Continuing the story of our culinary adventures at Tamarind Restaurant’s cooking class in Luang Prabang, Laos, after making sticky rice and Lao “dips”, we started work on a classic Lao dish – Mok Pa (fish steamed in banana leaf).
Here’s the recipe for four people:
Sticky rice powder
3 cloves garlic
1 chili (or to taste)
3 kaffir lime leaves
salt to taste
3 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped basil
3 small spring onions, chopped
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
300g white fish fillets, roughly cubed
8 banana leaf rectangles
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the shallots, garlic, chili, lime leaves, salt and sticky rice powder.
Add water and fish sauce and stir.
Stir in fish pieces.
Take two banana leaf rectangles and place one on top of the other at right angles.
Put a quarter of the solids on the centre of the leaf:
This recipe would serve 4 people as a snack or appetiser.
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 medium spring onions, chopped
3/4 cup chopped coriander
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced
heaping tablespoon of salt
200g minced chicken (or beef or pork, or… at a pinch, tofu…)
12 stalks lemongrass, outside leaves removed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup oil for frying
Using a sharp knife and starting about 1cm from the base of the lemongrass, make a cut right through the stalk for about 4-5cm. Be sure to stop short of the end so that it doesn’t completely fall apart. Rotate the stalk a quarter turn and repeat. Continue until you have slits all around the stalk.
Insert small spoonfuls of the meat into the central core formed by the “slats” you just cut:
All recipes courtesy of Tamarind Restaurant.