Secret Phö, Octopus and Green Lipped Mussels

Everyone has their own technique at making Phö, and in all my travels, I can truly say that I have never tasted any better Phö than the one made recently by Khamsene. To be exact, he didn’t actually make my dish, I am referring to the Stock or Broth that he made.

Khamsene Pho

“Its a secret family recipe”, says Khamsene. So there is no chance of finding out the recipe, unless you are a part of his family I guess…. 😆

Another thing that we have been boiling is our 8 legged friend, the Octopus.

Laocook Octopus

This Cephalopod is destined for a Salad, or “Yum”.

Kham Pestle and Mortar

With all our High-tech machinery, we still prefer to prepare our herbs the old-fashioned way, with a Pestle and Mortar.


Green Lipped Mussels are great for using as an Amuse Bouche.

Suri Mussels

Suri prepares our evening appetisers.

Green Lipped Mussels

Dressed with Yuzu Vinaigrette and Grated Parmesan, they make a great mouthful. Never overcook Mussels or they can become rubbery.

Green Lipped Mussels Amuse Bouche

Continuing the Sea theme, Saki gets his Sushi and Sashimi presentation ready.



Moving away from the shore, we are proud to use local products, especially the Beef.

Sen Beef

Khamsene, cleaning and trimming the Sirloin.

Local Spanish Beef

Most of the trimmings were used in a Larb for the staff! 😉


Another Amuse Bouche that we used was Prawns with Sweet Sauce and Homemade Grissini (Celery Salt and Squid Ink flavour)


And for those with a sweet tooth…

Pumpkin and Coconut

Sangkaya, or Steamed Coconut Custard Pumpkin makes a welcome return to our Menu.


4 thoughts on “Secret Phö, Octopus and Green Lipped Mussels

  1. Wow, some beautiful dishes here.

    Khamsene’s secret is that he uses carrots in the broth, European style, and it looks like beef shank. Typically, though, I think the best result comes from oxtail.

    Maybe he’s got some cloves in there too. A lot of people use anise so that’s not surprising.

    Um, I have a question: why do you cook cork with octopus??

    The sashimi presentation is beautiful, but the sushi is a little on the large side. I guess Americans would like that; they like everything BIG.

    The custard pumpkin looks wonderful. I’ve always had difficulty with it. What’s the secret to getting a nice, silky consistency?

  2. The Custard Pumpkin is a lovely dish, and gets better when it is cold and has settled in the fridge for a day.

    The get the “silky finish” you should strain the Custard mixture before pouring it in to the Pumpkin, that will get rid of the “bubbles of air” and settle the mixture before steaming (at 90º for 1½ hours.)

    The Cork in the Octopus boiling helps tenderise the meat.

  3. Oh just look at that beautiful beef.

    Do you ever use dry-aged beef? I know the Lao prefer very fresh meat, but I wonder how suitable dry-aged beef would be for some dishes.

    Thanks for the custard tips. And about the cork and octopus, I never knew that!

  4. Hola Elton, and welcome to Laocook.

    Yes, the Lao in general prefer "fresh" beef, but we also like Dry Aged Beef too, though the flavour is more pronounced with a welcome nutty almost cheesey aroma, which is best suited to grilling ("rare as you dare"), and eaten with a nice "jéow".

    I guess this is because good cuts of fresh meat is expensive in Laos, which doesnt have the right climate to hang beef for long periods (or specially constructed fridges).

    However, it is not necessary to use the best cuts of beef for Larbs, most cuts will do, as long as they have been cleaned of tendons or sineuw.

    We have to use best cuts because we are based in a 5 Star hotel, where hopefully, only the best reaches the tables…


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