Citrus-Infused Crumbled Duck Egg Yolk Salad (ไขเค็มพล่า; Khai Khem Phlaa)

By: Hanuman
🔊 Listen to the Thai name pronunciation
Rich, briny duck egg yolks, cured to a golden hue, blend with fish sauce, sugar, and citrus juices for a silky, mousse-like texture with a vibrant, crisp finish.

This vibrant salad combines the richness of crumbled duck egg yolks with the zesty notes of citrus and aromatic herbs.

Set against a backdrop of aromatics, the crumbled essence of cured duck egg yolks glow in a delicate orange-gold shade, evoking a shimmering sunlit dawn. The cured yolks bestow a rich, briny base that acquires even deeper undertones when seasoned with fish sauce and sugar. This base takes on a luxuriously silky texture, reminiscent of a finely whipped mousse, when mixed with juices of lime and kaffir lime, which also give the mix a crisp, clean citrusy finish.

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In a playful touch, thin slices of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, garlic and juliennes of young ginger add layers of citrusy and allium flavors. Furthermore, bitter orange peel and segments of bitter orange fruit contribute vibrant pops of bitter-sweet tartness. Last, thinly sliced bird’s eye chilies provide gentle spikes of heat and a sprinkle of coriander leaves and red chili slivers adorn the top with a snap of color and herbal aroma.

Based on a 1933 recipe by Mrs. Samaknantapol (Jeep Bunnag) (นางสมรรคนันทพล, จีบ บุนนาค), this dish can be served as a salad or relish in traditional Samrub menu designs. While it’s called pla (salad), it has a relish-like texture and its preparation and bright citrus aroma is reminiscent of the kapi pla relish (กะปิพล่า; gabpi phlaa) recipe from Princess Jongjittanom Dissakul (อาหารของโปรด ของหม่อมเจ้าจงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล).

Citrus-Infused Crumbled Duck Egg Yolk Salad (ไขเค็มพล่า; Khai Khem Phlaa)
Rich, briny duck egg yolks, cured to a golden hue, blend with fish sauce, sugar, and citrus juices for a silky, mousse-like texture with a vibrant, crisp finish.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Chili Relish
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4


  • 3 raw salted duck egg yolk (ไข่แดงเค็มดิบ) crumbled to almost powder (add some of the whites if not salty enough)
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass (ตะไคร้) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด) sliced into hair-thin juliennes
  • 1 tablespoon shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon young ginger (ขิงอ่อน) sliced into thin juliennes
  • 1/2 tablespoon bitter orange peel (som.saa)(ผิวนส้มซ่า) thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons bitter orange (som.saa)(ส้มซ่า) sliced into segments
  • three colors of chilies – red, green, yellow and chilies (พริกสามสี) thinly sliced


  • 1 part kaffir lime juice (น้ำมะกรูด)
  • 1 /12 parts lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
  • 3/4 part granulated sugar (น้ำตาลทราย)
  • 1 part fish sauce (น้ำปลา)

Garnish with:

Serve with:

  • fresh vegetables (ผักสด)


  • Boil the duck eggs.
  • Crumble the salted duck egg yolks.
  • Combine the crumbled yolks with kaffir lime juice, lime juice, granulated sugar and fish sauce at the ratios indicated.
  • Mix until a creamy consistency is achieved.
  • If desired, include some of the minced egg whites.
  • Add the aromatics – lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, garlic, young ginger, bitter orange peel and bitter orange fruit segments. Reserve some of each to include in the toppings.
  • Add Thai bird’s eye chilies.
  • Garnish with julienned red long chili and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with fresh vegetables
Keyword chili relish, naam phrik, nam prik (น้ำพริก)
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