Lob is a traditional Laotian dish usually served on holidays or special occasions. It can be made with beef, fish, duck, and wild game as well. It is usually served with sticky rice and accompanied with fresh vegetables such as cucumber, radish, or watercress, or bitter greens. Rice powder (Koa Kore) is used to thicken the lob and add a certain smoky flavor. To make it, simply toast some raw rice in a pan until browned, cool, and then grind it to a powder in a coffee grinder. Kalanga powder is simply powdered galangal, a rhizome similar to ginger used a lot in Thai cooking, which may be purchased at an Asian store along with the kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce.
1 tbsp. oil
1 lb. extra lean ground chicken or turkey
2 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed hot pepper
1 tsp. kalanga powder
2 kaffir lime leaves, minced
1 tbsp. rice powder
1 stalk scallion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped mint
3 green chilies, minced (optional)
1.) Heat oil in wok. Cook turkey or chicken on medium heat for about 10 minutes until cooked.
2.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool 10 minutes. Add lemon or lime juice, salt, fish sauce, pepper, kalanga powder, kaffir lime leaves, and rice powder. Mix well. Add scallion, cilantro, and mint and mix lightly.
3.) Serve with sticky rice and fresh vegetables.
[Adapted from Simple Laotian Cooking by Penn Hongthong, Hippocrene Books, 2003]