Southern Thai Khao Yum, Spicy Rice Salad with Vegetables

Southern Khao Yum, or Spicy Rice Salad with Vegetables 

                                        by Khao Yum Tang Leuak

Nasi Kirabu is ready to eat!

What is Khao Yum? 

This popular and healthy rice dish that spread from Malaysia to the southern part of Thailand has many names. Nasi Kirabu (in Malay) or Khao Yum (in Thai) can be found throughout Thailand. Why is the dish get so popular? Because it's not only DELICIOUS, but also super HEALTHY! This dish is full of a whole lot of healthy stuff all mixed up together. Let's order a dish to see what's in it!

We are back in Thailand for a few weeks as a short break in our travels. I was craving for food as always, and I decided to go check the famous market on Lat Prao Road, TALAD NUT LUNGPERM (LungPerm market). It's heaven for shoppers who love a good bargain on clothes and food.
The covered cafeteria has a HUGE variety of food. The hardest thing is not how to get here, but what to eat! When you are looking around the market, you'll notice that many of the restaurants and shop stalls have won awards and been on TV for their delicious food.

This particular award-winning restaurant only sells two dishes. One is Nasi Kirabu, or Khao Yum (in English it's "spicy rice salad with vegetables"). The other one is rice mixed with shrimp paste (if you aren't used to Thai food, it might sound strange, but trust me it's so GOOD).
So, why is Khao Yum so good and popular? Let me start with the rice. This dish is a mix of five different natural colors of rice, and is cooked with five different colors of vegetables and flowers. The dish is usually served by having everything separated into small separate portions, but today they served it to us all mixed up like a salad.

Other ingredients consist of chopped green beans, fresh and juicy pamelo (a mild and juicy fruit in the citrus family), mango, lemongrass, bean sprouts, shrimp powder, chili, roasted coconut, roasted black sesame, and many different types of herbs.

The dressing, a special sweet sauce, is made out of simmered palm sugar with lots of herbs (lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal). You just have to mix it all up before you eat it like a salad. Just squeeze a slice of lime on top to really bring out all of the fresh flavors.

This dish tastes so fresh and light. It's very healthy, since it's mostly made of fruit and vegetables.

Price: 40 THB

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