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Chef Warunee Mouthapong’s Spicy Curried Rice Salad | Thai Food in America Recipes

This recipe comes to us from Chef Warunee Mouthapong, owner of Siam Bistro-Miami, who made spicy curried rice salad or Yum Naem Kao Tod, on our Thai Food in America series, episode 5, “Cooking Thai Regional Dishes: Northeastern”

This recipe consists of four component parts – fermented pork (naem), red curry paste, curried rice balls (kao tod), and the salad – some of which you can make in advance before composing the final salad. The fermented pork should be made 1-2 days in advance, the curried rice balls can be made hours in advance and set aside to cool, and the curry paste can be made any time.

Estimated cooking time: 45 minutes (plus time to make fermented pork 1-2 days in advance)

Fermented Pork (Naem)

  • 1 cup minced pork                  
  • 2 tbsp steamed rice                    
  • 2 tbsp Garlic                              
  • 1/2 cup boiled pork skin                
  • 1/2 tsp salt                                  
  • Fresh chili
  • Banana leaves or cabbage leaves and string for wrapping

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Wrap in banana leaves or cabbage leaves and leave to ferment in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Red Curry Paste

  • 3 dried small chilis                  
  • 2 dried large chilis
  • 1 tbsp shallot
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander root                      
  • 1 tsp galangal root           
  • 1 tsp lemongrass                          
  • 1 tsp kaffir lime skin                    
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed                      
  • 1/2 tsp salt                                                                   
  •  1/2 tsp whole white peppercorns

Mix the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle until it forms a paste.

Curried Rice Balls (Kao Tod)

  • 1 1/2 cup steamed rice            
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste (see above)        
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut meat   
  • 1 tsp sugar                   
  • 1/2 tsp salt                                       
  • 2 tbsp kaffir lime leaf       
  • 1 egg

Mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and form into balls. Deep fry the balls in oil (335ºF / 170ºC) until golden brown. Set aside to let cool.

Salad Sauce and Herbs

  • Curried rice balls (see above)
  • Fermented pork (see above)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sliced shallots                                                                           
  • 2 tbsp julienned ginger             
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion       
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves                                                                
  • 2 tbsp fried peanuts                            
  • 1 fried small chili


  1. In a small bowl, mix fish sauce and lime juice for the dressing and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the fried curry rice balls and break them into large chunks.
  3. Unwrap the fermented pork and add it to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the remaining salad ingredients into a mixing bowl, then add the dressing and gently mix together.

Watch Chef Warunee make it:

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This series is sponsored by Thai Select USA.