Rainbow of Fruit and Flowers, Duck and Nhem

Yesterday evening we served an intricate cocktail of fruit and flowers.

Bubbles Laocook

On top is an “Air” of Litchis and Jasmine.

Below it starts to get a little busier.

Laocook Rainbow

Very light Jellies made from:

Basil and Green Apples

Apricot and Pineapple

Red Grapes and Roses

Eaten with a teaspoon. each small mouthful serves up a variety of flavours, all summery. 🙂


In another part of the kitchen our Roast Duck is being prepared.

Saki Roasted Duck Laocook

Saki removes the cooked duck from the oven.

Ducks are hung from a rack when roasted, this allows the hot air to circulate and cook them evenly.

Laocook Roasted Duck

After being marinated for three days, left to dry for a further two, they are roasted until just under medium done, the reason for this is that they will be cooked further later.

The duck has to cut in to sections, with various parts being used for different dishes.

Carving Duck Laocook

The breasts will be served as a main dish on our new menu, simply with rice and Pak Choi leaves.

The Legs will be slow cooked in a mixture of sweet Soy Sauce and aromatics until the meat falls off the bone.

The carcass and other off cuts will be used to make two different sauces that will accompany the Breast and Leg dishes.


The other side of the kitchen sees Emilie, our Summer Intern getting some Starters ready.

Emilie Laocook

Emilie is Lao Chinese from France, and joins us for the summer from London. She has previously worked in a family run restaurant in Nantes, France.

Talking about France, Suri just returned from a family wedding there and brought back some of his mothers Som Moo and some Pak E-lurt (Beetle Leaves).

Now what can you do with some Som Moo and Pak E-Lurt?

Suri King Nhem Laocook

A Nhem of course! 🙂

Mixing Nhem Laocook

One of the favourite dishes of the Laocook Team.

Laocook Nhem

Full of herbs and crunchy bits of deep fried rice that has been mixed with coconut flakes, it is a complete meal.

In some restaurants it is sometimes referred to as “Laotian Fried Rice”, which I think can be misleading.

When we serve it at ASIA we normally call it our Laotian Rice Salad.


3 thoughts on “Rainbow of Fruit and Flowers, Duck and Nhem

  1. How do you get your jelly colors to stay separated in the glass? Looks really cool! love your food–it’s just so creative and unusual!
    also–was curious about your som pak, which you posted awhile ago using cabbage.  I’m gonna try to use mustard green in adapting the recipe but I’m wondering how is it that botulism is not a risk factor with this type of fermentation?  -in other words–please explain so I can get my husband to try it!  😉 thanks

  2. Hola Josie,

    To get the jelly to set seperated, you need to do it in steps. First add the first layer, allow to set, then carefully add the second layer and so forth. We have a “Blast Chiller” in our kitchens, so that makes it faster for us, otherwise you can let it set in the fridge, making sure that liquid is at room temperature before putting it in to cool (an ice bath can help bring the temperature down faster).

    Mustard Greens will work well in a Som. What you will be doing is basically “controlling the spoilage”, and once it has fermented, you will be preserving it. Make sure that everything that comes in to contact with the Som is sterilized, especially the jar.

    The botulism toxin mainly thrives in canned foods that have not been properly sterilized or pasterised. I think that the sourness of the fermentation has an effect on bacteria, as botulism is more common in canned foods that contain low acidic ingredients.

    Though saying that, it can thrive in many types of foods that have not been correctly handled.

    There is a risk in many foods that we consume, however, when general hygiene practices are followed, there is a less chance of getting any type of food poisoning.

    FYI the Lao Bumpkin has a good recipe for the dish you are making.


  3. Pingback: laocook » Blog Archive » The Last Meal

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