Vang Vieng- laos
In 2008 i was visiting Laos. In 2011 again. And in 2012 again. There is something magic about this green country that made me want to return.
I usually renew my Indian visa in Thailand or Laos which always gives me some time to travel during the Visa process.
Laos is unique!
The nature, the kind people, the peace and tranquility, Buddhism..and of course the local food! 🙂
Vang Vieng was one of the places i have stopped during my trip in 2011. This small city is really an oasis and it lies on the Song Nam river which is surrounded by a stunning green landscape.
Vang Vieng used to be a very famous Backpacker Party destination not too long ago. The bar strip on the Song Nam River attracted lots of tourists who came to Vang Vieng for the famous “tubing” on the river. The Tourists were floating down the river on a rubber tube to stop at bars along the way. At the bars many of them got drunk and then continued tubing down the river. 27 people in total have died in this river. In 2012 the government closed down most of the bars on the river
Nowadays the city became more quiet and the number of party tourists has dropped as well. What a good change for Vang Vieng.
During my stay in 2011 i didn’t pay attention to tubing, but definitely to the local food. And i came across many delicious dishes at the street stalls. I loved all of them! Really!
The Soups are devine! The Mango Sticky Rice! Uff!!And of course the baguettes!
First i was sceptical about the baguettes on the streets, but they got Laonized by the locals and i loved them as well 🙂
But i especially fell in love with a dish that is also common in Thailand.
It’s called “Laarb Moo” !
Laarb means literally meat salad. Moo means porc 🙂 Larb can be made of chicken,fish, beef or porc.
This savory dish is so good! Yumm!! It has mint, lime juice, chili, fishsauce…just to give you and idea ! 🙂
I was so happy that i had found my old negatives with the photos of the cooking session that i had in Vang Vieng.
Above: Larb tastes absolutely amazing when eaten with sticky rice! It is cooked in a bamboo steamer.
I met my teacher when i had lunch. Of course i had Larb again and was thrilled by it’s taste. I requested the owner of a small local restaurant if she could teach me to cook it! She was very happy and invited me to her home on the River the next day to teach me.
I do not remember her name anymore but she was super friendly and patient. Since that day i cook my own Larb 🙂 And i can still hear the sound of the river next to her house.
This is her recipe, straight from a local home in Laos
Ingredients for Larp Moo
Roughly minced porc ( mince it yourself and use meat with some fat)
2 Shallots thinly sliced
A dash of water or chicken stock
1 chopped spring onion( green part)
Lime Juice of a lime
2 good dashes of Fishsauce
Red Thai chillies ( depending on how spicy you like it)
Lemongrass or Kaffir lime leafs ( slice thinly)
Roasted ground rice
How to cook the Larb
- Mince the porc! Get a piece of meat that consists a bit fat as well. Then chop it finely, but not too fine. It shouldn’t look like the minced that you get a the supermarkets. It should still be tiny pieces of meat.
2. Next! Prepare the rice powder! Give some uncooked rice into pan and slowly roast it on low flame. When it is slightly browned take it out and grind it in a mortar. It should become like a rough powder. Alternatively you can buy the toasted rice in all asian supermarkets.
3. Start cooking! Pour like a quarter cup of chicken stock or water to the pot heat it up. Give the minced porc inside and boil it for 2-3 minutes until half of the water is gone. Stir the meat all time while it cooks.
4. Turn off the heat! Now add the roasted rice powder and the shallots.
Stir! Add the chili powder and the fresh chili as well! Also the fishsauce and lime juice! Mix Well!
5. Serve! Pour the juicy Larb onto a plate! Sprinkle with fresh mint!!
Tipp: garnish the plate with fresh cucumber slices, green beans, or whole springonions! YummYummYumm!!!
Dear Foodies and Travellers!
I wish you much fun cooking! And please let me know how it worked out! This is exactly how a local lady from Laos has cooked it for me at her home!
My next recipe will be german meatballs with fried potatos! 🙂
Your Foodvagabond, Michael