This recipe only includes two main ingredients: sticky rice and sugar. Sticky rice goes through three processes of steaming, drying, and frying to produce a super crispy puffed rice cake. The caramel is drizzled on top and its a perfect snack after all your Lao meals.
1. Grab the sticky rice still very hot from the cooking basket, you don't want to use room temperature or else it will not work. Use a round cookie cutter, or any other shape, to make thin layers of rice cakes. Be gentle and don't pack too hard or else you will not be able to cook this evenly in the deep fryer.
2. Once you are done shaping your sticky rice cakes, go ahead and grab a food dehydrator and put them inside on a single layer. It will take you about 1h until you will get a satisfactory result.
3. When we cook sticky rice, we are adding heat to it and that expands the rice while adding water molecules inside, when we dry these cakes, we are reversing the process but removing only half the water: it is important leaving some of the water inside so that when we fry them that creates that puffs and crunchy effect. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dry the rice under the sun for about a day.
4. Now that you have your dry sticky rice, take the deep fryer and heat up the oil between 350 to 375 F. You want to make sure your oil is high. 375F is perfect, don't go beyond that or your sticky rice cakes will burn. Test with 1 sticky rice cake first, it should puff in a minute, after which you flip it to cook the other side for another minute. You will see the bubble slowly disappear after that minute. Then remove the cake from the fryer. Do all the cakes the same way and leave them on paper towel to let them dry.
5. Chop up palm sugar in small pieces, and put it in a frying pan under low heat, it will take a while but it is important to keep heat low. Once you get a liquid clear and golden color, turn off the heat and drizzle your caramel on your rice cakes (beware it is VERY hot, wait before eating).