What I love about the New Year is that general vibe to reflect on the previous year and to really think about what we want for ourselves in the coming one. So it seems a perfect time to go through old photos and note books! Exactly a year ago I was in Laos. I had no idea what to expect since I had never been to anywhere in Asia before, but I’d heard from a good source that their cuisine was unique and very exciting, so that was good enough for me. Needless to say I spent most of the three weeks eating my way around Laos and exploring their food culture……
So some essential links in case you are ever in Laos or would just like to find out a bit more information.
The wonderful cookery courses at Sofitel with Jon
Khaiphaen Restaurant in Luang Prabang
and Makphet in Vientiane
Not quite as cute as the originals we ate on the warms streets of Luang prabang but still delicious. True Laos Style would be chopped Spring Onion as well as Sweet Corn but I like to have them without. In Laos they actually have a special pan for the pancakes that sits on the fire and gives them their lovely markings. I have used a ordinary muffin tin.
150 g Stcky rice Flour
50 g Rice Flour
400 ml Coconut Cream
40 g Coconut Sugar
a good Pinch of Salt
1 Pandan Leaves, very finely chopped
60 ml Water
1 Egg, separated
1 Corn on the Cob – boiled, and the Corn Nuggets sliced off
A little Icing Sugar and a finely chopped Kaffir Lime Leaf
Preheat the Oven to 200 Degrees.
1. Grind the Pandan Leaves in a Pestle and Mortar with a good pinch of Sugar. Boil the paste with a little water and then drain through a sieve.
2. Put the Sticky Rice Flour, the Rice Flour, the Coconut Cream, the Sugar, the Egg Yolk and the Pandan Juice in a bowl and mix well. Whisk the Egg White with a pinch of Salt until it forms soft peaks. Fold gently into the Batter.
3. Prepare two Muffin trays with a generous amount of Coconut oil in each Muffin form. Divide the mixture and bake the little plump Pancakes for about 5 minutes until they are firm to the touch. Remove the trays from the oven and place one Muffin on the other to make 12 round Pancakes. Bake in the oven for a further 3 minutes.
4. Serve warm with a sprinkling of Icing Sugar, the Corn Nuggets and the finely chopped Kaffir Lime Leaf.
Ginger, Garlic and Dill Salad Dressing with Sweet Chilli Peanuts and toasted Sesame Radishes
The biggest surprise for me about Laos Cuisine was how much Dill they use. Yes, that’s right Dill! It’s pretty much the first thing I always say about Laos because I could never have imagined it, but the dishes are so tasty! Here’s a vibrant, tasty, and crunchy summer salad inspired by the flavours of Laos…
Ginger, Garlic and Dill Salad Dressing
1,5 cm Ginger
1 Garlic Clove
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
Juice of a Lime
Good pinch of Salt
1 tsp Coconut Sugar
a splash of Fish Sauce
a splash of Sesame Oil
pinch of roasted Chilli Powder
ca. 50 ml Peanut / Sunflower Oil
1/2 a bunch of Dill, finely chopped
Using a Pestle and Mortar and a good pinch of Salt grind the ginger and garlic into a fine paste. Add all the other ingredients and season to taste.
Sweet Chilli Peanuts
1 tsp Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp roasted Chilli Powder
1 tsp Water
good pinch of Salt
100 g Peanuts
Mic together the Coconut Sugar, Chilli Powder, Salt and Water. Coat the Peanuts and roast in a preheated oven (160 degrees) for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned in colour. Allow to cool.
Roasted Sesame Radishes
4 rosy pink Radishes
1 dsp Sesame
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
good sprinkling of Fleur de Sel
Dry roast the Sesame in a frying Pan. Chop the Radishes into fine strips, season with Fleur de Sel, add a little sesame Oil and the roasted Sesame.
For the Salad
6-7 Leaves from your choice of Salad (I love Romaine Salad as it’s so crunchy and has a wonderful deep green colour)
1/2 Corn on the Cob
A few sprigs of fresh Mint and Coriander
1. Boil a saucepan of Water, season with a little Sugar and Salt and boil the Corn on the Cob until the corn is tender. Rinse under cold water, and remove the Corn from the Cob.
2. Roughly chop the Salad leaves into bite size pieces, using a julienne peeler (asian style peeler) peel the Carrot into fine strips, chop the Cucumber into thin slices. Pick the Coriander and Mint leaves from the stems and roughly chop.
3. Add the Salad ingredients to a bowl and dress with the Salad dressing. Toss in the fresh Herbs and the Sesame Radishes, divide into bowls and sprinkle with the Sweet Chilli Peanuts.
In true Laos style there will be some more recipes coming soon…… but all in good time!