Yum Woon Sen Salad
2 (3-1/2ounce) packages mung bean noodles
(bean thread noodles)
1-1⁄ 2 pounds ground chicken, ground pork,
thinly sliced pork, shrimp or shredded
chicken (your choice)
2 large carrots, cut matchstick style
(about 1 cup)
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1⁄ 2 cup green onion, chopped
1⁄ 2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
1 bunch romaine or spring mix
1 teaspoon chili flakes
7 tablespoons fish sauce
7 tablespoons lime juice
5 teaspoons brown sugar
3 fresh red jalapeno chiles or 3 Thai chiles,
Soak mung bean noodles in warm water for
15 minutes. Drain and cut into short lengths
and place in a bowl. Pour hot water over the
noodles and soak for another 5 minutes.
Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water
to separate the noodles. Let stand in the
colander until ready to use.
Cook chicken, pork or shrimp with a little
water over medium heat. When brown, drain
any excess water, and place in a large mixing
bowl. Let cool 5 minutes.
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Taste for proper balance of sweet, sour, salty
and spicy. Adjust if necessary. Pour dressing
over cooked protein and toss lightly.
Add noodles and stir until well mixed.
Taste and adjust if necessary.
Add carrot, celery, shallot, green onion,
cilantro and 1/2 cup of peanuts. Toss well.
Put lettuce or spring mix on serving plates.
Place noodle mixture on top, and sprinkle with
remaining peanuts and chili flakes.
(Recipe from Nisarat “Poy” Premjai)
TASTES OF THAILAND RESONATE
“This is my dream here,” says Nisarat
“Poy” Premjai, gesturing around the
inviting dining room of Siam, the
Thai restaurant she and her husband,
Adrian Pinter ’03, own and manage
on Market Street in Lewisburg.
Most nights, sidewalk strollers
glance in to see nearly every table filled
with smiling diners plunging chopsticks or forks into tasty arrangements
of carefully spiced vegetables and tofu,
chicken or seafood.
“My husband and I have the same
diet [as is served at Siam],” says
Premjai. “No MSG, and we don’t have
red meat. We offer a lot of gluten-free,
vegetarian dishes and brown rice. We
The menu has resonated with
Bucknellians. Visiting alumni are
delighted to discover Thai food has
found a foothold in their old haunt,
and families flock to the restaurant,
especially during Family Weekend and
New Student Orientation — Siam’s
busiest time, according to Premjai.
Not only is Bucknell central to
Siam’s success, but it is also key to its
origin. In 2003, Premjai was studying
English in northern Thailand when
she met Pinter, a volunteer English
teacher at her university. Pinter is
a Lewisburg native whose father is
Charles Pinter, professor emeritus of
Having already fulfilled her mother’s
dream — to earn an English education
degree — Premjai decided to return
with Pinter to the United States and
chase her own lifelong dream — owning a restaurant.
Growing up in a matriarchal
household with grandmas and aunties
always busy in the kitchen, Premjai
loved to cook from a young age. Her
grandmother owns a Thai restaurant
in Bangkok, and Premjai helped out
during summer breaks from school.
Premjai moved to Lewisburg in
2008, and in August 2011, opened
Siam in a smaller space a few doors
from her present location. Bucknell’s
Small Business Development Center
(SBDC) helped her develop a business plan, and when, in 2013, she
decided to buy the building where
she now lives upstairs and operates
her restaurant downstairs, she again
turned to the center. “The SBDC was
very helpful; they helped me get a loan
from Mifflinburg Bank,” she says.
While some of Siam’s recipes are
based on the food she enjoyed at
home, Premjai gives her own twist to
well-known Thai dishes like Pad Thai
by using tamarind juice instead of vinegar. Cooking classes and visits to her
homeland for a few weeks every year
also provide inspiration for Premjai,
who still cooks at Siam, along with
three other cooks, one from Thailand
and two from Vietnam.
Recently, Siam began offering a deliv-
ery service in Lewisburg, and Premjai is
mulling over plans to add more seating.
“Sometimes on weekends we have to
turn people away, and we can’t take
She appreciates the support she’s
received from the Lewisburg commu-
nity and reciprocates by buying local
ingredients. That means fresh produce
from the Wednesday Farmers Market
to supplement her own small garden
with its Thai basel, eggplant, Thai chili
peppers, cilantro and green onions.
Now six years into realizing her
dream, Premjai recalls the days she was
preparing to open Siam at is original
location. “People would pass by and
say, ‘Thai food? When will you open?’
They’d been waiting for a restaurant
like this to come to Lewisburg for
a long time. I’m glad I made these
people happy.” — Sherri Kimmel