Thai Minced Pork And Shrimp Relish (Ma Haw)

Ground meat-based dips and relishes eaten with fresh vegetables have been a staple of Thai cuisine for centuries.

Ivy Manning of Ivy’s Feast joins me today as a guest blogger, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It appears that Ivy is a fan of my Facebook page.

Ivy is an author of two cookbooks: The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Local and The Adaptable Feast. Ivy is a food and travel writer and food stylist based in Oregon.

Her recipes have appeared in Cooking Light, Sunset Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, and other publications. When Ivy joins us today, she’ll be sharing an exceptional Thai meal and going into great detail about some of the most essential Thai ingredients. For your forthcoming summer events, serve this Thai appetizer, known as “Ma Haw” in Thai. Enjoy!

It wasn’t long after my older sister introduced me to Skippy and the joys of dipping pretzels in it that I discovered the joys of pairing sweet and salty-savory flavors.

Because flavors and textures interact on the tongue, food is more than the sum of its parts.

After learning of my fondness for the combination, Rasa Malaysia inquired about a sweet-salty dish during our brief talk.

I immediately thought of THE cuisine (in my opinion) that most masterfully blends enticing flavor combinations: Thai food. We assumed you could work out the pretzel-peanut butter chemistry on your own.

Ma Haw, which translates to “galloping horses” in Thai, is my favorite sweet-salty from Thailand. A minced meat relish is layered on top of the fruit.

Chef Sompon Nabnian, a well-known cooking instructor and author in Chiang Mai, served the first time I tried it. The first time I tried it, I was hooked.

As an appetizer, spicy ground meat dips and relishes served with raw sliced vegetables and deep-fried hog skins have long been a staple of Thailand’s cuisine.

As an alternative to a spicy meat dip, Ma Haw uses fresh pineapple and juicy orange segments as dipping vehicles, focusing on the sweet flavors of palm sugar and fish sauce instead. Minced pork and shrimp, peanuts, and fried shallots provide the texture and taste.

The resulting little morsels deliver a flurry of taste to the tongue, which may explain its charming moniker. It doesn’t matter what you call them; I think you’ll discover that they’re a fantastic way to pique your interest in the hot curries, creamy coconut soups, and crisp salads associated with Thai cuisine.

Please let me give you a little rundown of the components before you begin if you are unfamiliar with Thai cuisine. Cucumber roots are used in place of cilantro leaves because the latter’s flavor is more potent.

The pungent off-white roots of cilantro can occasionally be seen clinging to the base of a bunch of cilantro in Asian markets, although they’re more common in Western grocery stores. If I come across some, I wash and freeze them to use them in my own curry pastes and other meals. The cilantro stems may be used as a substitute in this dish.

When it comes to the sauce used in this dish, the quality of both palm sugar and fish sauce is quite essential. This recipe calls for jarred soft palm sugar rather than UFO-shaped cakes since it is easier to scoop out the sugar.

To make fish sauce, I use the Golden Boy Brand with a cute illustration of a small boy holding a bottle of fish sauce in his arms while sitting on an ocean globe.

You won’t find it murky or caustically salty, unlike some lower-quality brands. Fried sliced shallots, found in plastic jars at Asian grocers in the Vietnamese or Thai food section, are the last touch.

Salads, salad rolls, and even pig curries benefit from their crunchy texture, preserved if stored in a cold, dry location.

What is the average number of calories in one serving?

  • Each serving of this recipe contains only 85 calories.

With this recipe, what are its complementary dishes?

I’ve compiled a collection of recipes that are both healthy and quick enough to prepare on a weeknight.



  • 1/3 cup fried shallots
  • 1/2 pineapple, hard skin trimmed away
  • 2 oz. (56 g) peeled shrimp, deveined (about 1/4 cup finely chopped)
  • 4 oz. (113 g) ground pork
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced cilantro roots,
  • cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns, about 10
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup soft palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 peeled orange, white pith cut away and discarded
  • 2 tbsp. minced red bell pepper


  1. Remove and discard the pineapple’s hardcore. Pieces about 1/4-inch (0.5cm) thick should be cut from the pineapple into bite-sized triangles. Take a half-inch (1cm) thick slice from either half of the orange. Set aside a serving plate of fruit.
  2. Set aside a fine paste made from the cilantro roots, garlic, and peppercorns that you’ve made in a mortar and pestle.
  3. Medium-high heat the oil in a wok. Using hot oil, stir-fry pork and cilantro root mixture until the flesh is no longer pink, around 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the shrimp until it turns white and opaque when tested under a light source. In a small bowl, transfer the contents of the wok.
  4. The wok should be returned to the heat source. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture has thickened and turned golden, add the peanuts and simmer, constantly stirring, for 5 minutes more.
  5. Remove the pork mixture’s fat and discard it. Then add the fish sauce mixture back to the pork mixture in the wok and swirl to incorporate. Toss in the fried shallots and remove from the heat. Garnish with minced red pepper and cilantro leaves and serve right away, spooning the pork mixture over each piece of fruit.


  • At Temple of Thai, you can get Thai foods, cookware, and more.
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