This vibrant and zesty salad, starring rice that’s been fried to a golden-brown crisp, is the best-selling dish at Ma Der Lao Kitchen, an Oklahoma Metropolis Lao restaurant that chef Jeff Chanchaleune opened together with his sister Jeslyn to pay homage to their household’s heritage. Nam khao could be made with leftover rice; merely skip step 1 and use 4½ cups of cooked rice. As in lots of Lao dishes, the fish sauce provides a stunning funkiness, whereas the curry paste and mixture of entire and floor chiles amp up the warmth. For the bottom chiles, Chanchaleune recommends shopping for these, or crushing the entire dried chiles utilizing a mortar and pestle. For the latter method, merely roast the chiles at 375°F for 8–10 minutes, or till aromatic and calmly charred, earlier than grinding. (Regulate the quantity of chiles to style.)
Crispy Rice Salad
This daring Lao dish brings the warmth with tons of Thai dried chiles.
Yield: serves 4-6
For the rice truffles:
- 1½ cups jasmine rice (see observe)
- ½ cups coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. freshly floor black pepper
- 1 tsp. Thai purple curry paste, similar to Mae Ploy
- 1 giant egg
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the salad:
- 5 entire dried Thai chiles (see observe), or different medium-hot chiles similar to árbol
- ¼ cups contemporary lime juice
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. floor Thai chiles, or crushed purple chile flakes (see observe)
- 10 oz. cup naem (Thai pork sausage), coarsely chopped (1 cup)
- 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ cups coarsely chopped cilantro
- ½ cups coarsely chopped mint leaves
- 3 medium scallions, darkish inexperienced tops discarded, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
- 1 small head purple leaf lettuce, cleaned, leaves torn off
- Make the rice truffles: In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice till the water runs clear, then put aside for five minutes to empty. Switch the rice to a pot, pour in 2 cups of water, and switch the warmth to excessive. When the water boils, stir as soon as, then flip the warmth to low, cowl, and cook dinner for quarter-hour. With out opening the lid, take away from the warmth and let sit for 10 minutes to steam. (Alternatively, cook dinner the rice in a rice cooker in line with the producer’s directions.) Use a fork to fluff the rice, then put aside uncovered till cooled to room temperature, about half-hour.
- In a big bowl, whisk collectively the coconut milk, fish sauce, oyster sauce, black pepper, curry paste, and egg. Add the rice and use your fingers to mix. Utilizing moist fingers, type ½ cup of the rice combination right into a puck-shaped cake measuring about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Switch to a plate and repeat with the remaining rice.
- Into a big pot set over medium-high warmth, pour the oil to a depth of two inches and connect a deep-fry thermometer. When the temperature reads 350°F, add sufficient rice truffles to fill the pan with out overcrowding and fry, turning as soon as, till crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Switch to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining rice truffles. Don’t take away from the warmth.
- Make the salad: To the pot, add the entire chiles and fry till starting to brown, about 30 seconds. Switch to the plate with the rice truffles and switch off the warmth.
- In a big bowl, stir collectively the lime juice, fish sauce, salt, sugar, and floor chiles. Tear the rice pucks into bite-size items and add to the lime juice combination, then add the naem, peanuts, cilantro, mint, and scallions and toss to mix.
- To serve, cowl half of a platter with the lettuce leaves, then scrape the nam khao onto the opposite half. Sprinkle with the fried chiles and serve.