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Nem Tha Dua - 8/18/08

Nem Tha Dua is a Laotian dish.  I have never seen this dish served in any restaurants in the U.S., perhaps it is because there just isn't any Lao restaurant.  This dish is a specialty of Tha Dua,  a very small area, about 20 kilometers from down town Vientiane where people can take the ferry or small boat to cross the Mekong river to the Sadet Shopping area in Thailand.  The Mekong river is a natural border between Thailand and Laos.  As a youngster, it was a treat for us to go to Tha Dua for a little week end getaway!  Before we cross the border to go shopping in Thailand, my mom always make sure we had a great meal there first.   Lots of Moms and Pops restaurants are set up close to the bank of the Mekong River, so that people can eat while watching the ferry going across the river.  I remember looking forward to eat the Nem Tha Dua, Xom Tam (papaya Salad), sticky rice and many many more traditional Lao dishes. 

The best part of this dish is the crispy rice!  When I served this dish to our friends it is always a hit. It seems like I can never make enough of this dish since there are never any leftovers.


Closer look at the dish

Individual portion.  This dish is usually served with lettuce so you can scoop the Nem in it and make it a roll.

Preparation work

The ingredients are: Rice, grounded lemon grass, desiccated coconut, salt and water

Once all the ingredients are incorporated,  the rice is cooked in a rice cooker .

Red curry paste is added to the cooked rice.


Once the curry paste is well incorporated in the rice, eggs are added so the rice will stick together

Once the rice is cooled off, the rice is shaped into small elongated balls.



The rice is then deep fried and then put aside until the rice is cooled off.



The nems are then shredded into small pieces.

Once the rice is cooled off, The rice balls are smashed into small pieces and added to the shredded nems together with chopped cilantro, mint, and green onions. Lemon, nuoc mam, and hot peppers are added at the last minute accordingly to your taste. 


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