Nam Khao Tod (Crispy Rice Salad)


In this Night + Market dish by Kris Yenbamroong, spicy fresh ginger brings brightness and a pleasant crunch to this salad. Cooked and cooled rice is seasoned with curry paste and dusted with a generous coating of rice flour then fried until über-crunchy. For the crispiest result, chill the rice for at least 1 day before assembling.

Nam Kkao Tod (Crispy Rice Salad)
Photo: Aubrie Pick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 40 mins
6 to 8


Crispy Rice

  • 2 ½ cups cooked white jasmine rice (about 12 ounces)

  • 1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste (such as Maesri)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup white rice flour (about 1 7/8 ounces), divided

  • Neutral oil (such as grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil), for frying


  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8- x 1/8- x 1 1/2-inch sticks

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 teaspoons chile jam (nam prik pao) (such as Pantai Norasingh Chili Paste)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons red Thai chile powder, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions

  • ½ cup packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 medium-size fresh green or red Thai chiles (less than 1/8 ounce), or more to taste, stemmed and finely chopped

  • ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


Make the crispy rice

  1. If using cold leftover rice, break up the grains, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. If the rice is fresh from the steamer, fluff it using a fork, and spread evenly on a baking sheet; chill, uncovered, until dry, at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

  2. Spoon curry paste over rice, and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, mix to coat individual grains of rice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons rice flour over rice mixture, and continue mixing by hand, rubbing grains to separate. Add remaining 6 tablespoons rice flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Rice should feel very dry and should not clump together.

  3. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large Dutch oven or a wok. Heat over medium-high to 350°F. Drop in a grain of rice; if it floats and starts sizzling right away, the oil is ready. Working in batches, carefully add about 2/3 cup rice mixture to hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until bubbles have mostly subsided and rice is light golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute and 15 seconds. Using a fine wire-mesh strainer, transfer rice to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat frying process with remaining rice mixture. Let cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salad

  1. Place onion and ginger in a medium bowl filled with cold water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain well.

  2. Whisk together fish sauce, chile jam, chile powder, and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add scallions, cilantro, lime juice, Thai chiles, onion, and ginger; toss to coat. Add peanuts and crispy rice; quickly toss until just incorporated. Transfer to a platter or bowl. Garnish with additional cilantro. Serve immediately.


Full-bodied, aromatic Chenin Blanc: 2019 Escoda-Sanahuja Els Bassots


Find chile jam and red Thai chile powder at Asian markets or online.

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