Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cooking Around the World: Laos

New year. New letter. Tonight we venture into the Ls of the world with some table top travel to Laos. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia and nearly three-quarters of the country is covered in mountains and forested hills that are too steep to live on.

Fast Facts
Official Name: Lao People's Democratic Republic
Form of Government: Communist
Capital: Viangchan (local name); Vientiane
Population: 6,677,534
Official Language: Lao

Laos is one of the poorest nations on the planet. Although the Lao have few possessions beyond their food, their Buddhist beliefs help them to find happiness through a simple life. Most of the people live in small rural communities near the river. I chuckled when I read this: the Lao like the sport of rhinoceros-beetle wrestling. People bet on which beetle will stay standing the longest. If only I could wrangle something like that up tonight. The boys would get a kick out of it!

I am not a big fan of fried anything, but this recipe looked too good to pass up: Kai Pad Khing, fried chicken with ginger. Dylan did a great job tonight.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken pieces
1 T minced garlic
2 T peeled and minced ginger
2 C forest nameko mushrooms
2 C oyster mushrooms
2 T butter
splash of olive oil
3 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
5 T water

In a wok, heat butter and oil. Add garlic and ginger to stir fry until light golden brown.

Add chicken and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes until cooked through.

Stir in mushrooms, fish sauce, soy sauce, and water for 2 to 3 minutes until water is boiled and sauce begins to reduce and thicken.

Serve with a sweetened jasmine rice and black beans.

These Global Table Ambassadors are signing off for now. We'll be heading to Latvia tomorrow. Happy 2013...and a renewed adventure.

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