Nam Khao, Laotian Fried Coconut Crispy Rice

Nam Khao is a Laotian coconut fried rice with som moo (fermented pork), chili, roasted peanuts, shallot, scallion, and kaffir lime leaves. There are so many variations to making nam khao, however, what's so great about it is that you can adjust the taste to your liking! It’s an aromatic dish with just the right kick, sweet, spicy and tangy! This is always a party’s favorite in every Laotian event!

PREP TIME: 1 hour | COOK TIME: 15 min (not including frying process)

Ingredients

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

Garnish

  • 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)

Steps

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 with lettuce or betel leaves, cilantro, mints, fried chili peppers, and or use whatever vegetables you like. Sern sap!

Tips: 

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

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