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Laos (Lao Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes


   Lao cuisine, like that of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, revolves around rice. This isn't the long grain rice that Vietnamese, Central Thai and most Westerners are used to eating, however, but khao niaw, or glutinous 'sticky rice' deftly rolled into a neat, small ball and eaten with the hand. Sticky rice, then, forms the central theme of virtually every Lao meal. It is generally accompanied by a selection of dips, parboiled vegetables, salad, soup and various curried meat dishes or fish dishes. Lao food is quite similar to Thai food--and indeed identical to much of the food eaten in Thailand's ethnically Lao Northeast. Dishes are generally cooked with fresh ingredients that include vegetables, poultry (chicken, duck), pork, beef and water buffalo. Fish and prawns are readily available but are nearly always freshwater, since Laos is a landlocked country relatively far from the sea. Mutton and goat are not eaten except by the country's small South Asian Muslim population, nearly all of whom live in Vientiane. Up country, particularly in the north, jungle foods and game are popular--besides wild boar and deer this includes such unlikely animals as pangolin, monitor lizard, civet, wild dogs and field rats.
Beef Laap
1 lb Fresh ground beef
Mint leaves
3 Cloves of garlic
1 tb Shallot, chopped
1 t Coriander seeds, ground
1 t Ground hot chili peppers
1 tb Ground toasted rice
1 tb Scallion, chopped
2 tb Lime juice
1 t Salt
1 tb Fish sauce
Fresh raw vegetables
Cooking Instructions:
Adjust the amount of ground hot chili pepper to taste. Serve extra on the side to be added to the dish as needed. Make toasted rice by browning RAW rice in a hot dry wok or frying pan, and then ground coarsely in a blender, OR an acceptable substitute is to brown a commercial "cream of rice" in a hot dry pan/wok. Wrap the shallot and garlic in aluminum foil and roast on the stove for approx. 2 minutes per side till the content is scorched. Remove the content from the foil, mash together well (with mortar & pestle, if available) and set aside. Lightly cook the ground beef in a dry pan/wok until the pink is just gone, and place in a bowl. Let cool for a few minutes. Add fish sauce, salt, lime juice, and mix well. Add the mashed garlic/shallot, ground coriander seed, toasted rice, ground hot chili, chopped scallion, and lightly toss together with a fork. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnish with mint leaves. This dish should be served with fresh raw assorted vegetables such as: chunks of "yard-long bean", nappa leaves (select the more tender inner leaves), lettuce leaves (Romaine and other leave lettuces are excellent), celery, and so on.
Lao Green Papaya Salad (Tam Som)
Servings: 4
2 1/2 c Shredded green papaya
4 md Red and green serrano chilies or to taste
2 lg Cloves garlic, skinned
1 c Green or string beans, cut 1" pieces
6 Cherry tomatoes, cut each in half
2 ts Ground peanuts, optional
2 tbs Small dried shrimps
Cabbage and Iceberg lettuce leaves
5 tbs Lime juice
3 tbs Fish sauce
3 tbs Sugar
4 tbs Finely ground dried shrimps
Cooking Instructions:
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Using a mortar and pestle, pound chilies and garlic to coarse texture. Add papaya, green beans, tomatoes and pound 1-2 minutes longer, mixing with a spoon while pounding. Add dried shrimps, peanuts, dressing and mix well. Serve immediately with cabbage and lettuce leaves. Goes well with Thai style BBQ chicken and steamed sticky rice.
Laotian Chicken (Kai Lao)
3 lb Roasting chicken
1 1/2 ts Salt
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs Oil
2 md Onions, finely chopped
8 oz Mince meat
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Ground black pepper
1 Fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbs Chopped fresh coriander leaf
1/2 c Uncooked rice
1 c Thick coconut milk
2 c Thin coconut milk
Cooking Instructions:
Wash and dry chicken well, then rub it inside and out with salt and half the crushed garlic. Heat oil in frying pan, fry remaining garlic and onions with the mince meat. Season with salt, pepper and chilli. When meat has been fried well. add coriander powder, rice and thick coconut milk. Bring to simmering point, then reduce heat,cool mushrooms. Chop the onion finely. Put the oil in saucepan large enough to hold the amount of liquid. Add onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, coriander and cummin and continue to stir for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper, then cover saucepan, turn heat very low and allow to cook for 10 minutes, lifting lid and stirring two or three times. Add hot water and stock cubes and bring to the boil. Simmer I0 minutes. Add milk and allow to come to the boil once more, stirring occasionally. Mix cornflour with cold water and add to the soup off the heat, then return to heat and stir constantly until it boils and thickens. Serve immediately, sprinkled with coriander leaves.
Duck Curry (Kalee Ped)
1 duck
2 lg onions, thinly sliced
1 coconut
6 tb curry powder
2 tb butter
12 potatoes, peeled & soaked in water
2 lg red chilli peppers
1 sm can tomato paste
SaltFfish sauce
Chopped coriander leaves
Ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Duck preparation: plucked and gutted - cut off the legs and divide the breast into two pieces; cut off the tail end; cut other parts (such as the wings) into large pieces; wash all the pieces and sprinkle them with Salt. Coconut preparation: opened and the meat grated-make two extractions of coconut milk and combine them, then leave the mixture in a large soup bowl. Put the pieces of duck in a pot and place this on the fire. Stir until a good aroma is given off Add the fish sauce and take the pot off the fire. Pour off some of the duck's fat if there seems to be too much. Put the butter in a wok and put it on the fire. When the butter is hot, add the onion. When this starts to smell good, add the tomato paste and curry powder. When these ingredients give off a good aroma, add the coconut milk. Stir until the cream separates, then take the wok off the fire. Put the pot with the pieces of duck back on the fire and pour the curry sauce from the wok on to it. If some of the coconut milk had been left over, add it to the pot at this stage. Cover the pot and leave it until the duck meat is well cooked, then add the red chill peppers and the potatoes. When the latter are thoroughly cooked, taste. Serve the dish in a bowl, garnished with ground black pepper and chopped coriander leaves and accompanied by rice.
Clear Fish Soup (Keng Pa Sai)
ork bones, trimmed of any fat and washed
200 g (small bowl)grilled fish, deboned
4-5 shallots, peeled
2 tb jelly mushrooms, cleaned, boiled and sliced
2 hen's eggs made into a thin omelette, folded and cut into strips of 2 cm, then sliced thinly lengthwise and put them on a plate
Spring onion, the green parts, chopped
coriander leaves, chopped
3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped with a knife
Ground black pepper
Fish sauce
6 straight-bulbed spring onions
2 bunches coriander
1 bowl Chinese vermicelli, soaked in water and cut up small
Cooking Instructions:
Put 3 metal jugfuls (3 pints) of water in a soup pot. Place the pot on the fire. Add salt, the 6 spring onions, and the bunches of coriander leaves with their roots. When the water boils, add the pork bones and put the lid on the pot. Leave it until the bones are cooked sufficiently for the meat to fall off them. Take the pot off the fire and spoon out the meat. If there is still any fat left, cut it all off. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. Add the meat and return the pot to the fire. Add the shallots, the jelly mushrooms and the fish sauce. When the shallots are cooked, add the Chinese vermicelli. When all is done, taste and check the saltiness. Take the pot off the fire. Add the prepared strips of omelette and the dried fish. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves, the chopped coriander leaves, the finely chopped Kaffir lime leaves and the ground black pepper. Accompany the dish with Jaew Kapi and fried vegetables.

Quail Stew (Lam Nok Kho)
1 dried quail, matured until almost mouldy, divided into separate breast & leg parts, washed and put on a plate

7 round eggplants
5 lg fresh green chilli peppers
1 stalk lemon grass
3 straight-bulbed spring onions
Sa-kahn, cut into pieces about 5 cm long and 5 cm thick-about 10 pieces-washed
3 young shoots rattan, cooked by being placed directly on a charcoal fire and peeled so as to leave only the soft part, cut 2 cm long
1 bunch phak tam nin, picked over, keeping only the leaves and tops, which are to be washed and Cut into pieces about 2 cm long
Spring onion, the green parts, cut into pieces about 2 cm long
Washed sweet basil leaves
1 piece of crisp-fried pork skin, cut into squares of 5 cm and put on a plate padek
2 yards long beans, cut into pieces about 2 cm long
Cooking Instructions:
Put 2 metal jugfuls (2 pints) of water in a pot and place it on the fire. Add the prepared bird, the eggplants, the chilli peppers, the spring onions, the lemon grass, the so-kahn and salt. Cover and let it boil. Add the padek in a padek basket suspended in the soup. When the eggplants and the chilli peppers are done, spoon them out and pound them. Put this mixture back in the pot. When it returns to the boil add the phak toni nin and the yard-long beans. When all is done, add the pieces of pork skin and the chopped coriander leaves, taste and check the saltiness. Serve in a bowl, garnished with the chopped spring onion leaves. Accompany the dish with young cucumbers and older eggplants and other fresh vegetables (e.g. salad leaves, watercress, etc.).
Piquant Fried Catfish (Pa Ling Sousi Haeng)
6 slices pa ling
5 dried red chilli peppers-pick off the stems, take out their cores and soak them in water
7 sm shallots, peeled
1 fully grown coconut, split open-grate the meat and squeeze two extractions of coconut milk from it
Chopped spring onion leaves chopped coriander leaves
Kaffir lime leaves
Fish sauce
Ground black pepper
Pig's-bone broth or any other clear soup
Cooking Instructions:
Fish preparation: scrape off the mucus from the skin of the fish and cut slices about I cm thick-wash and salt these, fry them in pork fat until they are a good golden colour, then set them aside on a plate. Put the first extraction of coconut milk in a wok on the fire and leave it until the cream separates. Add the kheuang hom and leave simmering over a hot fire stirring occasionally, until the ingredients give off a good aroma. Then add the pig's-bone broth or other clear soup and leave the wok over a low fire until the liquid has reduced somewhat. Next, add the fish sauce and a considerable quantity of the second extraction of coconut milk, followed by the fish slices back and forth so that they absorb the liquid. Add the Kaffir lime leaves and the chopped spring onion leaves. Transfer the contents of the pan to a platter, garnish them with ground black pepper and chopped coriander leaves, and serve.
Prawn Salad (Pla Gung)
1 lb Prawn tails
3 c Water
2 tbs Lemon grass chop coarse
1 tbs Lime leaves chop coarse
1 tbs Coriander leaves chop coarse
2 tbs Lime juice
2 ts Palm sugar
1 ts Garlic chop fine
1 ts Ginger chop fine
1/2 ts Black pepper ground
1/2 c Green onions sliced
1/2 c Mint leaves
Cooking Instructions:
Bring water to a boil and add lemon grass, lime leaves and coriander. Boil for five minutes. Drop in prawns and cook 1 minute. Remove and rinse under cold water. Combine lime juice, palm sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a bowl. Mix to dissolve sugar. Pour dressing over prawns and toss to coat. Add green onions and mint leaves, toss to mix.
Hot & Sour Mushroom Soup
Servings: 3
3 c Vegetable stock
1 ts Pepper sauce
1 inch Lemon grass, finely chopped into rings
3 Kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn into three
1 ts Sugar
2 tb Lemon juice
2 oz Oyster mushrooms, coarsely separated or button mushrooms
2 sm Fresh red or green chilis, crushed to split open
Cooking Instructions:
In a large pan, bring the vegetable stock to the boil and stir in the Pepper sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring well until the mushrooms are just cooked but still al dente. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.
Sticky Rice (Khao Neeo)
Servings: 6
3 c Long grain sticky (glutinous) rice
Cooking Instructions:
In a large bowl (large enough to hold at least twice the volume of rice, about 6 cups) cover rice with cold water by 2 to 3 inches. Soak rice 8 to 24 hours. Alternatively, soak rice in warm water (about 110F) 2 hours. The longer soak allows more flavor to develop. Drain rice and transfer to a Southeast Asian rice steaamer basket or lined sieve (see note). Set steamer basket or sieve over several inches of boiling water in a large pot or deep kettle. It is important that the rice. Cover rice with a lid and steam, checking water level occasionally to make sure pot or kettle doesn't boil dry and adding more boiling water if necessary, 25 minutes, or until rice is shiny and tender. Transfer rice to a basket or bowl, breaking it up into smaller lumps, and immediately cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel.
Sweet & Sour Tofu
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lb tofu (bean curd),cubed
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 stick celery, sliced
2 small red (bell) peppers, cored, seeded and sliced
8 oz mangetout (snowpeas),trimmed and halved
4 oz broccoli, trimmed and divided into florets
4 oz thin green beans, halved
2 tbs sweet soy sauce
1 tbs tamarind concentrate
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs chilli sauce
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs white vinegar
Pinch of ground star anise
1 ts cornflour
1 c water
Cooking Instructions:
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or wok until hot. Add the curshed garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the tofu in baches and stir-fry over a gentle heat, until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add the onion, corrot, celery, red pepper, mangetout, broccoli and green beans to the pan and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add the oyster sauce, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, tomato puree, soy sauce, chilli sauce, sugar, vinegar and star anise, mixing well to blend. Stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Mix the cornflour with the water and add to the pan with the fried tofu. Stir-fry gently until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Serve the salad immediately, warm.
Glutinous Rice & Bananas
Servings: 20
3 c Glutinous rice
1 c Adzuki beans, soaked
3 c Cococnut milk
2 ts Salt
2/3 c Sugar
5 ea Bananas
20 ea 6" X 8" pieces of foil
Wash the rice. Cover with 10 c water & soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain. Simmer adzuki beans in 3 c water over medium heat for 40 minutes. Cook until they are tender but not mushy. Put coconut milk in a large pot. Add salt & sugar & bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice & cook, stirring constantly, until all the milk has been absorbed. Cut bananas in half lengthwise then cut in half crosswise. Put 2 tb rice in the middle of each peice of foil. Flatten & place a banana quarter on top. Arrange adzuki beans around the edges. Cover with another 2 tb rice. Flatten to cover the banana. Bring two long sides of the foil up to meet above the rice. Fold twice & press down on the rice. Steam over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature still in wrapper.
Sweet Sticky Rice (Kao Thom)
1/2 kg Sticky rice
1 1/2 c Coconut Cream
1 1/2 c Sugar
10 Bananas
1 c Black beans
Banana leaves
Cooking Instructions:
Soak rice overnight, drain. mix with coconut cream, salt, and sugar and stir until well mixed. Peel bananas. Put banana's leaves, put mixture of rice on top of leaves. Put banana of top of rice and roll & fold. Repeat rolling until mixture is finished. Cook the rolled bunch in a steamer for 45 minutes.
Sticky Rice Mango
Servings: 6
3 c Glutinous rice
1 1/2 c Coconut cream
1/2 c Sugar
1 t Salt
1 1/4 c Coconut cream
2 tb Sugar
1/4 ts Salt
6 Ripe mangoes, well chilled
2 tb Sesame seeds, toasted
Cooking Instructions:
Soak the rice in cold water for 2 hours. Drain. Line a steamer with cheesecloth, heat steamer and lay rice on the cheesecloth. Steam for 30 minutes or until cooked through. The rice will become glossy. Mix the Seasonings ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix in the hot steamed rice. Cover tightly and let soak for 30 minutes to absorb the coconut flavour. Blend the Sauce ingredients in a pot and heat until it just reaches the boiling point. Let cool. Peel the mangoes, slice lengthwise and remove the pits. Divide the rice among 6 plates. Place mango slices on top and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

World Cuisine Recipes


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