Laap gai, a delightful spicy chicken salad from Vientiane
Known as Laab, Laap and Larb throughout different parts of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, each area makes a different version of this delicious minced meat salad. Frequently the meat is served raw in Cambodia and Laos, but most visitors opt for the cooked version. This version came from the Lao capital, Vientiane.
Make it as spicy or as sour as you dare. Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking 10 minutes Serves 4
1 tbsp sticky rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
500g minced chicken
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 cup spring onion, finely sliced
1⁄4 cup coriander (stem and leaf), finely chopped
1⁄4 cup mint (leaves picked), finely chopped
2 dried chillies, finely crumbled
2 limes, juiced
Dry-fry sticky rice grains in a frying pan until they become very dark brown. Cool, then crush to a powder with a mortar and pestle. Heat oil in a wok over a medium flame and fry shallots until golden. Add chicken mince and stir-fry until cooked through. Add fish sauce and salt and mix through. Allow to cool. Add spring onion, coriander, mint and crumbled red chilli. Add a good squeeze of lime juice. Mix through 1 tbsp sticky rice powder. The salad should taste hot, sour and salty. Adjust flavours with extra chilli, fish sauce and lime accordingly.