Kao Yam (ข้าวยำ)
A light and refreshing meal is the Kao Yam. Kao Yam = rice salad. Room temperature rice is mixed in with various flavors to create the sour and spicy salad. There’s a handful of diced long beans, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, sour green mango sliced, toasted coconut and other items depending on the chef.
The sauce is a mixture of sweet, salty and sour. Most of the sour will come from the mango on the plate and lime in the sauce. The sweet comes from palm sugar. Salty from fish sauce. And of course, the added kick from dried chili flakes is always welcome. The point is just to have it balanced.
Kano Chin (ขนมจีน)
White, soft noodles that sticky together serve as the perfect base for a variety of sauces. These slightly fermented noodles have a tinge of sourness to them, and pour the sauce over them they take on the life of the sauce. For example, the sweeter style sauce is called “nam prik”. Prik means chili, however this one is sweet not spicy. It’s a deep red sauce, with peanuts as a base. There are certain vegetables that are eaten with this to balance out the sweet with salty and herbs.
If you enjoy venturing into the spicy realm, take some “nam yaa”. This one is a yellow sauce, and while salty, the main flavor is spice. You could also mix the nam yaa and nam prik for a balance between the spicy and sweet. Make sure you add in the pickled cucumbers, as well as some other veggie toppings. Learn more about the Southern Veggies that accompany the Khanom Chin.
This traditional Southern dish is not always easy to find. This one is located in an area called “The Flats” (coming soon – separate post about the Flats). Walk down one of the sois and duck into a pathway off to the left and you’ll come out in a covered food hall areas. Make your way down to Mae Ya Jai Jao Gao
Mae Ya Jai – Jao Gao. Jao Gao translates to English as “old owner”, meaning the shop has been around for a long time. These are traditional shops, keeping to their original and trusted recipes. Ya Jai is the name of the owner.