The combination of Thai and Indonesian flavourings produces a fresh-tasting but very spicy salad that is particularly good served at room temperature with grilled scallops. The salad is very easy to make and, because of the high vinegar content, keeps for several days in the fridge.
Large scallops are hard to come by, as most of them are bought by restaurants or exported to France. Buy 3 medium-sized scallops per person, getting your fishmonger to open the shells and detach the meat for you. Never buy frozen or pre-shelled scallops: they just aren’t worth cooking, never mind eating.
More than any other ingredient Thai fish sauce gives that cuisine its characteristic flavour. It can be obtained from most Oriental stores.