Food - Laos - Laap

For the discovery of a laap I am forever grateful to my friends Pele and Anne - Marie, because they let me taste this heavenly meal for the first time. And it was at the most bizarre location we ever visited together in Laos; the Buddha Park south of Vientiane; a loopy sculpture park, built by an even loopier priest-shaman, who enjoyed mixing up various religions, showcasing this remarkable mix through the weirdest sculptures. 

After much ROFL we had become quite hungry, which we took care of with laap (also called larb). I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was a laap with pork (which can be replaced with chicken, beef or fish). Creamy, lukewarm and infused with fragrant herbs; spicy and tasty, served with sticky rice; de-li-cious! Perfect for a day when it's too hot for very spicy food; but you still fancy something different than the classic salads. And even the biggest klutz can get this conjured up on a plate in less than fifteen minutes! 
The laap in the picture below has some glass noodles which is also tasty and makes for a slightly more substantial meal. 

What you need:
  • Minced pork (possibly chopped yourself which makes it slightly more textured)
  • Condiments: lime juice, fish sauce (careful with this!), finely chopped shallots, spring onions, red chillies, coriander and mint
  • For decoration: some slices of cucumber and/or lettuce leaves
  • As a little extra: sticky rice, but this dish is also perfectly delicious without rice

How to make it:
  • Fry the meat in oil (not olive oil!) and make sure there are no lumps in it (such as with a bolognaise sauce). Allow to cool a little.
  • Mix all seasonings except the cilantro and mint. You should taste: salty, sour and spicy. Taste and celebrate that great flavour combination in your mouth!
  • Mix the lukewarm minced meat with the seasonings, add fresh coriander and mint (possibly some extra chopped chillies) and serve on a plate with some cucumber and lettuce. 
  • Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! (Writing this makes me hungry).

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