Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crispy Mekong River Weed - Popular Snack of Laos

It can be eaten as a snack alone or paired with jaew bong, a slightly sweet and spicy chili paste.   Piggy Jo went to Laos in July and this is what she bought back for me :p  At first, when she took it out from her bag , I thought it was " kain batik "  LOL! and after she handed over to me, it was light and at a closer look,  I saw  all the sesame seeds...hahaha and she told me that it is Crispy Mekong River Weed.   My first time seeing and eating this ,for I have not been to Laos before.

Read on if you want to know more about it :)   

The Laos locals call this filamentious algae khai paen, which literally means " skin of the stone", since it grows along the banks of the Mekong River.  The villagers seasonally gathered the river weed, combine it with garlic, tomato and sesame seeds, press it into sheets , and dry it in the sun .  The dried sheets are then cut into squares and then pan toasted to crispness. A popular crispy snack in Laos .  Tthe texture is similar to thick Japanese nori and you can paired it with Jaew Bong, a sweet and spicy chilli paste or you can fry it with basil.  Mmmmm sound interesting though it looks weird to me at first :p But after having toasted it in a wok, it tasted similar to the Japanese  flavored nori.   Healthy snacking for me :p   Thanks Jo for broadening my food horizon through your travels . 

a closer look at the dried flavored  river weed  before

zoom nearer to see what are the ingredients sticking to the weed
must be pressed tomato ,garlic and sesame seeds and some garlic skin :p

Have a nice day !

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