Laab – Lukewarm spicy meat salad

Laab is a lukewarm salad of minced meat and is commonly regarded as the unofficial national dish of Laos. As well in the northeast of Thailand, the dish is very popular, so that you can find numerous different forms of preparation and variations with chicken, pork and fish but also vegetarian variants with mushrooms.

In addition to the short preparation time Laab is characterized by its fresh taste. An essential ingredient is the spicy smokey aroma of roasted rice, combined with fresh herbs such as mint.

Usually the dish is served lukewarm with a portion of sticky rice and enjoyed together with family and friends.

 

Ingredients for four portions:

  • 600 g minced pork (alternatively minced meat from poultry)
  • two to three red onions
  • two spring onions
  • three to four Thai Bird Eye chili (alternatively, of course, other types of chili can be used, depending on the desired sharpness)
  • 4-5 stems of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp roasted ground rice
  • 1 tbsp Pla Raa of Ros Zäp
  • 2 tbsp fisch sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (alternatively brown sugar)
  • the juice of one to two limes

 

Preparation:

First the roasted rice is produced. For this purpose, the rice is roasted in a wok or in a pan until it is browned. In order to get a uniform color and not burn, the rice has to be stirred constantly. Subsequently, the browned rice is ground in a mixer to coarse-grained powder and can be initially set aside for later use.

Next, heat about 1 ½ cups of water in a wok or a medium sized pot. When the water begins to boil, the minced meat is added and cooked with constant stirring and set aside to cool. Once the meat has cooled slightly, add the sliced onions, the chopped chillies, the roasted rice and the chilli flakes. The sharpness should be dosed according to personal taste.

Then the dish is seasoned with Pla Raa, fish sauce and the juice of lime. This creates a wonderfully fresh salty-sour taste that is finally completed with the roughly chopped mint. When using chicken meat, a little bit oil can be added. To serve this tasty meat salad is in a bowl filled with sticky rice and crisp raw vegetables added as a side dish.

Khanom Chin – Rice Noodle Salad with makerel

Khanom Chin refers to the traditional thin rice noodles of the Thai cuisine, which are used for both the preparation of soups and salads. For the production of rice is usually fermented for several days, cooked and the dough then processed into pasta.

The rice noodle salad presented here is a variant of the Thai Isaan with fried mackerel. The salad dish gets its tart and fresh note through the use of lemongrass, lime, shallots and fresh coriander.

In Thailand, the dish is eaten as a small snack in a sociable round with friends over a cold beer or whiskey and reflects the exciting complexity of Thai cuisine with its variety of fresh flavors.

 

Ingredients for four portions:

  • 200 g rice noodles
  • three mackerels
  • five to six cocktail tomatoes or two medium-sized vine tomatoes
  • four red onions or five spring onions
  • three cloves of garlic
  • four to five long beans
  • a stalk of lemongrass
  • two to three stalks of coriander
  • three to four Thai Bird Eye chili (alternatively, of course, other types of chili can be used, depending on the desired sharpness)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 6-8 tbsp Pla Raa of Ros Zäp
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (alternatively brown sugar)
  • the juice of one to two limes

 

Preparation:

First, cook the rice noodles as indicated on the package and then set aside for further use.

Next, wash the mackerels, clean them and remove the head. Put the fish in a saucepan and add some water so that it is covered and even cook it covered. Drain the fish and keep the broth. Once the fish has cooled remove the skin and bones and set aside.

Chop the beans, onions, garlic, chillies and lemongrass. Cut the tomatoes into slices. Then mix the broth produced with the mackerel cooking with Pla Raa, chilli powder, palm sugar and lime juice.

Finally, mix the meat of the mackerel with the sliced ​​vegetables and marinate with the prepared broth and pour over the cooked rice noodles. Garnish with the coriander before serving.

Som Tam Lao – Laotian Papaya-Salad

Som Tam is a spicy papaya-salad dish that exists in many different variations and is popular in Laos as well as in Thailand.

The main component of this traditional dish are green unripe papayas, chili, garlic, lime that are crushed in a mortar. Afterwards palm sugar, fish sauce respectively Pla Raa and if required dried shrimps, fermented crabs, unsalted peanuts or long beans are added. Commonly, this room-warm salad is served with sticky rice and grilled chicken.

Especially in the Thai Isaan and the neighboring Laos, the Som Tam is characterized by a special spiciness and a pronounced interaction of fruity acidity, salty nuances and the subtle sweetness of palm sugar.

As unripe papaya outside Southeast Asia are often very expensive or difficult to obtain, the dish can also be made with other unripe fruits, such as mangoes and cucumbers, but also with carrots, kohlrabi or mung bean sprouts.

 

Ingredients for four portions:

  • a green unripe papaya (alternatively two green unripe mangos or two or three cucumbers)
  • two carrots
  • three to four long-beans
  • five to six cocktail tomatoes or two medium-sized vine tomatoes
  • four to five Thai Bird Eye chili (alternatively, of course, other types of chili can be used, depending on the desired sharpness)
  • four cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp Pla Raa of Ros Zäp
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (alternatively brown sugar)
  • the juice of one lime

 

Preparation:

First peel the papaya with a peeler and halve once in length. It is best to scrape out the seeds with a tea or tablespoon and remove the whites thoroughly. Briefly rinse the papaya and pat dry. Then slice the pulp of the papaya and the carrots lengthways into thin strips on a raw food grater. Cut the long beans into pieces three to four centimeters long and quarter the cocktail tomatoes.

Peel the garlic and chop it roughly. Then core the chilies and chop them. Next, first pound the garlic and chilies well in the mortar to release the flavours contained therein. Now gently crush the sliced papaya, carrots and the chopped long beans in small portions with little pressure and stir the components repeatedly. Now add the quartered cocktail tomatoes and lightly press with the pestle and mix with the other ingredients.

Finally, add the palm sugar, Pla Raa and the lime juice, mix well. After the seasoning according to your own preference add extra lime juice or Pla Raa. So that the papaya salad can develop the entire variety of its flavour nuances, it is best to let the salad rest for half an hour.

To serve, the papaya salad is transferred from the mortar to a bowl. The salad should always be served with plenty of the resulting sauce. Sticky rice, rice noodles, grilled chicken and raw vegetables such as lettuce leaves, pak choi, snake beans and Thai basil are traditionally served as a side dish.