In Lao I took a cooking class at Lao Experiences and it was amazing! This is my vegetarian version of steamed fish in a banana leaf (mok pa). Instead of fish, I used tofu and a little olive oil, and instead of fish sauce I used fermented soybean and salt. This dish is light and is flavored with all kinds of herbs. The ground rice binds everything together.
1 tablespoon soaked glutinous rice
1 tablespoon fermented soybean
1 small piece galangal finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves finely sliced
2 chilis chopped (I used little green chilis)
2-3 shallots sliced
1 green onion sliced
6 basil leaves (holly basil preferably) chopped
A few springs dill chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces tofu pressed with a towel to get out some of the water and chopped into cubes
- Using a mortar and pestle pound the rice until it becomes a powder. Add the fermented soybean, galangal, lime leaves, chilis, and shallots, and continue to pound into a paste. Add the green onion, basil and dill and pound until mixed. Mix in the olive oil and salt to taste.
- Mix with the tofu and place in the center of a couple of banana leaves. Fold together to make a packet and secure with a toothpick (or if your toothpicks are too flimsy like mine were, use desk clips!).
- Steam for 20 minutes.