Updated: Jan 2
The success of a dish also depends on your technique. In addition to the classic cooking methods, you will need a few specific tricks of the trade to make your Lao dish a success.
Slicing is the process of cutting food into very thin slices. Mincing is chopping very finely. A Lao will use a large sharp knife for this purpose.
Large pieces such as meat are first cut into strips before being sliced.
Herbs are gathered in small bunches.
Pounding consists in reducing to fragments by hitting repeatedly. You will need a wooden pestle and a clay mortar. You can buy them in Thai food stores. Stone utensils are generally not large enough for the preparations described in this blog.
In Lao cuisine, the pestle is also used to mix food with a little water. This results in a sticky and uniform mixture that you may not necessarily get with a blender.
When you have to pound several items together, it is best to put the ingredients one by one in the mortar, starting by pounding the food that is the most difficult to crush. Use a spoon to mix the ingredients between two strokes of the pestle.
Grilling involves cooking food on a grill over embers. In Laos, food is usually grilled using a tao lo, a container filled with charcoal. In the West, food is grilled on the barbecue or under the broiler of an oven. This method of cooking gives food a special flavor due to the caramelization of sugars and proteins on the surface (Maillard reaction).
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the piece to be cooked and the distance of the grill from the heat source. For our recipes, we have placed the grid between 10 cm and 15 cm from the heat source.
Steaming is a method in which food is placed in a basket above boiling water. You will need a special pan for this purpose. The cooking times given in this blog start at the moment the water is boiling.