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  • Writer's pictureOdara

Phan xin/pa - Wrap of meat/fish fondue or grill

Phan xin/pa is actually one of the Lao ways to eat meat/fish fondue or grill.

The fish is generally grilled beforehand as described here or simply steamed.

As for meat and shellfish, they are usually placed on the table with the vegetables, sauce and cooking equipment. Guests are supposed to cook their own meat. You can have any type (beef, pork, shellfish, ...) or piece (fillet, tongue, liver, ...) of meat, but usually no poultry.

Material: grill for grilling, fondue or hotpot machine and broth for hotpot.

For 4 persons


800 g meat cut into thin slices/fish grilled or steamed

1 to 2 lettuces

200 g rice vermicelli

20 to 30 sheets of rice paper (optional)


4 kinds to choose from, cut into small pieces: tomatoes, cucumber, star fruit, banana (unripe), banana bud, som phak, onions or pickles in vinegar, soy sprouts, ...

4 green onions, cut into 2cm

50 g of coriander

50 g mint

Optional: other kinds of aromatic leaves such as Vietnamese mint, culantro, Thai basil, dill, ...

Dip sauce

"Meat can be marinated with salt and pepper. Hard pieces of meat such as tongue can be tenderized by marinating it a few hours in schredded green papaya or pineapple. Papain and bromelain, enzymes respectively contained in papaya and pineapple, speed up the breakdown of proteins into amino acids making the meat less chewy. Another method for tenderizing meat is to add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to your marinade."


Cook the vermicelli as described here and set aside.

Dip the rice papers in lukewarm water and put them on individual plates (dedicated rice paper tray can be found in Asian supermarkets).

Arrange the food in the center of the table and give each guest a bowl of sauce, a plate and equipment to cook or pick up the meat.

How to eat it

Take a piece of lettuce leaf and a piece of rice leaf in your hand. Fill with meat, rice vermicelli, small vegetables and herbs. Close the leaf. Dip in the sauce just before eating.

You can also make spring rolls.

Take a sheet of rice, put lettuce, meat, rice vermicelli, small vegetables and herbs on one end, fold the sides and roll. Dip in the sauce just before eating.

"Fish phan is usually accompanied by som phak kat (a variety of som phak made with mustard leaves) and a cheo van made with tamarind paste."

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