(A recipe from the Boat Landing Laung Namtha. Nthn Laos)

 



 
Ingredients 

1 small (500-750g, 1x 1 lb.) catfish or similar firm fish
2 stalks lemon grass, white parts finely sliced
1 chilli
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Knorr chicken boullion cube (or 1 Maggi chicken stock cube) 
2 tablespoons dill leaves
2 tablespoons holy basil leaves
1 tablespoon raw sticky rice, soaked until soft and pounded to a pulp in a mortar (or 1 tablespoon ground roasted sticky rice)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
For 2- 4 packets: Banana leaves cut into 4- 8 rectangles approx. 25x 30 cm (10 in. by 12 in.), soaked in hot water until pliable.

Method 
1. Cut the fleshy fish parts into chunks 
approximately 2 cm by 4 cm (1 x 1 in.). 
2. Put the sliced lemon grass, chilli and garlic in a mortar together with the salt and crumbled stock cube. 
3. Pound ingredients using a pestle until they are broken down and sticking together juicily (or use a blender or food processor). 
4. Finely chop the dill leaves and add to the mortar. Pound until all ingredients form a rough paste. 
5. Transfer the pounded paste to a larger bowl then toss the chunks of fish into the paste. Add the holy basil leaves. Mix together with a spoon until the fish is well coated with the paste and basil leaves. 
6. Add the prepared sticky rice and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. If you like, also add the chopped fish head, tail piece, and fin wings. Mix together. If adding the extra fish, add more finely sliced green herbs, another tablespoon each of pounded or ground sticky rice and fish sauce and another stock cube.Take two crosswise (X) arranged pieces of banana leaf and spoon about a cup of fish mixture into the middle. Do this until the mixture is used up (2- 4 packets). 
7. Fold the leaves so the two opposite sides parallel to you meet with the V at the top. Hold them together while folding up the other two sides (on your left and right) to also meet at the top of the filling. This forms a pouch around the filling that looks like a collapsed umbrella. Fold the left side  wings around the filling, then wrap the right side wings around to form a pyramid shape. Secure the top with a bamboo toothpick, and trim the top off with scissors. (Or simply gather the banana leaf together and tie it with a string.) 
8. Steam the packets in a covered steamer over boiling 
water for 30 minutes. Remove the packets from the steamer, open them on individual plates and trim bamboo leaves round to fit plates. 
9. Serves 4- 6 as part of a Lao meal or 1- 2 with sticky rice.Take two crosswise (X) arranged pieces of banana leaf and spoon about a cup of fish mixture into the middle. Do this until the mixture is used up (2- 4 packets). 
10. Fold the leaves so the two opposite sides parallel to you meet with the V at the top. Hold them together while folding up the other two sides (on your left and right) to also meet at the top of the filling. This forms a pouch around the filling that looks like a collapsed umbrella. Fold the left side wings around the filling, then wrap the right side wings around to form a pyramid shape. Secure the top with a bamboo toothpick, and trim the top off with scissors. (Or simply gather the banana leaf together and tie it with a string.) 
11. Steam the packets in a covered steamer over boiling 
water for 30 minutes. Remove the packets from the steamer, open them on individual plates and trim bamboo leaves round to fit plates. 
Serves 4- 6 as part of a Lao meal. Recommended accompaniments are Fish Moke, Chicken Soop, a jeow (spicy dipping sauce) and sticky rice.