Nam Khao

Nam khao is enjoyed with friends and family and is typically eaten family-style.

Courtesy of Basil Café


Serves approximately 5 people)

Rice Balls:
3 cups of cooked jasmine rice
2 eggs
2 tablespoons red curry paste
½ teaspoons ground white pepper
1 teaspoons salt
pinch of sugar
1 cup grated coconut
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
Vegetable oil for frying rice balls; heated to 350 F.

1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped green onions
1 stick of nam/som moo (sour fermented pork). Can substitute with cooked and diced tofu for a vegetarian/vegan option), chopped
1 ½ limes, juiced
½ cup crushed roasted peanuts

Extra lime wedges
Lettuce leaves
Whole dried, roasted chilies (optional)


Break apart cooked rice clumps then combine rice, curry paste, white pepper, salt, sugar, shallots, garlic, and lemongrass together. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together.

Add eggs to rice to act as a binder, and mix thoroughly and uniformly.

Form rice balls by packing the rice tightly together into balls, about 3 inches in diameter, with no loose rice. Set rice balls aside and heat vegetable oil to 350 F to fry.

Once oil gets to a stable 350 degrees, fry about three to four rice balls at a time as to not cool the oil too much (approximately five minutes).

Once rice balls reach a dark golden brown color, remove from oil, and set balls on top of paper towels or drain rack to drain off excess oil and to let cool. Repeat until all the rice balls have been fried.

Once all rice balls have been fried and slightly cooled, break the rice balls apart into a bowl so that you have smaller chunks of the crispy rice amongst the inner fluffier rice.

Add to the rice and gently mix and toss together the freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, crushed roasted peanuts, and the chopped sour fermented pork or cooked and diced tofu.

Serve with sides of lettuce leaves, cilantro, mint, extra lime wedges, and whole dried roasted chilies (optional). Eaten like a lettuce wrap, take a lettuce leaf and create a bed and add the cilantro and mint. Scoop a little bit of rice onto the lettuce, wrap, and take a bite!

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