During summer vacation in Thailand, my sister and I would visit our relatives at a coastal community in Southern Thailand. Many mornings we would visit the local market to buy fresh fruits and vegetable, and also fish just off the fishing boats. There were also prepared dishes, including one of my favorites – Thai rice salad, or “khao yum,” which is steamed rice served with vegetables and fresh herbs. My favorite was with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ground toasted coconut, ground dried shrimp, long beans, sour green mango, and pomelo served with a dressing called “nam budu” made from pickled fish mixed with salt.
Here’s a Southern Thai-inspired rice salad recipe that uses pad Thai sauce. You can add your own vegetable or whatever you have on hand to share with your mom!
WATCHAREE’S pad Thai sauce (for dressing)
3 cups of cooked rice
1 cup of coconut flakes, roasted and ground
1 cup carrots, julienned
½ cup, green mango, shredded
1 cup green beans, sliced
½ cup lemongrass, diagonally sliced
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup walnuts
5-10 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonaded
Edible flowers (optional)
Dried red chili (optional)
Arrange cooked rice in a bowl. My favorite is Thai jasmine rice cooked using water that is infused with butterfly pea flowers and a few drops of lime juice to change the color from purple to blue. Substitute jasmine rice with brown rice, Thai riceberry, quinoa or cauliflower rice.
Arrange the rest of vegetables on top of your rice bowl. You can substitute ingredients with your favorite vegetables such as zucchini or cucumber.
Add edible flowers if you have them and serve with WATCHAREE’S pad Thai sauce. Mix all ingredients and pad Thai sauce together. Enjoy!