LTH Home

Naem Khao Thawt / Nam Kao Tod

Naem Khao Thawt / Nam Kao Tod
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Naem Khao Thawt / Nam Kao Tod

    Post #1 - May 11th, 2013, 10:32 am
    Post #1 - May 11th, 2013, 10:32 am Post #1 - May 11th, 2013, 10:32 am
    I'm attempting to make the well-loved, and now seemingly ubiquitous (at certain authentic Thai restaurants) Thai/Lao fried rice salad this evening. I'll document it here but was hoping for some advice first. Here's a question: can I substitute a different kind of Southeast Asian preserved pork for the naem? My foggy memory recalls that even Spoon did not use naem as I understand it; that is, the chewy, somewhat translucent, rather chunky and uncooked fermented pork sausage (or cake). I recall that Spoon instead (or in addition) used something that more resembled a pork loaf or mortadella, smoother and with a finer grain, chopped into small chunks. Are these just variations on the same thing - i.e. naem? Or is Spoon using something different. Or, worryingly, am I simply just misremembering this? Thanks, and happy Sunday.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #2 - May 11th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    Post #2 - May 11th, 2013, 4:07 pm Post #2 - May 11th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    I can only describe what I think it is--I have no idea what it actually is. What I've eaten at Rainbow this week seems to be the same as at spoon--it's coarse, pink, somewhat translucent and the pieces are not smooth--they kind if remind me of the little chunks of sausage you'd find on a pizza visually. Doesn't seem "loaf" like to me. Wish I had more specific (helpful!) info to offer but at least it's something. Can't wait to see your results!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #3 - May 11th, 2013, 4:28 pm
    Post #3 - May 11th, 2013, 4:28 pm Post #3 - May 11th, 2013, 4:28 pm
    Well, after some exploring I found some naem from a Thai market in Manhattan's Chinatown. I have no idea if it's the same thing that Spoon uses, but it certainly is what all recipes call for. I'll be posting pics later.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #4 - May 11th, 2013, 4:31 pm
    Post #4 - May 11th, 2013, 4:31 pm Post #4 - May 11th, 2013, 4:31 pm
    Image

    Red Curry Rice Ballz.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #5 - May 11th, 2013, 5:46 pm
    Post #5 - May 11th, 2013, 5:46 pm Post #5 - May 11th, 2013, 5:46 pm
    Habibi wrote:Or is Spoon using something different.

    Have you seen SheSimmers recipe and short video Naem Khao Tod by Spoon Thai Restaurant, Chicago and Yam Naem Khao Tod by Pa Yai
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - May 12th, 2013, 9:12 am
    Post #6 - May 12th, 2013, 9:12 am Post #6 - May 12th, 2013, 9:12 am
    Pna sells naem/nem. If they don't gave it, you can find the Vietnamese version at Tai Nam.
    I've used both in the past--the naem from Pna is better.
  • Post #7 - May 13th, 2013, 2:22 pm
    Post #7 - May 13th, 2013, 2:22 pm Post #7 - May 13th, 2013, 2:22 pm
    I'm a big naem/nam consumer. Great beer snack. Any ham/cured sausage tends to be, but this stuff is very tart and spicy, making it a perfect foil for hoppy beers.

    The Viet and Thai places seem to have more variations between brands than between countries of origin, if that makes sense. In other words, naem is naem, but the product can change significantly depending on the form it takes. Many of the more commercial naems will come in a tube and involve rather long, elastic strips of pig skin that can be off-putting to some. Often the Thai peppers are included in the package next to the sausage, and not integrated into the grind. These are more often marketed as Vietnamese. I'm more of a naem loaf man myself, in which case the Thai peppers and raw garlic are usually interspersed throughout the loaf. The best ever was at the late, much-missed Thai Grocery. The owner there once scoffed at me for buying ready-made naem, saying it was very easy to make using one of the curing and spice packets offered in the dry goods section of the store. PNA is your best bet now. The loaf might even be from the same source as Thai Grocery's.

    PS, Broadway Supermarket and the adjacent Dong Ky usually have good versions in plastic clamshells as well. The market will have a large array of commercial tube naems, but look for the local loaf.
  • Post #8 - May 13th, 2013, 2:53 pm
    Post #8 - May 13th, 2013, 2:53 pm Post #8 - May 13th, 2013, 2:53 pm
    I used a commercial product that I got at a very friendly Thai grocery (the only one) in Manhattan's Chinatown. The brand was Thai (probably made somewhere in the states) and was OK - not much flavor and the texture wasn't great, but it had the pronounced sour/tang aspect typical of naem. Surprisingly, good Viet/Thai ingredients are hard to find in Manhattan. Probably not the case in Queens or Brooklyn. The salad turned out well, though the rice got a bit too chewy while it sat waiting for me to finish putting together the other ingredients. Next time, I'll definitely fry them harder, and make them smaller to increase the crispy bits. I might even scoop out some of the rice as Spoon does (and Leela documents at She Simmers). Great recipe, a little labor intensive though. I'd much rather go out for this stuff, but this dish is surprisingly hard to find in New York.

    Image

    Image
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #9 - May 13th, 2013, 3:08 pm
    Post #9 - May 13th, 2013, 3:08 pm Post #9 - May 13th, 2013, 3:08 pm
    Habibi wrote:I used a commercial product that I got at a very friendly Thai grocery (the only one) in Manhattan's Chinatown. The brand was Thai (probably made somewhere in the states) and was OK - not much flavor and the texture wasn't great, but it had the pronounced sour/tang aspect typical of naem. Surprisingly, good Viet/Thai ingredients are hard to find in Manhattan. Probably not the case in Queens or Brooklyn. The salad turned out well, though the rice got a bit too chewy while it sat waiting for me to finish putting together the other ingredients. Next time, I'll definitely fry them harder, and make them smaller to increase the crispy bits. I might even scoop out some of the rice as Spoon does (and Leela documents at She Simmers). Great recipe, a little labor intensive though. I'd much rather go out for this stuff, but this dish is surprisingly hard to find in New York.

    Image

    Image


    How about just making the rice balls smaller--more surface area, less interior. One of the biggest differences between Spoon's NKT and Rainbow's (the "new" place) is that the rice bits are smaller, crunchier and noticeably lighter--almost "puffed" texture. I'd guess that they're frying smaller pieces.

    Looks DELICIOUS though!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #10 - May 14th, 2013, 10:42 am
    Post #10 - May 14th, 2013, 10:42 am Post #10 - May 14th, 2013, 10:42 am
    Thanks!

    The rice definitely did not have have that puffed/super crispy character that would have made the salad stellar. Next time, I'll aim for that.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do with the remaining fried rice balls? I have a good number of them left. Was thinking of whipping up a green or red curry and serving them therein, but this seems kinda random, and not terribly authentic, whatever that means.

    Thx.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 12:00 am
    Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 12:00 am Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 12:00 am
    JeffB wrote:The owner there once scoffed at me for buying ready-made naem, saying it was very easy to make using one of the curing and spice packets offered in the dry goods section of the store.


    It is as easy to make as grinding up some lean pork or other meat (you can use a food processor), mixing in the spices, add the spice packet then allowing it to cure for a day.

    The benefits are:
    You can pick your cut of meat, I've read online places of people even making it with beef. You can spice it up as much as you want. I like to add fish sauce to mine instead of the added salt to give it an extra funk. Also you can allow it to ferment for as long as you want to get it a touch more sour than the other ones.

    I also agree with JeffB that Naem is the best drinking food, as does most of vietnam. When I was in vietnam, there was a "nem chua guy" walking around to the bars with a bag full of banna leaf wrapped nem chua and dipping sauces, startlingly similar to the tamale guys in chicago. I think the lean salty protein stands up to drinking (both flavor and hangover prevention) better than carb-filled bar snacks.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 12:49 pm
    Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 12:49 pm Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 12:49 pm
    Guys! No need to waste time searching for naem in Asian markets or trying to make it yourself. Your local supermarket has what you need.

    Image

    Nothing goes with Mekong whiskey like Oscar Mayer chopped ham. That photo is in Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens, the first Thai cookbook in English (as well as Thai) that I'm aware of. I bought my copy in 1979 at a little Thai market in Hyde Park.
  • Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 4:31 pm
    Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 4:31 pm Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 4:31 pm
    That is amazing. I need to get a copy of that book! thanks for sharing.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 10:19 pm
    Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 10:19 pm Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 10:19 pm
    And you can buy that whiskey on Long Island! Easy to drink. :D

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #15 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:20 pm
    Post #15 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:20 pm Post #15 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:20 pm
    Rene G wrote:Guys! No need to waste time searching for naem in Asian markets or trying to make it yourself. Your local supermarket has what you need.

    Image

    Nothing goes with Mekong whiskey like Oscar Mayer chopped ham. That photo is in Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens, the first Thai cookbook in English (as well as Thai) that I'm aware of. I bought my copy in 1979 at a little Thai market in Hyde Park.


    I received my 4th edition the book in the mail today. It looks like they made some updates to the recipe.

    Image

    I love the blurb: "It is truly uncooked by the heat, and many people are afraid to try it."

    Image
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #16 - May 26th, 2013, 10:56 am
    Post #16 - May 26th, 2013, 10:56 am Post #16 - May 26th, 2013, 10:56 am
    laikom wrote:I received my 4th edition the book in the mail today. It looks like they made some updates to the recipe.

    That's kind of a shame the ham salad recipe was revised. Does the 4th edition still have the Pillsbury salapao recipe? Always a crowd pleaser.

    Image

    I shouldn't make fun of Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens, a pioneering work that introduced a then-obscure Asian cuisine to English-speaking cooks. In the 1970s such books were rare. Its bilingual format makes it unusual and still useful.

    JeffB wrote:The owner there once scoffed at me for buying ready-made naem, saying it was very easy to make using one of the curing and spice packets offered in the dry goods section of the store.

    Here are some curing powders on a store shelf in Indianapolis. Making naem is now on my summer to-do list.

    Image

    Either of those plates pictured above (but with homemade replacing the Oscar Mayer) would be perfect on some hot evening.
  • Post #17 - May 26th, 2013, 11:48 am
    Post #17 - May 26th, 2013, 11:48 am Post #17 - May 26th, 2013, 11:48 am
    The picture is a little different but depicts the same basic concept.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #18 - May 26th, 2013, 12:45 pm
    Post #18 - May 26th, 2013, 12:45 pm Post #18 - May 26th, 2013, 12:45 pm
    Rene G wrote:I shouldn't make fun of Cooking Thai Food in American Kitchens, a pioneering work that introduced a then-obscure Asian cuisine to English-speaking cooks. In the 1970s such books were rare. Its bilingual format makes it unusual and still useful.


    I agree, most of the recipes are actually quite good. Some of the American modifications are quite innovative, in particular I'd love to try this hor mok recipe using artichokes -

    Image
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #19 - June 6th, 2013, 1:20 am
    Post #19 - June 6th, 2013, 1:20 am Post #19 - June 6th, 2013, 1:20 am
    Sorry for the (aiding in the) hijacking of this thread with the cookbook posts. After learning firsthand how Wanpen at Rainbow makes her crispy rice, I'd like to suggest you make the rice balls more like rice pucks. Also her advice of "having soft hands" on the rice was very helpful. If you mash/pat them too much the ratio of rice which gets crispy goes significantly down. If you have light hands on the patting, as you'd imagine more of the hot oil penetrates into the loosely packed patty, therefore crisping up a deeper portion of the ball or puck. Also, hopefully this isn't top secret, but she also uses a small quantity of tempura powder mixed in with the rice and red curry. This is very good advice which as proven to be very helpful in my attempts at making the crispy rice. Not surprisingly, years of experience reveals some simple solutions.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more