clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A picture of Crispy Rice Salad with Cucumbers and Herbs

Crispy Rice Salad with Cucumbers and Herbs

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 generous salad servings (but extra dressing to make it again) 1x


Paper-thin veggies, a shower of herbs, a pile of fried crispy red curry rice, and a limey garlicky vinaigrette all over top. This crispy rice salad is all I want to eat right now!


Units Scale

The Very Excellent Dressing:

  • a 1/2-inch knob of fresh ginger, or a spoonful of ginger paste (note 1)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or another neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (3-4 small limes)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili crisp (more for spicier)

Crispy Rice Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice (note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)
  • half an English cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced or minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 bunch mint, roughly chopped or torn (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • chili crisp to taste


  1. Dressing: Blitz everything up in a blender or food processor to make this SUPER yummy, punchy sauce.
  2. Crispy Rice: Toss the rice in a bowl with the oil and curry paste. If it’s not sticking together when you squeeze it, add the cornstarch and get your hands wet to mix it again (this happens if the rice is pre-cooked or several days old). Squeeze it into loose, squishy chunks and transfer to the air fryer in a single layer. Air fry at 400 for 7-9 minutes, until golden and crisped. (See Note 3 for alternative methods – I find the air fryer to be fastest and most convenient!)
  3. You’re Done! Yum! Break the crispy rice apart into little golden, delightful chunks. Toss with about half of the dressing and however many veggies you want. Garnish it with some peanuts and chili crisp if you want. I mean, honestly. Wow. This is so good.


Note 1 on Ginger: I don’t grate it or mince it because I just toss it in the the bldner with the rest of the sauce ingredients. I’ve also used lemongrass paste here and it’s delicious! 

Note 2 on Cooking the Rice: Most crispy rice recipes call for day-old cooked rice. Maybe I’m just lazy, but honestly, I have not found this to be necessary. I cook the rice in the Instant Pot with this method – for this I do 2 cups of rinsed jasmine rice to 2 1/2 cups water, cooked for 3 minutes at high pressure and rested for a 15 minute natural pressure release. I often just make this, fry up a batch for the same-day salad, and then keep the rest in the fridge for another salad later in the week.

Note 3a on Oven Method: If you don’t have an air fryer, I would recommend “frying” the rice in the oven. Bake it at 425 degrees for about 8-10 minutes near the top of the oven (closer to the heating element). It’ll get crispy on the outside, but stay chewy on the inside.

Note 3b on Skillet Frying: You can fry this rice in oil in a skillet, but it’s not my favorite because a) it’s messy, and b) it requires your rice to be much drier to begin with in order to get it crisped up. You’ll want to use day-old rice, and then fry it in about 1/4 cup of neutral oil until it’s golden and crispy. Some recipes even recommend drying the rice out in the oven to ensure that the rice is dry enough to fry well, which, for me, is a dealbreaker. Too many steps. LOL. Another consideration: your finished rice will likely be more oily than the other two methods so you may find that you don’t need as much of the dressing.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Laoatian-Inspired

Keywords: rice salad, crispy rice salad, crispy rice, salad recipe