"This is a simpler version of a Lao-style rice salad," says Khanh Nguyen from Sunda. "It's great served as a side dish." The curry paste makes double what you need, but the remainder can be frozen for later.
- 600 gm cooked jasmine rice (300gm uncooked), cooled
- 50 gm (2/3 cup) desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Coarsely chopped mint and coriander, to serve
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 25 gm (1/3 cup) desiccated coconut
- 25 gm galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 20 gm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
- 15 gm fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp tamarind purée (see note)
- 1 cup chopped coriander, including washed roots
- 5 makrut lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 small fresh bay leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp coarsely grated dark palm sugar
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1For curry paste, process ingredients and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until smooth (makes about 1½ cups). Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add 160gm paste (2/3 cup) and roast, stirring, until lightly coloured (2-3 minutes; the remainder can be frozen for up to 3 months).
- 2Combine curry paste and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. With slightly wet hands, roll rice into balls the size of ping-pong balls. Refrigerate,uncovered, for 1 hour.
- 3Preheat oil in a deep saucepan to 180°C. Deep-fry rice balls in batches until golden brown (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit), then drain on paper towels. Coarsely crush rice balls, scatter with mint and coriander, and serve with chicken larb or as a side dish.
To make tamarind purée, mix 40gm tamarind pulp with 40ml boiling water and stand until softened, then pass through a sieve, pressing firmly.
Wine suggestion 2017 Moondarra Studebaker Bianco. Wine suggestion by Brad Hammond.