Nam Khao, Lao Fried Crispy Coconut Rice

Discover the delectable flavors of Laos with Nam Khao. This culinary masterpiece showcases a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, creating an unforgettable sensory experience.

At its heart, Nam Khao is a coconut fried rice infused with an array of tantalizing ingredients. Cured or fermented pork, known as som moo, imparts a rich umami depth, while the presence of chili, roasted peanuts, shallots, scallions, and aromatic kaffir lime leaves adds layers of complexity.

The result? A symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds. Nam Khao's savory allure is met with just the right touch of sweetness, a hint of spiciness, and a dash of tanginess – a medley that encapsulates the spirit of Southeast Asian cuisine.

As you take that first bite, you'll embark on a journey of culinary delight. The crispiness of the coconut fried rice mingles with the tender som moo, creating a satisfying contrast. Each component plays its part, contributing to a harmonious whole that's both comforting and exhilarating.

Nam Khao isn't just a dish; it's an invitation to savor the essence of Laos and its vibrant culinary heritage. Whether prepared for gatherings or potlucks, this masterpiece is destined to be the star of the table. Its allure lies in its ability to captivate hearts and palates alike, leaving a lasting impression that lingers long after the last bite.

So, embark on this gastronomic adventure and let Nam Khao whisk you away to the enchanting world of Southeast Asian flavors. Experience the perfect balance of tastes, the intricate blend of textures, and the culinary journey that awaits in every mouthful.

PREP TIME: 1.5 hour | COOK TIME: 15 min (not including frying process)


Fried Coconut Rice Balls

  • Coconut, grated or shredded, 1 cup
  • Eggs, 2
  • Jasmine rice (cooked), 4 cups
  • Kaffir lime leaves (minced), 12 leaves
  • MSG (optional), ½ teaspoon
  • Red curry paste, 1 can
  • Shallots (sliced), 1 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons


  • Cilantro (coarsely chopped), 1 cup
  • Fermented pork (break apart in small pieces), 3 lbs
  • Fish sauce, 3 tablespoons
  • Lime juice, 2 limes
  • Roasted peanuts (crushed), 1 cup
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Scallions (coarsely chopped), 1 cup
  • Pork skin (optional)

To Wrap (optional)

  • Betel leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Eugenia leaves
  • Fried chili
  • Lettuce 
  • Mint leaves or any other herbs you like!
  • Cooking oil (for frying)


Fried Coconut Rice Balls (To save time, you can prepare this ahead)

  1. In a large bowl, mix cooked jasmine rice with coconut shreds, curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, msg, salt, sugar, and egg together.
  2. Form rice into ball or disc shapes firmly squeeze to prevent rice from breaking apart during the frying process. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry balls until crispy golden brown, approximately 3 - 5 minutes. The extra crisp, gives it extra flavor and a nice texture. Set aside on a cooling rack to drain excess oil.
  4. Once balls have cooled, break them apart in small pieces in a separate large mixing bowl.

Salad Mix

  1. Add som moo (cured pork), crushed peanuts, lime juice, salt, and fish sauce. Once the taste is to your liking, add scallions and cilantro. Gently toss to prevent vegetables from wilting. 

To serve, you can eat it as is or wrap nam khao in lettuce or betel leaves, cilantro, mints, fried chili peppers, and or use whatever vegetables you like. Sern sap!


  • Cook & prepare jasmine rice the night before.
  • Make sure rice is not soggy, otherwise you will not achieve the desired crispy texture when frying.
  • Some limes may not produce a lot of juice, you can add more fresh lime juice to taste.

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