chili pepper (may adjust according to spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and shredded
  • 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ofย padek
  • Cooked sticky or Jasmine rice or cooked rice noodles
  1. Pound the garlic, chili pepper, shrimp paste, and salt in a mortar with a pestle into a chunky paste or until you can smell the garlic.
  2. Add a small handful of shredded cucumber along with the tomatoes and lightly mash with the paste.
  3. Add the rest of the cucumber and continue to lightly mash with the help of a spoon to get the bottom juices to the top.
  4. Juice the lime, add the sugar and continue to lightly mash to get the bottom juices mixed completely with the cucumber.
  5. Addย padek to the cucumber mixture and taste.
  6. Serve with your favorite meat and rice or noodles.

TheLaotianCommotion.com - thum maak thang lao cucumber salad
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If you need SE Asian inspiration, see other recipes here for Lao Food

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11 thoughts on “Thum Maak Thang: Lao Cucumber Salad

    • Thank you, Nye! It was pretty good for a Lao amateur!

      For some reason, this batch of chili peppers from the Asian market is really spicy and one is good enough for both me and my husband! Sad, I know! Especially from the girl who puts about 1/2 cup of chili sauce in her pho! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I look forward to reading more from your posts, please be sure to come back for a blog visit. I appreciate it!

    • Hehe, I sure did have kao niew! We didn’t have BBQ chicken but made chicken breasts. Not the same but it worked. I am hoping to work up a post about Lao BBQ marinade… oyster sauce, lemon grass, you know… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Lao tum som is the best! ๐Ÿ™‚ Tum cucumber has a very unique sweet taste which I like. I also like the mixed tums too, like tum carrot and cucumber and thai/lao eggplant. Extra chilies for me please. Kfc make good bbq chicken alternative. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love your blog!

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