Mar 25, 2010

Ough as it Ought to be

The cook cooking

Yesterday was an out of control Lao food cook off around here.
We've been out of sticky rice for 2 weeks. We usually have a pot of kao jao every night so sticky rice is no big deal. But still. This is a Lao house, we eat Lao food. A freind from Vang Vien came by and brought her own sticky rice, I think that's a little too much.

So mum went down to the lao store where we hardly ever go, cause most everything can be had at the new Vietnamese/Chinese supermarket down on 120th. But my wife had a hankering for fresh dill, and small round eggplants. Well when she got back she had bought some other things that she had been having trouble getting, and once she started cooking she started cooking other stuff and more and so on. It was all over in a couple of hours, this is what she cooked.
ough sin guang
First off was ough (like ought without the t) more commonly known by it's Luang Prabang name "or", and the kind where you burn some buffalo skin and throw it in called "or lam". Don't know why it was transliterated as "or", no "R" sound in modern Lao Language, oh well. Note no buffalo around here so folks save the cow skin when they buy a whole cow and they just burn some of that, similar taste. This wasn't that kind of ough any way but just plain old ough sin guang. (deer meat ough)

mak kuah recipe card for the bread in background

 Back to the ough as it's called in Vientiane. The meat was two packages of deer chunks, and some kah, and a ton of bai kii hoot, and the mak kuah stirred a little and in the pot it went.

Later lemon basil, tons of fresh dill, some spinach. Lastly some kao neeow pounded and broken in the saat then mixed with cold water and thrown in the pot and mixed around. Oh and those mouse ear mushrooms too.

I had some tonight on kao jao. Sublime. the sin guang was very tender and infused with the taste of the bai kii hoot. Oh, and green onions. Half the greens were just whatever she wanted but she insisted that in order to be ough you have to have the dill, bai kii hoot, kah, and mak kuah. She says laap has to have bai kii hoot and kah also, but I've bought it all the time without and actually preffer it without. Different folks, different strokes. I asked about the crushed sticky rice with the cold water, why cold, why not just throw it in the pot? I guess it would turn to glop then, by adding it via cold water it all gets mixed in thickening it to the consitancy ough ought to be. Oh, some hot peppers too.

Look carefull and you can see the het hu ngu (wood mushroom literaly mouse ear mushroom)
making the jea kapii

Also on the menu, Nam pik gapii, the Thai name for it cause it's a Thai food. Crushed hot peppers, bang nua, gatee-um, lime juice, hot water. Just so I could see I smelled it, a little closer each sniff until I was right over the container. Yup, smelled like gapii.
deadly nam pik gapii


Gaeng Pah another Thai food, the pah means forest not fish, with pak gapao and those little roots out of a bottle whatever they are called.

gaeng pah


Jao het made out of the oyster mushrooms
jaw het (whatever oyster mushrooms are called)


Gaeng jute with the cucumbers and lemon basil
gaeng jute

Did I mention 4 loaves of bread earlier in the day? No one hungry here.


Tim said...

My mouth is watering.

Sep lai duhh!

James said...

Looks damn good, Somsai! Do you know that Laos (and possibly northern Thailand) is the only place I've seen mouse ear mushrooms fresh? Everywhere else they're sold dried and need to be softened in water before cooking.

Somchai said...

I think they can only grow in the wild, and even then only on a specific species of dead wood, which kind I don't know.

Chef Shane said...

Ahhhhh. You UNDERSTAND :-)
Love the blog.
Your writing is like pornography.
Probabaly shocking and horrific for some, but riveting for others and hard to put down.