Laap Thawt

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The Hua Hin Food Festival 2017 presented some of Hua Hin's best food offerings, with everything from Thai street food to local specialties, sweets and the major hotel chains showing off wonderfully innovative menus.

Here, Feast Thailand's intrepid roving foodie, Leigh, visits one of the Isaan vendors at the festival and samples Laap Tod (ลาบทอด), a deep fried version of the popular NorthEastern Laap salad.

Laap is an ancient salad, possibly originating in the Yunnan Province of southwest China. The laap you will find more commonly across Thailand is the version from the Northeast, or Isaan region. This cooked salad generally consists of a minced protein gently simmered in a little water or stock. To this, a dressing is added which consists of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ground, dry-roasted dried red chillies and, very importantly, Khao Khua, which is ground, dry-roasted sticky rice, which gives this salad its specific nutty flavour and adds a crunchy texture. Coriander and mint leaves and chopped spring onions finish off the dish. Laap is most commonly made with minced pork or chicken, but in Thailand, fish like Pla Duk (Catfish) is also popular. Laap Pla Duk (ลาบปลาดุก) will sometimes have a paste-like texture or the fish may be in slightly bigger pieces and crispy; either way, it is very delicious. It is often served with a side dish of raw green beans, cabbage and Thai basil or other leafy green vegetables.

Laap Tod (ลาบทอด) • Deep Fried Spicy Pork Balls
Laap Tod (ลาบทอด) • Deep Fried Spicy Pork Balls

Now imagine this magnificent salad rolled into balls and deep fried; that is what Laap Tod is. It is simply a brilliant Thai snack.

This is the type of food that goes perfectly with a cold beer. Time for a Singha Beer

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