cooking in laos – fish laap (or larb), traditional lao salad recipe with pictures!

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately!

Lunch at Mr. Somephone's House, A Traditional Lao Meal
Lunch at Mr. Somephone's House, A Traditional Lao Meal
here i am slicing beef for "lao steak"
here i am slicing beef for "lao steak"

Here’s some Lao Recipes:
Fish Laap

1 lb finely chopped pieces of boiled fish (I like tilapia) – let it cool before you try to make laap.
1 stalk of lemon grass, finely sliced
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine in a large bowl.

special thanks to mrs. amasavath and the other lady from the cataloguing department
special thanks to mrs. ampasavath and the other lady from the cataloguing department

2 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp padec (Lao fermented fish paste… or substitute with 2 tbs Thai fish sauce)

essential for lao cooking
essential for lao cooking

2 Red Thai Chilies, finely sliced (or more/less, depending on your tolerance)
You can also add extra, “chili hang (strong)” if you want.  That would be dried chili flakes.

the strong stuff
the strong stuff

1/2 cup Sweet Thai Basil, fresh, whole leaves or coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro/corriander, fresh, whole leaves or coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh mint leaves, whole or coarsely chopped.

fish laap
fish laap

2 tbs of sticky rice powder

stickyricepowder
How to make sticky rice powder:
On medium heat, grill uncooked sticky rice grains until brown in a dry (no oil, water, etc.) pan.  Let it cool.  Pulverize in food processor and put through a sieve to get rid of the larger pieces that didn’t get ground finely enough.  Grilled sticky rice powder can be stored in a jar for a few months.

 

Laap should be eaten right away, and served at room temperature.  Don’t let it sit around too long or it will be “bor sep” (not delicious).  Enjoy your meal with sticky rice… sep lai!

Fish Laap is definitely my favorite traditional dish from Laos… though I love papaya salad as well.  You can substitute tofu or beef or chicken or anything you like for the fish.

Oh, and I went bowling with my students too.

bowling
bowling

I scored a 101, not bad considering I hadn’t picked up a bowling ball in over 2 years.  That was almost the highest score, beat only by Dao, on my right, who scored a 110.  Most of the rest of the class were around 50 pt area… but we had fun and that’s the point!  I taught them key English vocabulary including “strike”, “spare”, and “turkey”.

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5 thoughts on “cooking in laos – fish laap (or larb), traditional lao salad recipe with pictures!

  1. I was in Lao a few years ago and Laap was my favourite dish. When I came back, I wanted to make it for my friends. I’ve made it a few times since and this is the best recipe I’ve come across! It is very delicious. Thanks for posting!

  2. That was great! I’m a Lao girl looking for a recipe since my mom is far away. Thank so much! That’s is exactly how the recipe is! I have a clue but I didn’t know how to treat the fish. Thanks again.

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