Michelle L: Cooking like a Laotian!

Wedding salad in a gem of town!

Located in the back of their restaurant at the far end of the main street of town, we were welcomed into class at 8:30am with a cup of tea. When all the participants had gathered it was off to the local market where we received an introductory tour from Linda our local English-speaking Laotian chef. As with most markets in Asia, food is laid out fresh from locally grown vegetables to freshly caught and butchered   animals. It’s not for the squeamish!

After the market we came back for a snack and got cooking! This particular cooking school uses group collaboration to prepare the feast of dishes we had all selected. We made spring rolls, fried tofu vegetable curry, satay with peanut sauce, ginger fish, lao salad and beef stew. Like any good cooking school, we practiced some knife skills on the spices and vegetables. Then with the support of other kitchen staff we all convened around the charcoal fires and got cooking. The satay were grilling, the woks were steaming, and all kinds of things were being stir fried!

Because of its history and proximity, a lot of the dishes we made resembled the tastes of Northern Thailand. Tum Tum Cheng Cooking school was well organized, professional and an enjoyable experience! The restaurant and school is owned by a Laotian and Hungarian couple. The experience of cooking local dishes from the country itself is always a favorite endeavor of mine when traveling and is highly recommended!

I thought the most unique dish was the Lao salad with its delicious and unique egg yolk dressing. So here it is straight outta Luang Prabrang!

Laotian salad

Often served at weddings, this salad is a fresh take on greens!

half head of green lettuce, 1 tomato sliced, 5-10 stalks spring onions, coriander or fresh peppermint leaves, half bunch of watercress, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 tbsp roasted peanuts

Dressing

5 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp lime juice, half tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp lime juice, half tbsp white vinegar, halt tbsp shallots or fried garlic

Method

Place all fresh vegetables in a salad bowl or rounded plate in a decorative manner with the sliced tomatoes and eggs whites on top. Save the egg yolk for the dressing.

Heat the sunflower oil in a pan, add garlic and shallots and fry for 3 minutes on high heat. Add the boiled egg yolks and smash in the wok on low to medium heat. add the rest of the dressing ingredients and bring it to a boil on high heat.

Pour the dressing onto the salad immediately before serving!

Enjoy! More recipes to come…

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