There is something warming about sitting down and sharing a meal with friends and family, and there is no better way to do so than to share a tabletop Fondue or BBQ.
Above is a photo of a small Fondue, fired by hot coals and served with wafer-thin slices of meat and seafoods. You just plunge in your choice of meat in to the boiling stock, wait for it to cook, dip it in to your sauce, and “away you go”.
There are many restaurants in Vientiane that serve these fondues, and a meal for 4 will only set you back a few Euros, that includes Beerlao too!
Here we have a Fondue BBQ, also fired by hot coals. Carried over by restaurant staff, it neatly fits in to the hole in the table. The coals are red hot, which heats up the aluminium dome.
As with the Stock Fondue, the variety of meats are cut wafer-thin, which makes them easier and faster to cook. One of my favorites is Cow Udder, which is milky white and very tender.
Sprinkled with Sesame Seeds, the Udder needs little else. In the centre of the plate you can see some cuts of Pork Fat, which are used to grease the Dome and stop the meats from sticking. Just before cooking, hot lightly-seasoned stock is poured in to the “moat”, and this will come to a steady boil. You add your choice of Vegetables, Herbs, Mushrooms and Noodles to the stock whilst you cook the meats on the Dome, and the meat juices that run in to the stock help enhance the flavour.
Each restaurant serves the Fondue BBQ with there own special sauce, but if you prefer you can add chillies, garlic, fish sauce or even sugar to get the taste you require.
Its a slow meal, and its best to order more meats as you go along. An evening of good conversation, cooking for yourself, and cooking for others on your table, and taking turns pouring the Beer is a great and magical way to spend an evening.
Below is our LCTV presentation of the Fondue BBQ. Enjoy.