traditional laos food recipe

Nam Khao recipe

Well, here it is! I wanted to share one of my favourite Lao dishes with you. It’s called Nam Khao, a crispy rice salad with sour pork (som moo). You might want to try it out, it’s quite delicious!

This is quite an easy version of this dish and all the ingredients can be found at most Asian grocery stores. You can choose to make the som moo yourself, but save yourself the trouble and some time by purchasing it already made.

I’ll admit that I’ve never made it myself, even this time round. My mother is the chef here. My mother doesn’t cook using strict amounts of ingredients. She just throws in whatever amount that she thinks will make the dish taste good, using less to begin with then adding more as desired. It’s always tasted good!

nam khao - lao food

My mother’s Nam Khao recipe

So, going by my mother’s method, I’m going to give you a rough estimate of what needs to go into this dish instead of exact amounts.

Ingredients for rice balls:

  • 5 Cloves of chopped Garlic
  • 6 tbsp finely sliced lemon grass
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves finely sliced.
  • 3 tbsp Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup of chopped spring onion
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups of hot steamed rice
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup pork mince

For adding to the salad at the end:

  • Lime or lemon juice for adding to the finished salad for taste.
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • Roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 350 grams of sour pork (som moo) (nam) (standard size pack sold in Asian grocers).

traditional lao food recipe


Combine all ingredients for the rice balls in a large bowl until well mixed through.
Using your hands, roll the mixture into palm-sized balls.
Put them into hot oil to deep fry until they turn brown.
Drain from oil and let them cool before breaking them up into small pieces.
Mix in the som moo which has been shredded into small pieces.
Add some fish sauce and lemon juice to your taste.
Mix through and top with coriander and spring onions.

asian food - laos - nam khao

I also love the version with roasted peanuts and dried chillies as well (just add them at the end when you like it)!
Hope this recipe turns out well for you. You don’t have to stick to the quantities that I’ve use. Add less or more of things that you like the taste of!

Let me know in the comments how you like it …