Laotian Naem Khao is a celebration of crunchy rice combined with fragrant and aromatic flavors. Naem Khao, or crispy rice salad, is a dish made from deep-fried red rice croquettes crushed and added into a mixture of fresh herbs, chopped peanuts, and more. A popular delicacy often found in restaurants, here is how you can make this famous dish at home (for 6 people).
750 mg. of Jasmine rice *cooked and cooled
2 whole eggs *beaten with 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
500 mg. of ground pork *cooked and cooled
3 tablespoons of red curry paste
250 mg. of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon of palm sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
125 mg. of shallots *thinly sliced
1 whole lime
125 mg. of roasted peanuts
1 head of green cabbage *leaves removed
125 mg. of fresh mint leaves
125 mg. of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon of red chili flakes
125 mg. of Nam (fermented pork) *chopped
500 ml. of canola oil
1. Start by combining the cooled rice, eggs with soy sauce, curry paste, salt, sugar, cooked ground pork, and coconut into a mixing bowl. Making sure everything is combined, form them into small-sized balls.
2. Next, heat the oil and let it come up to about 350 degrees. Add one ball at a time, and cook each of them until they’re completely golden brown. Then, remove each ball and let it rest on a paper-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Repeat the process with the rest of the balls.
3. Prepare the remaining ingredients into a serving bowl.
4. Take the crispy rice balls, and break them apart into bite-sized pieces, adding them into the mixing bowl. Once all of the balls have been taken apart, mix everything together.
5. To plate, add a mound of the “naem khao” to a serving plate, and serve it alongside cabbage or lettuce leaves, and fresh lime.
Enjoy your meal!