O lam nok - Luang-Prabang style bird stew
O lam is a specialty of Luang-Prabang. It is a stew with a lot of greens that can be prepared with pork, poultry or beef. In this recipe, I suggest to use pheasant, quail, guinea fowl or pigeon.
For 4 persons
800 g of bird
2 sprigs of lemongrass
350 g Thai eggplants, cut in half
2 chillies (optional)
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons unfiltered fish sauce (padek)
25 g dried black mushrooms, rehydrated and cut into 2 cm pieces
50 g pea eggplants, blanched
50 g of pork rind chips
200 g of green beans, cut into 3 cm pieces
50 g dill, cut into 3 cm pieces
50 g Thai basil, chopped
5 green onions, cut into 3 cm pieces
Additional ingredients for those who can find them:
25 g strips of dried buffalo skin, rehydrated and cooked for 30 min in water
30 g xa khan (Piper interruptum Opiz stem), cut into 1 cm thick matchsticks
30 g rattan shoots, cut into 3 cm pieces
50 g phak tam ling (Coccinia grandis leaves), cut into 3 cm pieces
Xa khan, rattan shoots, buffalo skin and phak tam ling are difficult to find. The o lam can be prepared without these ingredients. It will lack some subtle flavors and textures but the dish will still be tasty. Xa khan is a woody stem with a spicy flavor.
Grill the bird and lemon grass for 5 to 10 minutes. The meat should still be rare. Cut the bird into 4 cm pieces. Cut the lemongrass into 10 cm pieces and crush them lightly.
In a large pan, boil 400 ml of water with the bird pieces, lemongrass, Thai eggplants, chilies, buffalo rind, Sichuan pepper, xa khan and fish sauce. Add the unfiltered fish sauce after boiling.
After 15 minutes of cooking, remove the eggplants and chillies and crush them with a fork and put them back in the pot. Lower the heat and simmer with the lid closed, for about 15 minutes or until the meat is tender (depending on the chosen pieces of meat).
Add black mushrooms, pea eggplants, rattan shoots and pork rind ships. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the beans and let cook for another 5 minutes uncovered.
Turn off the heat, add dill, basil, phak tam ling and green onions and mix well. Let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes before serving.
A variation of this dish is O pi - Stew with banana buds. The bird is replaced by 400 g of pork shoulder and 200 g of pork belly, both cut into 2 cm pieces. The meat is not precooked. Add 300 g of banana buds cut into 3 cm pieces at the same time as the beans.