Crispy Rice Salad with Kale
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Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh

Crispy Rice Salad with Kale

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This salad is inspired by one of the best bites of food I've ever had, the crispy rice salad at Hai Hai, an amazing Vietnamese restaurant in Minneapolis. It's got, like, four different layers of crunch and a dressing that's spicy, sweet, salty, and bright. I never knew I could love a salad this much!



Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Fill a cast-iron pan with 1 1/2 inches oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make your dressing. Combine the garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Add the Thai bird chile. Add 2 tablespoons hot oil from your cast iron into the mixture. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and whisk together. Let the mixture sit while you prepare your other ingredients.
  3. Add the peanuts to the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove and add to the dressing. Mix to coat the peanuts.
  4. In the same cast-iron pan, scatter the rice in the hot oil and fry until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fried rice to the lined sheet tray to drain.
  5. Add the kale, shallot, cilantro leaves and crispy rice to a large bowl and toss with the peanuts and dressing to taste. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

It is best to use leftover rice. If you make rice specifically for this recipe, follow the directions on the package to make 1 1/2 cups cooked rice. Spread the hot rice on a sheet pan to cool and dry out. Store in the refrigerator, uncovered, until ready to use. It is best to cook the rice the day before.