I was first introduced to nam khao while living in Dallas, Texas many years ago. It was served at a Thai/Lao restaurant, and when I read the ingredients, I could not resist. I was being adventurous in dining when living in Texas. The city was loaded with authentic Mexican food, Vietnamese, Thai, and middle eastern cuisine, and I was all in when it came to eating. It was this dish that blew my mind though. After eating nam khao, I researched what it was all about, and realized that the funky and delicious nam was actually a fermented pork sausage, along with the khao, or rice for that matter, that was crispy rice. Basically a crispy rice salad with tons of herbs, chilies, and loaded with awesome flavor. You are going to love this recipe, I guarantee it. —Dax Phillips
What You'll Need
Jasmine rice, cooked, and cooled
whole eggs, beaten with 1 tbsp soy sauce
ground pork, cooked and cooled
Thai red curry paste
unsweetened coconut flakes
shallots, thinly sliced
head of green cabbage, leaves removed
fresh mint leaves
fresh cilantro leaves
red chili flakes
Nam, fermented pork, chopped
Thai bird chilies, optional
Start by combining your cooled rice, the eggs with soy sauce, curry paste, salt, sugar, cooked ground pork, and coconut into a mixing bowl. Making sure everything is combined, form into baseball sized balls.
Next, heat the oil and let it come up to about 350 degrees. Add one ball at a time, and cook until completely golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and let it rest on a paper lined plate to drain any excess oil.
Repeat with the remaining balls.
During this time, prepare the remaining ingredients into a serving bowl.
Take the crispy rice balls, and break apart into bite-sized pieces, adding them into the mixing bowl. Once all of the balls have been taken apart, mix everything together.
To plate, add a mound of the nam khao to a serving plate, and serve alongside cabbage or lettuce leaves, fresh lime, and whole Thai bird chili peppers.