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Yum Kai Dao (Thai Fried Egg Salad Recipe)

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Yum kai dao is a quick and easy refreshing dish that’s perfect for warm summer days. This Thai fried egg salad recipe is full of healthy vegetables tossed with a spicy tangy dressing, it’s a delicious meal for any time of the day.

Yum kai dao, a Thai fried egg salad, with tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, served in a traditional patterned dish.

This Thai salad with fried egg is a bit different from the classics like som tum Thai (green papaya salad) and crying tiger steak. What you’ll love about it is how easy and quick it comes together. You can serve it as a tasty breakfast, healthy lunch, or light dinner.

What is yum kai dao

Yum kai dao is a Thai salad with crispy fried eggs, fresh vegetables, and a spicy sour dressing. It can be served on its own or as a side dish with other Thai food.


In Thai, yum means mixed, which refers to combining different ingredients, and kai dao is a fried egg.

Thai fried egg salad

The key to a delicious Thai egg salad is getting that Thai fried egg just right. In Thailand, sunny-side-up eggs are usually fried in A LOT of oil, almost like they’re deep-fried. This makes the edges crispy and golden brown while keeping the yolk soft and runny.

Personally, I prefer to spoon a bit of hot oil over the yolk. This gently cooks the yolk and the white that covers it, making the yolk less runny – it becomes just set and creamy.

Close-up of Thai fried egg salad, or yum kai dao, with a spoon lifting egg and vegetables.

I chose some of my favorite fresh vegetables for this yam kai dao recipe, but feel free to customize. Any veggie that fits in a cold salad will work. This recipe is great for using up leftovers and cleaning out your fridge!

The dressing is the best part of this salad, and I make sure there’s plenty of it because you’ll want an extra spoonful here and there. It’s a perfectly balanced mix of spicy, sour, sweet, and salty that you can tweak to your liking. Thai cooking is all about adjusting flavors to suit your taste, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Before serving, don’t forget to top your yum khai dao with fresh herbs like cilantro or freshly chopped green onions. And if you love eggs as much as I do, feel free to add an extra fried egg to your salad!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for yum kai dao labeled: vegetables, chilies, garlic, eggs, white sugar, fish sauce, pickled garlic juice, and fresh lime juice.
  • Fresh chili peppers
  • Coriander
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Pickled garlic juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • White sugar
  • Fish sauce

How to make yum kai dao

Step 1: Cut all vegetables into bite-sized pieces, thinly slice the garlic, and finely chop the chilies.

Oil in a wok pan.

Step 2: Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. It’s important to use enough oil for deep-frying the egg. Wait until the oil is thoroughly heated before moving on to the next step.

Thai fried egg cooking in a wok.

Step 3: Gently crack the egg into the hot oil. It will start to fry quickly. For a well-set yolk, spoon some of the hot oil over it. Watch for the edges to become crispy and golden brown. This is the sign to remove the egg from the oil. Use a spatula to press the egg against the wok’s side to drain any excess oil.

Large mixing bowl with garlic and chilies in dressing sauce.

Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, add pickled garlic juice, fresh lime juice, white sugar, fish sauce, chilies, and garlic. Stir well and taste the dressing, adjust the flavors to your taste if needed.

Cutting fried egg into pieces for Thai salad.

Step 5: Add the prepared vegetables to the bowl with the dressing. Next, slice or cut the fried egg into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl as well. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly, then serve and enjoy!

Kitchenware

  1. Measuring spoons and cups
  2. Cutting board and sharp knife (for prepping vegetables)
  3. Large mixing bowl with spoon (for tossing the salad)
  4. Non-stick pan with spatula (skillet or wok)

Thai egg salad serving suggestions

Yum kai dao can be served as a breakfast salad, for lunch, or as a side dish with other Thai meals. To turn it into a complete meal, pair it with noodles like beef pad Thai, a meaty stir-fry such as pad kra pao, or a snack like Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce.

Salad with egg leftovers

If you have leftovers, it’s best to keep the fried eggs separate from the salad and dressing. Put the salad in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. For the best taste and texture, eat it within a day. When you’re ready to serve it again, making a fresh crispy fried egg is a great idea.

Authentic Thai yum salad recipes

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Yum Kai Dao (Thai Fried Egg Salad Recipe)

Yum kai dao, a Thai fried egg salad, with tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, served in a traditional patterned dish.
This yum kai dao is an easy Thai fried egg salad recipe with a sour spicy dressing and lots of healthy vegetables.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Salad, Side Dish
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 20 g celery
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 5 g coriander
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 chilies to taste
  • neutral oil for frying the eggs
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp pickled garlic juice (see notes)
  • 1/2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  • Cut all vegetables into bite-sized pieces, thinly slice the garlic, and finely chop the chilies.
  • Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. It’s important to use enough oil for deep-frying the egg. Wait until the oil is thoroughly heated before moving on to the next step.
  • Gently crack the egg into the hot oil. It will start to fry quickly. For a well-set yolk, spoon some of the hot oil over it. Watch for the edges to become crispy and golden brown. This is the sign to remove the egg from the oil. Use a spatula to press the egg against the wok’s side to drain any excess oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add pickled garlic juice, fresh lime juice, white sugar, fish sauce, chilies, and garlic. Stir well and taste the dressing, adjust the flavors to your taste if needed.
  • Add the prepared vegetables to the bowl with the dressing. Next, slice or cut the fried egg into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl as well. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly, then serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • The egg has to be fried in a lot of oil to make the edges crispy and golden brown.
  • Feel free to customize this recipe with your favorite vegetables or adjust the dressing to taste.
  • Pickled garlic juice: Pickled garlic juice is the tangy liquid that results from soaking garlic cloves in vinegar or brine. You can source this at Asian grocery stores.

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