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Simple Pleasures, Great Taste: Lao Rice Cakes

Simple and great. I prefer this to a lot of other dishes. My mother used to make this for me before I went to school. She’d actually roast it over the fire on the stove and leave it on the counter for me. Of course, I cannot replicate it in quite the same way, however, the crunchety, crispety part can be achieved using a frying pan. Since I was her apprentice in the kitchen, I’d only watch and learn when she made the foods I loved. And, here is a sampling of the Lao Rice Cake, or kow jee* as I’ve always known it. Anyway, this is my take on how to prepare it. Sern Saap!**

Ingredients:
1 fistful of cooked sticky rice*** (usually what’s leftover)
1 egg (or more, if you like it eggy—but this compromises the crunch!)
1 tbsp of cooking oil
A smidge (or two) of salt

Method:

  1. In small bowl, beat egg.
  2. Take a fistful of sticky rice, and with your hands, flatten into a cake no more than 1” thick.
  3. Heat oil in pan on medium setting.
  4. When oil is heated, place flattened rice paddy into pan and cook for a minute or two.
  5. Then, I like to pour the beaten egg on top of that and let cook until bottom is golden brown.
  6. Flip the paddy over and continue cooking until that side is golden brown.
  7. Sprinkle with salt on both sides.
  8. Let cool. Makes 1 serving. Enjoy with a Beer Lao.

There are many variations of this. I’ve had it with mushed rice. Some people use fish sauce or fermented fish sauce for flavoring. I like mine simple and lightly salted. It’s like sunshine. ~Danny

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*Kow jee literally means roasted rice.
**Bon appétit!
***You don’t know what sticky rice is? Ugh…go here.

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