This recipe is adapted from the published recipes of Phia Sing, the last chef of the royal residence in Luang Prabang Laos. It is taken from the English translation of the published book "Traditional Recipes of Laos". The image is from the original manuscript.

© Prospect Books. Used with the kind permission of the publisher. 3 Oct 2010.



Ingredients:
  • A bamboo shoot, boiled until it loses its (bitter) taste - if it is a large shoot, cut it into smaller parts of the right size for soup or a large can of a good quality bamboo shoot
  • Wash 40 yanang leaves and then put into 2 metal jugfuls (2 pints) of water and rubbed until they are all broken up - the liquid is then strained through a fine white cloth (or through a strainer) and left in a pot or canned yanang leaf juice.
  • 2 soupspoonfuls of sticky-rice flour or the same quantity of cooked sticky rice homogenised into a paste.
  • 5 (small) shallots, pounded
  • 2 pieces of the dried skin of a pa leum (a large catfish), grilled until 'puffy' and then cut into smaller pieces
  • 20 small eggplants
  • chopped spring onion leaves
  • sweet basil leaves
  • salt and fish sauce
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass, placed in glowing charcoal embers and ashes and then washed
Method:
  1. Put the juices obtained from the yanang leaves in a pot to boil.
  2. Add the pieces of bamboo shoots, the dried grilled fish skin, the sticky-rice flour, the pounded shallots, the lemon grass and salt. Put the lid on the pot and leave it to come back to the boil. Then add the fish sauce and eggplants, cover again and leave to boil again. When it is done, taste and check the saltiness.
  3. Garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves and the sweet basil leaves and put in a  bowl to serve.

Note
One should not put fresh meat in Keng No Mai (Bamboo soup), because it will then have an animal odour.
If dried fish skin is not available, dried water-buffalo skin or dried water buffalo meat can be substituted.