Yam kao (Thai rice salad)

    25 mins

    This is a perfect dish to have if there is leftover jasmine rice. Not much cooking is involved; it's mostly a gathering of ingredients to make a very fragrant and refreshing salad.


    Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Thailand
    5 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • For the dressing
    • 100 g salted and dried mackerel, or other salted bony fish
    • 500 ml water
    • 150 g palm sugar
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
    • 2 cm piece galangal, peeled and sliced
    • 3 shallots, sliced
    • 5 kaffir lime leaves
    • For the rest of the salad
    • 3-4 cups cooked leftover rice
    • 8 French beans, sliced thin
    • 1/2 stalk lemongrass, sliced paper thin
    • 40 g dried fish, such as mackerel, minced
    • 1 handful watercress, stemmed and washed
    • 60 g toasted coconut flakes
    • 5 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
    • 2 limes, skins removed and minced; also reserve the juice
    • Roasted ground chillies to taste

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:5min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. To make the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook the ingredients at a simmer until the liquid becomes thick. Strain the liquid, discard the solids and cool.
    2. To get the rest of the salad together, mix all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and gently toss to incorporate.
    3. When the salad is mixed, taste and add enough roasted chillies to meet your level of spiciness. To serve, simply place on a communal plate.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    The dressing is the only thing we used in the recipe. My wife is from Thailand and she said it tasted just like the real thing. For the salad, you can use any assortment of vegetables and fruits, as long as there are good combinations of sweet, savory, soft and crunchy. And by the way it's Khao Yam, not Yam Khao, but thanks for the dressing, it's not typically for what ingredients you can find in Europe, but works great with the sauce.  -  14 Feb 2015