Now that you know how to make your own Som Moo, let´s have a look at Nhem. :biggrin:
Often and incorrectly referred to as “Laotian Fried Rice” :blink: , Nhem is more akin to a “Laotian Rice Salad“. :happy:
This seasoned rice dish can be served as a whole meal. We like to refry some of the rice crusts until they are extra crunchy and add these at the very last moment.
The amount of Seasoning used really depends on your personal taste, so use our measurements as a guideline.
350ml Coconut Milk*
60g Red Curry Paste
1 kg Cooked White Rice
80g Grated Coconut
Pinch of Salt
Corn Starch for dusting
3 Eggs, beaten
Oil for Deep Frying
400g Chopped Som Moo (Fermented Pork)
100g Sliced Shallots
Approx 45ml freshly squeezed Lime Juice
Approx 45ml Fish Sauce
Chopped Coriander (Cilantro)
*Coconut Milk is normally available in 400ml tins, do not shake the tin before opening, what you want is the thick creamy part.
Mix the Coconut Milk in a large bowl with the Red Curry Paste, Sugar, Salt and Grated Coconut.
Add the Rice, continuing to mix well, making sure that all the liquid is absorbed in to the Rice. Form balls, the size of Tennis Balls, making sure that you pack them tightly as this will stop them from breaking up whilst frying.
Dip the Rice Balls in to the Beaten Eggs then dredge in the Corn Starch.
Deep fry until golden brown then allow to cool a little.
Carefully crack open the balls and scoop out the Rice in to a clean bowl breaking up the crust as you go along. Reserve some of the crust for frying later.
Give the rice a gentle stir and allow to come to room temperature.
Add the chopped Som Moo and Shallots, season with the Fish Sauce and Lime Juice to taste (some people add a little Sugar).
Add the Coriander (Cilantro) and Mint then lightly mix.
Return the reserved crusts to the deep fryer and fry until crispy and brown, drain on paper towels.
Once the crust are warm enough to handle crumble them on to the Rice mixture (we save a little to serve on the side, which everyone loves), add the Peanuts then lightly toss, garnish with the Dried Chillies and enjoy immediately with some crispy Lettuce or Betel Leaves.
Deep frying the Dried Chillies for a few seconds greatly improves their flavour.
You can replace the Crushed Peanuts with Cashew Nuts of even toasted Almonds.
The rice balls can be made and scooped out beforehand and kept under cling film until needed (not in the fridge). The reserved crust can be deep fried and kept in an airtight container. The rest of the ingredients and seasonings can be added just before serving.