In Thailand we separate our food into 4 regions (northern food, southern food, central food and Isaan or North Eastern food). Tum Khao Pod (ตำข้าวโพด) or Thai spicy corn salad takes a lot of influence from Isaan food, which is mostly spicy, light and generally made with fresh, natural ingredients.

There are many kinds of spicy salad in Thailand. The most common one is papaya salad (som tum or ส้มตำ – the recipe is coming soon!). I love that it is so fresh, light, spicy and as added bonus, low calorie and super quick to make.

Thai Spicy Corn Salad

If you order it in Thailand generally they will add dried shrimp and salted egg to it. Also, they’ll use fish sauce. In this recipe, we’ll be using thin soy sauce instead to make it completely vegan.  We use thin soy sauce because it won’t overpower our Thai spicy corn salad as much as regular soy sauce, but it will still give us that umami factor. I usually have the Thai spicy corn salad as a snack, side dish or even main meal. It is delicious served with grilled mushrooms and sticky rice or even regular white rice. Just remember to serve and eat right away after you cook it for the best flavor.


Vegan Thai Spicy Corn Salad (ตำข้าวโพดมังสวิรัติ)

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

5 minutes

Total Time:

15-20 minutes


1-2  portion

Thai Spicy Corn Salad

You’ll need:

  • 1 Fresh sweet corn (medium size)
  • 3-4 Cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 Bird’s eye chillies
  • ½ tbsp Palm sugar
  • 2 tbs. Thin soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. Lime juice
  • 2-3 Whole long bean
  • 2-3 Cherry tomatoes
  • Toasted nuts (for garnish)


  • Cook whole sweet corn in microwave for 5-7 minutes. Or peel all leaves and blanch it in a pot with water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
  • Carefully slice the corn off the cob and set aside.
  • Wash and dry all vegetables
  • Place around the cooking area for an easy access.

Let’s start!

  • In a mortar and pestle add garlic and chilli (you can adjust the chilli amount to your liking). Roughly pound til the ingredients are combined.
  • Add palm sugar, lightly pound and gently grind ‘til the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add green beans keep pounding. Til the green bean break up.
  • Slice and add the tomato. Lightly pound and mix up the mixture.
  • Add lime (you can add the lime with the peel still on as it will add extra fragrance, but you can also leave it out if you prefer)
  • Add thin soy sauce then lastly add the corn.
  • Lightly pound and grind to combine for 2 minutes.
  • Topped with toasted peanut or any nuts for some extra crunch.(I used toasted cashew nut).
  • Serve right away.


  • If you don’t have a mortar and pestle. Don’t worry. You can smash the garlic and chilli with the flat side of a cooking knife. Then mix lime juice, thin soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Pour over the corn, sliced tomatoes and long beans; toss well.
Thai Spicy Corn Salad 2