I want to tell you more about the fabulous town of Luang Prabang so why not start with a night market.
The daily night market in Luang Prabang runs from around 5pm until 10.30pm and although a bit touristy is still definately worth a visit or two.
The market is huge and the main items on sale are locally made silk scarfs, jewellery (mainly silver and semi-precious stones), hand woven bags, clothing and even some interesting antiques. The standard is pretty high and I wish I had more space… rather than just one well filled backpack….. to bring some fabulous pieces home.
The locals aren’t pushy either, so you can really take your time investigating your possible purchases before you begin the bargaining process.
The highlight of the market however for us would have to be the food.
Whole Mekong Fish, chicken wings and large slabs of pork all cooked over the coals using these large bamboo skewer type implements. Rice paper rolls, freshly made to your taste Papaya Salad, as well as crepe stands and numerous other options.
Our Guesthouse owner was more than happy to accommodate a mountain of food brought back via Tuktuk, setting up an outdoor table for us to feast on our gatherings.
The whole BBQ Fish and Pork were mouth watering as were the fresh Papaya Salad and Rice paper rolls all of which added up to a princely sum of approx $6 (AUD) with steamed rice.
On our last night we decided to catch a dinner and ‘floorshow’, which was actually a traditional
music and dance evening at a restaurant called, wait for it………. Roots & Leaves.
Yep… not joking here, that’s what it’s called.
So I had a chuckle all to myself.
It was recommended by a few different travel guides and I thought it might be nice for the children to have a bit of dancing to look at while we ate, especially for Phoebe.
Here we tried the local Buffalo soup filled with galangal and ginger, quite a cleansing taste, as well as fried pork rind with a green chilli dip.
I thought I’d cook a Lao-licious Chicken Curry the other night and it was fabulous, so I asked Haeny if I could share the recipe with you and she has kindly agreed, so here it is:
200gm Chicken (thighs are best & I actually added about 400gm I think)
1 cup water
1 Potato (chopped – about 1.5cm squares)
1/2 a large Onion (chopped)
250ml coconut cream
1 tablespoon oil (peanut/sunflower or grapeseed all work well)
2 Shallots (crushed in mortar)
1 Clove Garlic (crushed in mortar)
1 Small Piece Ginger (crushed in mortar – maybe around 1 inch)
2 Kaffir Lime leaves
2 Spring Onions (sliced to put on the top when serving)
1/2 bunch of Coriander (chopped for the top as well when serving)
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder (I actually did half curry powder and half tumeric which worked well too)
1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fishsauce
1. Crush Shallot, garlic and ginger in mortar
2. Heat oil in a pot/pan
3. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and kaffir lime leaves, stir for 20 seconds
4. Add the chicken, chilli powder and curry powder in the heated pot. Stir well.
5. Add coconut cream, water and bring to boil.
6. Add chopped potato, seasoning and then add the chopped big onion.
7. Stir constantly and wait for the potato to get soft, and serve immediately garnished with spring onion and coriander.
Serve with steamed rice or Roti bread.
Oh and I forgot to tell you about the elephants floating down the river, interrupting our cooking class… here’s a photo for proof.