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Crispy Rice Salad

SERVES: 4 PREP: 5 minutes TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes
Crispy Rice Salad

Crispy Rice Salad

SERVES: 4 PREP: 5 minutes TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

Crispy rice = oh so nice.

Khao tod, also known as crispy rice salad, is one of my favorite dishes from Korat. My mom would make it as a treat for me and my siblings on the weekend, and we’d pile spoonfuls into cabbage leaves and eat them like tiny tacos. I still make it all the time for Chrissy. With every bite, you get crunchy bits of fried rice, tangy lime, refreshing herbs, the snap of raw ginger, a touch of heat from the chiles and the roasted peanuts.

Most of the work is rolling the seasoned rice into balls and frying them. I like my rice extra crunchy so I flatten the balls into discs to get more crispy edges. Traditionally it is made with naem, which is a fermented Thai sausage, but I use Spam (yes, I love Spam!) cooked until tender with garlic and lime juice to give it a savory-tangy taste. But if you don’t like Spam, you can also substitute cooked ground pork, or crumbled Thai Sour Sausage.

Reprinted from The Pepper Thai Cookbook Copyright © 2021 by Vilailuck Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

  • 1 cup diced Spam Less Sodium

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice (preferably cold)

  • 8 small dried red chiles, such as chile de árbol (optional)

  • ½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons Roasted Chile Powder or 4 thinly sliced fresh bird’s eye chiles, to taste

  • 2 small to medium shallots, or ½ medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about «⁄¡ cup)

  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 8 scallions, finely chopped

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