Laap

This is the Lao national dish. I have seen it made with everything from buffalo in Luang Prabang (good), to tinned tuna in Vang Vieng (terrible), but the best I had was in Vientiane at one of those places you see all over Southeast Asia with half an oil drum made into a grill and some old patio chairs laid out in a car park. The fish was seared ceviche-style in lime juice. In Laos it always comes with sticky rice, but you could serve it with jasmine rice instead.

Ingredients

1-2 fillets of white fish, skinless and boneless, chopped

Around 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally

1 stalk lemon grass, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

Juice of a lime

1 tbs fish sauce

2 birdseye chillies, finely sliced

Handful each of basil (preferably Thai basil), coriander and mint (leaves only)

A few half slices of peeled cucumber (optional)

Sticky or jasmine rice, cooked according to the packet instructions

Method

1. Mix all the ingredients except the rice, herbs, cucumber and spring onion in a bowl and leave to marinade. for around 20 minutes, or until the fish loses its raw appearance.

2. Add the herbs, spring onions and cucumber to the fish mixture and toss well.

3. Serve with the rice on the side.

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