ໝົກປາ / Lao Fish Steam with Banana leaf
Catish (or similar firm-fleshed fish): 500-750 g; Lemongrass, whit parts only, finely sliced: 2 stalks; Chilli: 1; Garlic: 1 large clove; Salt: 1 teaspoon; Chicken stock powder: 1/2 teaspoon; Basil (Pak E Tou Lao) leaves only dill: 2 tablespoon; Uncooked sticky rice soaked until soft, the pounded to a pulp in a mortar; alternatively 1 tablespoon of ground, roasted sticky rice: 1 tablespoon; Fish sauce: 1 table spoon; Banana leaf cut into 4-8 rectangles 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 in) and soaked in hot water until pliable: For 2-4 packets
Serves four to six as part of a Lao meal, two to four with only sticky rice.
1. Cut the fish flesh into chunks 2 x 4 cm.
2. Put the sliced lemongrass, chilli and garlic in a mortar together with the salt and stock powder.
3. Pound the ingredients with a pestle until they are broken down and stick together juicily (or use a blender or food processor).
4. Finely chop the dill leaves and add to the mortar. Pound until the ingredients form a rough paste. Mix in the basil leaves.
5. Transfer the paste to a larger bowl, and the toss the chunks of fish into the paste. mix together with a spoon until the fish is well-coated.
Add the ground sticky rice and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. For and authentic, family-style mook bpaa, incorporate the chopped fish head, trimmed tail and fin wings. Mix all well. If using the extra fish bits, add more finely sliced green herbs, another tablespoon each of ground rice and fish sauce and another 1/2 teaspoon of stock powder.
7. Assemble the haw as described on page 66.(Food from Northern Laos (The Boat Landing Cookbook).
8. Alternatively, arrange the two pieces of banana leaf to form an X. Spoon a cup of the mixture into the middle at the cross. Gather the banana leaf ends together at the top and tie with string. Repeat, using all the mixture and leaf.
9. Steam the packets for 25-30 minutes.
10. Remove the packets from the steamer and open them up, one per plate. Trim the banana leaves of any overhang. Serve with sticky rice.
Moke can be made with small, succulent boneless pieces of pork, duck, turkey or chicken. Omit the dill with these meats, using instead pounded shallots or finely chopped Chinese chives. Sprinkle the filling mixture with water to keep it moist. The stuffed banana leaf packets may be either steamed or grilled.
All information resource from: Food from Northern Laos (The Boat Landing Cookbook