YAM KHAI DAO
A salad is an integral part of any Thai meal. In fact, due to the huge variations of flavour profiles, there are often two or more salads in any meal.
The four types of salads in Thai cuisine are Yam, Laap, Dtam and Phlaa.
Of the four salad types, the flavours and textures can be vastly different, so experiment with different proteins and flavour profiles to wind up with a perfectly balanced Thai meal.
A Yam For Every Palate
A journey into the heart of Thai cuisine brings us to the vivacious salad known as Yam.
Yam, in Thai, encapsulates the concept of "mixing" and this is what this delightful salad is all about. A Yam is as diverse and colourful as Thailand's culture itself, allowing an endless variety of main ingredients to take the centre stage. From proteins, vegetables and fruits to herbs, spices and noodles, the world of Yam is unbounded. Moreover, the preparation of these ingredients gives Yam its enchanting versatility.
Whether you prefer the protein pickled, smoked, steamed, or grilled, there's a Yam for every palate.
Yam Khai Dao
With Yam Khai Dao ยำไข่ดาว, it's all about the eggs; the better the eggs, the better the salad. Whether it is organic or free range, get the freshest and best eggs you can buy.
It's also about the dressing with this salad, so NEVER settle for bottled lime juice in ANY Thai salad, especially a Yam, where the taste is so prevalent. Trust me when I say that you CAN taste the difference.
Using bottled lime juice is certainly becoming more prevalent in these days of speed and cost-saving, but there is simply NO replacement for fresh lime juice.
2 tbs (30 ml) fish sauce
2 ts (10g) palm sugar
1 clove garlic
2 red chillies
5tbs (75ml) oil
3 Chinese celery
3 sprigs coriander
1 spring onion
DRESSING: Pound chillies in a mortar until broken up. Add garlic and pound till well combined. Add lime juice and palm sugar and pound until dissolved. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
EGGS: Heat the oil until smoking and shallow fry the warm eggs, basting with hot oil constantly until crispy and just set. Allow to cool slightly before cutting each into 4.
AROMATICS: Thinly slice all of the solid ingredients and combine in a bowl. Add the eggs and the dressing and toss lightly.
SERVE:Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a little coriander and Chinese celery.
PLEASE NOTE: This image is of many fresh ingredients; only some are for use in this particular dish.
When you're next dining on Thai food, be sure to add at least one salad to the meal; often it will be more than one. Yam Khai Dao is certainly one salad to give a try. You will be delighted by the creaminess that the freshly fried eggs give to this dish, as well as the wonderful counter-balance the sour dressing gives. Once you've tried it at a restaurant, give it a try at home, as it is simplicity personified.
This dish has it all and is well worth a try.