Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seeing Green: Lao Raw Green Bean Salad

As I wrote in the previous post, I didn't get to eat too many fresh veggies in Laos. So I was intrigued by this raw green bean salad in one of my souvenir Laos cookbooks. The description by the cookbook author says it all, so I'll just quote: "This is an excellent dish for summer. Make it for lunch as a side dish, pack it into a picnic basket, or just eat it as a light snack." I've made it as a side dish to a Lao meal a couple of times now, and I'm hooked. So fair warning: if you invite me to a potluck this summer, this is what I'll be bringing!

Raw Green Bean Salad
Ant Egg Soup, Natacha Du Pont De Bie
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 birds-eye chili
  • 1 heaped teaspoon rough salt
  • 1 level dessertspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
  • 1 pound raw green beans or long beans, topped and tailed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 flavorful medium tomatoes, quartered, or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • juice of one lime (or more, to taste)
Pound the garlic, chilies, salt and sugar in a pestle and mortar until they are a rough paste. Add the peanuts and pound to break them up (not too fine). Add the bean pieces and fish sauce and pound them until they are bruised so the flavors infuse. Add the tomatoes and pound a few more times. Squeeze on the lime and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Here's another Laos Bean dish from "Food from Northern Laos, which just won the second place in the "Best Asian Cookbook 2010" section of the Gourmand World Coookbook Awards.