Many people find the idea of eating salad for breakfast surprising, but in southern Thailand khao yam is a popular dish for starting the day. Refreshing raw vegetables and chewy brown rice are drizzled in a tangy dressing packed full of ginger, lime zest, and crushed red pepper. Roasted peanuts and chopped shallot add a satisfying crunch to ensure each bite runs the gamut of tasty textures. The traditional version of khao yam contains powerful aromatics such as galangal and kaffir lime, which can be a bit strong first thing in the morning if you aren’t used to these flavors. For a milder alternative and easier shopping, we opt for fresh basil and cilantro, which will be just as tasty. And there are no hard rules that say Thai breakfast salad has to be enjoyed after rolling out of bed—feel free to gobble up this gorgeous dish at any time of day!

For more tantalizing vegan Thai recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced Persian cucumber
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (preferably Thai basil)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot


  • For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the first five ingredients (through crushed red pepper). Whisk in ¼ cup water. Season with black pepper.
  • In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to combine.

Comments (19)

(5 from 5 votes)

Recipe Rating

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This is delicious for any meal. I added some Fysh sauce and a bit of sesame oil to my dressing. I might also add some Sriracha or other hot sauce to give a more even heat. I added 1/2 avocado and pan browned tofu (frozen, thawed, pressed dry first, then marinate in a little soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil) on top. It might also be good with vegan ‘shrimp’, ‘scallops’, or ‘crab cakes’ on top.


I loved this recipe but my only negative is that the dressing was extremely sour. It definitely needs some kind of sweetness added to it.


How long do you think it can be stored in refrigerator. Can I eat it for several days

Louise B

This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it. Thanks for posting.


The photo is not of this recipe as I don't see any zucchini or the toasted browned sticks of something. Those look tasty.


The photo is of this recipe. There is no zucchini, it's Persian cucumber. The 'toasted browned sticks of something' is grated carrot.


Sounds delicious! Will try it this week

diane leiker

Please send this recipe to my email. Thanks

Jane M Torrie

I was hoping to find nutrition facts.


Me too


If you eat whole food plant based you don’t need to check nutrition facts


Good question. It's ridiculous to think the nutrition facts are unimportant just because you eat WFPB - there are many reasons to need those facts.


One of the best healthiest Thai salad. I also add avocado in it just for a kick. Thank you for promoting Thai food!


What is a Persian cucumber ?


Persian cucumbers are relatively small - about 6” long and less than 1” wide. I frequently find them in my local fruit n vegetable outlets


In Australia I think they are what we call Lebanese cucumbers, smaller than regular cucumbers

Cecelia Roddy

This is outrageously great! Took a while to make but almost no time at all to eat many servings of it--

Carolyn Moore

Should I be able to add this to planner?

Megan Edwards

Hi Carolyn, Yes, you will be able to add it to the planner very soon! Recipes typically get published on the website first and within two weeks are available to add to the planner. Keep an eye out for the "Add to Planner" button in the next few days.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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