Thai Rice Salad with Nasturtiums & Sardines Recipe
Kao Yum Pak Tai, Southern Thai rice salad with edible flower and sardine
Photograph by Pranee
I grew up in the Southern region of Thailand, the origin of the Thai rice salad Kao Yum and my grandmother was a pro. I have several versions for my classes. I am a gardener and I planted some nasturtium for Kao Yum. That was when I planned to write this recipe, and today is a perfect time. I have cooked rice, fried sardines, dill and cilantro in my fridge and the nasturtiums are at their peak in my garden. Quick and easy Thai dish I put together in the summer day. It is a cool dish, so there is no cooking require. This is a versatile recipe that you can adjust to your needs as there is no wrong way of making it. If the sardines are omitted, then I serve grilled salmon on top. There are so many creative ways to use this recipe.
First, the fish is very important part of this recipe, but you may use smoked salmon instead. In my grandmas kitchen we used anything from grilled fish, fried fish, dry anchovies and dried shrimp powder. Just use enough to give a mouthful of flavor to the dish. The second, an important element is fresh herbs, and you may use any herbs that pair well with the fish you choose. Last, for edible flowers, I chose nasturtium because it has a nice pungent and peppery flavor. It is easy to grow them here in Seattle. Choose one edible flower that pair well with your fish.
Serves: 21 1/2 cup cooked rice, at room temperature 1/4 cup fried sardine or smoked salmon, bone removed and cut into chunk 8 nasturtiums, removed petals by hand into small pieces 6 nasturtiums leaves, thinly sliced 1/4 cup chiffonade fresh and tender Kaffir lime leaves or chopped cilantro 1/4 cup chopped dill 2 tablespoons sliced shallot 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more as needed 1 tablespoon lime juice 2 lime wedges, for garnish
Place rice in the center of salad bowl. Place sardine, nasturtiums petals and leaves, cilantro, dill, shallot and chili powder along the side of salad bowl. When ready to serve, stir in fish sauce, lime juice and mix gently and serve right away with lime wedge on the side.
Thai Vegetarian Option: Saute shiitake mushroom with sea salt to substitute sardine, and sea salt instead of fish sauce.
Thai Cooking Recipe for Kids: add chili powder toward the end after kid serving portion is served.
Gluten-Free Recipe© 2010 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com