Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 2009 - Laos

Our food theme for July is Laos. The Lao national dish is laap which is a spicy mixture of marinated meat or fish that is sometimes raw with a combination of greens, herbs, and spices. Savoury Lao dishes are never sweet and many are actually bitter. Food is frequently eaten at room temperature. The staple food is sticky rice which is traditionally eaten by hand.

Our menu for the Laotian evening is:

  • Chicken soup

  • Chicken Stew

  • Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Sticky rice
  • Sticky rice pudding with mango

A seemingly simple soup to prepare, getting the balance of flavours correct in this dish took an age. The spices are lemongrass, chili, garlic, coriander, mint and lime. Together they have to make a slightly lemony, slightly spicy broth which is served with shredded chicken. It is was a very refreshing and palateble soup.
The main courses of chicken stew and vegetable stir fry also relied heavily on Laotian spices (such as lemongrass, ginger and coriander) to give them their tang. The chicken stew was based with a roasted eggplant. Both were served with sticky rice, but I am sorry to say we didn't eat it with our fingers :) They were both excellent.
The dessert was sticky coconut rice pudding with mango. The coconut sauce was a hit all round. Definitely a recipe to be revisited in the future!