Purple Sticky Rice with Coconut Sauce

Again from Tamarino in Luang Prabang

I don’t normally like sweet rice, but I LOVED this.


  • 300 grams rice
  • 8 fl oz coconut cream or milk
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • toppings: strawberries, mint, toasted coconut, sesame seeds, mango, sliced banana, or other fruit


1) Make the rice per the instructions.

2) Heat the coconut milk/cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.

3) Remove the rice from the steamer and pour the sauce over it (leaving a bit), and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

3) Alternatively, if the rice is cold, add the rice to the coconut milk/cream mixture and cook until the mixture is bubbling and most of the moisture is gone.

4) Serve with more of the sauce (if left over) and toppings.



Stuffed Lemongrass

‘This delicious dish is definitely best eaten with fingers. Cutlery just won’t let you enjoy the juicy lemongrass flavor which permeates the filling. Try using different meats, and consider using the filling for stuffing zucchini/courgettes and their flowers, eggplants, bamboo shoots or any other vegetable you fancy. Experiment with the balance of flavors to suit the availability of ingredients and your palate. Mashed potato and tofu are possible vegetarian options, with some roasted rice powder for texture.’–From Tamarino in Luang Prabang


  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 medium spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced (be sure to take out the stem)
  • 1 heaped spoonful of salt
  • 200 grams of potatoes
  • a bit of rice powder
  • 10-12 stalks of lemongrass, leaves removed so it is just one circle at the bottom.
  • 2 eggs, beaten with salt
  • 1 cup oil for frying


1) Pound garlic, spring onions, coriander, kaffir lime leaf and salt in a mortar.

2) Add the potato and rice powder and mix.

3) Starting about 1 cm from the base of the lemongrass, cut all the way though the stalk for 4-5 cm. Do this again 1/4  to the right/left.

4) Make many thin cuts all around (these do not need to go all the way though, just to the cut in the middle).

5) Use your thumbs to open the lemongrass ‘cage’ and make a basket.

6) Add the filling with your hands or spoon.

7) Dip the lemongrass stuffed part in egg.

8) Heat oil in the wok to medium heat and fry the stalks until it is brown on the outside.

9) Drain on absorbent paper and serve.

SE Asia 3019Me and the lemongrass ‘cage’

SE Asia 3021The frying process

Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves

Again from Tamarino in Luang Prabang. One of my favorite meals in SE Asia.


  • 3 TBSP sticky rice powder, uncooked
  • 5 Asian shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 chili
  • 2 inches of lemongrass, finely shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 TBSP chopped dill
  • 2 TBSP chopped Lao/Thai basil
  • 2 small spring onions, chopped
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 300 grams of fish fillets, roughly cubed
  • 4 banana leaves


1) Pound the sticky rice powder, shallots, garlic, chili, lemongrass and salt in a mortar.

2) Add the lime leaves, dill, basil, and spring onions and pound some more.

3) Add the water and fish sauce and stir.

4) Add the fish pieces and mix with your hands.

5) Run each banana leaf over a flame to soften them (do not burn).

6) Take two banana leaves and place one across the other, with the ends opposite one another (one top one bottom).

7) Place half the fish mixture (without liquid) at the center of the leaf.

8) Fold each side up (the top and bottom).

9) Take one side that is open up, to make an almost pyramid.

10) Tilt the packet  and pour some of the liquid in.

11) Seal the open end the same way you did the closed end.

12) Tie with lemongrass or toothpicks.

13) Steam for 15 minutes over a high heat, until the leaves get lighter.

14) Serve with rice.

SE Asia 3016

Eggplant Dip

‘This smoky eggplant dip is usually eaten with sticky rice, dried meat or raw greens. Lao use the local thin eggplant, but larger ones are fine’–taken from the book from Tamarino in Luang Prabang


  • 2 small Japanese eggplants (or 1 Italian eggplant)
  • 1 chili (or 2)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup coriander
  • dash of fish sauce
  • 1 small spring onion, just the green part, chopped


1) Prick the eggplant with a knife to let out the moisture while burning.

2) Put the eggplant on coals. This one should take the longest to blacken.

3) Stab the garlic and chili onto different kebab sticks and put them onto the coals.

4) Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

SE Asia 3013

5) Squeeze the garlic out, peel the char off the eggplant and cut the stem off the chili.

6) Pound the chili,, salt, and garlic in a mortar.

7) Add the eggplant and coriander.

8) Add the fish sauce (cover your nose!) and spring onion and mix a bit more.

SE Asia 3014