How to Make Khao Jee, or Lao Rice on a Stick

Chef Bobby Pradachith says this is the perfect way to use day-old sticky rice.

Welcome to Night Market, an exploration of these casual, open-air bazaars where food, music, and retail vendors all coalesce to celebrate Asian street food and culture. Check out the rest of our coverage to discover mouth-watering recipes, time-honored traditions, the true meaning of community, and how to make new night market memories of your own.

A popular snack found throughout the street markets of Laos and Northeastern Thailand, khao jee, or khao jee joom kai, features just two main ingredients: sticky rice and egg. It’s the perfect way to use day-old sticky rice and can be eaten as a quick breakfast.

“Khao jee is one of my mom’s favorite things to make for the family at home,” says Bobby Pradachith, chef and co-owner of Thip Khao in Washington DC. “Growing up, I didn’t even initially really enjoy it, but then as I got older I started to love it and I remember on my last trip to Laos I found the ones I ate at street markets to be really tasty.”

Boby Pradachith’s Khao Jee Recipe

Yield: 8 portions

• 4 cups sticky rice
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon Maggi Seasoning Sauce
• 1 tablespoon Golden Boy Fish Sauce
• ½ tablespoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
• ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning powder
• ½ cup coconut milk
• 4 egg yolks
• 6 whole eggs, whisked

Seasoning Glaze (optional)
• 2 tablespoons Padaek (fermented fish paste)
• 4 tablespoons Maggi Seasoning Sauce
• 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1. Rinse and drain sticky rice with cold water until water appears clear, at least 4 to 5 times. Add new cold water and allow to soak for 4 hours (or overnight preferred).
2. Drain sticky rice well. Add cold water into a sticky rice pot about ¼ full and place on to a stove top. Heat over medium high heat until water slowly boils. Add sticky rice to a bamboo woven steamer basket and place over the pot. Top the surface of the rice with a damp towel. Make sure water does not touch the rice while cooking. Steam sticky rice for about 20 to 25 minutes until translucent, tender, and chewy.
3. After cooking, remove the basket from the heat and run cold water on the cooked sticky rice until the rice is cold. Drain and place the basket on top of the pot and steam for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
4. Once rice is completely cooled, season with salt, maggi seasoning sauce, fish sauce, golden mountain seasoning sauce, black pepper, mushroom seasoning powder, coconut milk, and egg yolks. Mix until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Rub your hands with a little oil and form into patties, about 4 ounces or the size of a Mcdonald’s hash brown. If not being cooked immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to go. Store up to 3 to 4 days.
6. When ready to cook, allow the rice patties to temper out at room temperature for 10 minutes. While then, heat up a charcoal grill or saute pan with oil over medium heat. Place a wooden skewer from one end of the rice patties and then dip in whisk eggs and immediately on to the charcoal grill or saute pan. Cook on each side for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Brush with the seasoning glaze and cook for an additional minute to create a shiny crust. Remove from the heat and serve.

Note: Wrapping soaked sticky rice in cheesecloth in a metal colander over a sauce pot can be a good alternative if sticky rice bamboo woven steamer basket and pot are unavailable to obtain. Khao Piing can be eaten as is or can be stuffed with anything such as ground meats, sausage, pickles, and chili jam.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Austa Somvichian-Clausen is a freelance food and travel writer, who lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend and two fur babies.