Laap, the closest thing to a national dish in Laos, is served on festive occasions. The dish can feature various types of meat, traditionally served raw, in a ceviche style. We’ve used cooked pork in our recipe, and served it with khao khua (toasted rice powder), pickled krachai, cucumbers and fresh herbs.
- 30 g (¼ cup) glutinous rice (see Note)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 800 g minced pork
- 3 Asian red eschalots (see Note), finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 4 red bird’s-eye chillies, seeded, finely chopped, plus extra, to serve
- 2 pieces (about 10cm long) pickled krachai (see Note), finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- coriander and mint leaves, steamed rice, lettuce leaves and sliced cucumber, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place rice in a wok over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until toasted. Using a mortar and pestle, grind rice until roughly ground. Set aside and reserve wok.
Whisk lime juice, fish sauce and ½ tsp white pepper in a small bowl, set aside.
Heat oil in reserved wok over high heat. Brown pork, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Toss pork with eschalots, spring onions, chillies, krachai, chilli powder and lime juice mixture until well combined. Place in a bowl, scatter with ground toasted rice, coriander and mint leaves, and extra chilli. Serve with rice, lettuce leaves and sliced cucumber.
• Glutinous rice, available from Asian food shops and selected supermarkets, is also known as sweet or sticky rice.
• Asian red eschalots are available from selected greengrocers and Asian food shops.
• Pickled krachai, available in jars from Asian food shops, is a finger-like rhizome that’s less pungent than ginger or galangal.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Peter Georgakopoulos.