|Or Lam Sin Kuay|
|'OR LAM' OF WATER-BUFFALO MEAT|
3 pieces of dried buffalo meat, sliced into smaller pieces and washed
2 strips of dried buffalo skin - cook it by putting it directly into the charcoal fire and then scraping off the burned parts, after which cut it into smaller pieces and soak them in water
3 or 4 (small) shallots, peeled
1 piece of crisp-fried pork skin, sliced into smaller pieces
1 piece of sa-kahn (an aromatic plant) 5 cm long-peel off and discard the rough outer skin and divide it into 15 small parts
3 straight-bulbed spring onions
1 stalk of lemon grass-sear it in hot ashes, then wash it and crush it
7 young round eggplants
7 fresh chilli peppers (large ones)
1 bunch phak tam ling (an edible leaf)
1 bunch of young shoots (stems and leaves) of a chilli pepper plant
a considerable amount of sweet basil leaves
1 bunch of dill, chopped
a considerable amount of chopped spring onion leaves
salt and padek
Put 1 1/2 metal jugfuls (1 1/2 pints) of water into a pot and place it on the fire. Add salt, the crushed stalk of lemon grass, the buffalo meat, the buffalo skin, the shallots, the chilli peppers, the eggplants and the sa-kahn. Wait for all this to come to the boil, then add some padek by using a small-meshed strainer. Leave it boiling until the chilli peppers and eggplants are done - then take out these ingredients, pound them finely and return them to the pot.
Next, add the phak tam ling and the
young shoots of chilli pepper. Taste and check the saltiness. Then add the crisp-fried
pork skin, the chopped dill and the sweet basil leaves. Take the pot off the fire.
Transfer the contents to a bowl. Garnish the dish with chopped spring onion leaves and
serve it with Som Moo or Som Pa Keng.
There is no one definite recipe for Or Lam because there are no fixed rules about how to make it. Some people put in a very large quantity of fresh vegetables and mushrooms, until the dish is more like an Or Phak (a vegetable Or). In fact, there are two types of Or Lam. One is called Or Ro: and this is made by putting in meat or fish and vegetables and mushrooms - everything edible - in large or small quantities. That is why they call it Or Ro. ('Ro' in Lao means to put in. So 'Or Ro' is the result of putting in whatever you have.) The real Or Lam is the one I have explained above. The tastes and smells of the two types of Or Lam are different.
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