Pon Pla

Today I asked the A-Team to think of a dish that reminds them of home. Kham got a bit excited and wanted to make Pon Pla, a dish using cooked fish, aromatic herbs and a touch of Padek to lift it. It is all assembled with a Pestle and Mortar, something that we consider the foundation of home cooking. Always thinking, we decided to go ahead with his idea and add a little Laocook touch. The result became a sandwich of East meets West, or in this case, Laos meets Spain.

The Spanish are fond of grilled fish, simply seasoned with Sea Salt and served with a Garlic , Parley and Olive Oil (salsa Verde). What better way to introduce Pon Pla to our diners!.

The Pon Pla is made with Sea Bream, which is abundant in our coastal waters. Roasted Aubergines, Onions and Garlic give the dish body. Padek “Jus” lends a Laotian touch. Fillets of the fish are grilled in the Spanish custom, next a layer of Pon Pla (lovingly made by Kham) followed by another fillet. Instead of the Salsa Verde, I have used Pan Roasted Garlic with Mushroom Soy Sauce, Coriander Leaves, Coriander Oil, Red Peppers and Grapeseed Oil.

This was our recommended dish this evening, to be washed down with a cool Chardonnay…


3 thoughts on “Pon Pla

  1. What a way to invent a modern Pon Pla! The dish looks great and I have no doubt that it tastes delicious as well.

    What is the impression of padek at your restaurant? I think you make your own version of padek?

    When I was reading the description of the Lao Cook feeds, I thought your Pon Pla must not be the kind that you would make in a mortar.

    My parents often make an alternative version of Pon Pla where the fish is left in one big piece. Of course you cook the fish in a pot using the typical ingridients. The difference is that you take the fish out and place it in a bowl. You then mash the grilled peppers, garlic, green onions and add the liquid part. Then you add a bit of additional seasoning like more nam pla, a dash of sugar, and lime juices.

    Then you pour the sauce over the fish. The cooked egg plants are not mash up but let stand around the fish so you can pick them with a ball of sticky rice. The Pon Pla is finished with some herbs on top.

    Of course my parents only use a dash of sugar for us little kids. 🙂

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