Kao Yum, or Khao Yum, is a specialty of Southern Thai cuisine that has become popular in Bangkok in recent years because of the healthy, clean eating trend! This dish is similar to the Malay nasi kerabu, and in fact, many Southern Thai dishes have Malay roots.
In this video I also show you how to make natural blue food colouring! The rice is often dyed blue for Khao Yum, although you can most certainly use plain white rice, OR dye the rice a different colour such as yellow (turmeric or saffron) or pink (beets). The dressing, or what we call “nam budu” is the most important part: it’s sweet, salty, umami and is key to the unique flavour of this salad. And yes, you can make the dressing in advance and keep it in your fridge for many weeks!
Choice of accompaniments around the rice are flexible, but there are some must-haves. I will include the list of these options in the written recipe on the website!
Pomelo Salad (And how to peel a pomelo):
Southern Thai Dry Curry “Kua Gling”:
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Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant is the author of the Hot Thai Kitchen cookbook, co-host of a Canadian TV series One World Kitchen on Gusto TV, and creator and host of the YouTube channel Pailin’s Kitchen.
Pai was born and raised in southern Thailand where she spent much of her “playtime” in the kitchen. She traveled to Canada to study Nutritional Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and was later trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in San Francisco.
After working in both Western and Thai professional kitchens, she decided that her passion really lies in educating and empowering others to cook at home via YouTube videos, her cookbook, and cooking classes. She currently lives in Vancouver, and goes to Thailand every year to visit her family. Visit her at