chili pepper: 7 posts

Spicy Laotian Beef Salad (Lab, Larb Recipe) : Bold Flavors of Laos

Larb6512

by Katherine

Historian, researcher and writer, Katherine currently lives and works in Mumbai, India and travels widely throughout Asia. You can read further about her discoveries and adventures on her blog, Mumbai, Masala and More.

Much of Laos’ culinary culture seems to take place outside.  Everywhere you go things are being boiled, stewed and sizzled in outdoor stalls.  A crepe maestro would be deftly rolling out the thinnest dough creation in the world over a giant pan (France’s colonization of Laos has brought baguettes and European-style pastries into popular usage).  Eating is also communal; in the street, you can see people sitting around a meal served at the ka toke, the traditional low circular platform made of rattan where all the courses are brought out and eaten together.

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Lagman Uzbek Lamb and Noodle Soup Recipe

When cumin hits hot oil, the scent that rises up is complex and rich. It hovers above the sizzling pan as a warm cloud, woody, crisp, with sweet clove and leather undertones. Cumin has a natural affinity for meat, cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, and acidic vegetable-fruit like eggplant and tomato. It enhances their flavors, while retaining its own unique character. One of the ways to experience cumin’s nuances is try Central Asian food.

Lagman

One of my favorites is lagman, a lamb and vegetable noodle dish. Its one of several signature Uzbek dishes, along with plov (lavish rice and lamb pilaf,) samsa (tandoor baked savory pastries,) manty (steamed dumplings,) and kebabs. Its origins lie further east, however. Brought to Central Asia by the Uyghurs, Chinese speaking Muslims, this dish shares many similarities with East Asian noodle soups. Yet, the spice and herb combination makes it unique.

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