Northern Thai-style fish laap with crispy aromatics (ลาบหมี่ปลา; laap mee plaa)

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Northern Thai-style fish laap with crispy aromatics (ลาบหมี่ปลา; laap mee plaa)

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Laap mee is a laap that uses a generous amount of crispy ingredients. Called khreuuang mee (เครื่องหมี่), these crispy elements are often used in Northern laap dishes as toppings. In the “laap mee” style, they are used lavishly and mixed with the minced meat.

To be considered a laap mee, the dish must have a ratio at least half the amount of the meat to crispy elements. Furthermore, to achieve the optimal contrast between the crispy “mee” elements and the meat, laap mee is often served raw.

Northern Thai-style fish laap with crispy aromatics (ลาบหมี่ปลา; laap mee plaa)

While Thaifoodmaster does not claim to provide authoritative medical advice, we believe that consuming raw freshwater fish and raw pork meat is unsafe and should be avoided. Therefore, we recommend serving laap mee using cooked meat. However, since this dish is mostly consumed raw, in the recipe below, we marked the cooking stage of the minced fish meat as ‘optional’.

Northern Thai-style fish laap with crispy aromatics (ลาบหมี่ปลา; laap mee plaa)
Northern Thai-style fish laap with crispy aromatics (ลาบหมี่ปลา; laap mee plaa)
Laap mee is a laap that uses a generous amount of crispy ingredients. Called khreuuang mee (เครื่องหมี่),
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Prep Time 28 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course laap
Cuisine Northern Thai Cuisine
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g tilapia fish (ปลานิล)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander roots (รากผักชี) scraped and washed
  • 1 tablespoon spring onion (ต้นหอม)

For the fish broth:

  • 2 cups water (น้ำเปล่า)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (ตะไคร้) bruised
  • 2 pieces coriander roots (รากผักชี) scraped and washed

For the crispy ingredients (เครื่องหมี่; khreuuang mee):

  • 1/2 cup shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) pounded unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup galangal (ข่า) sliced into thin juliennes
  • 1/4 cup ginger (ขิง) sliced into thin juliennes
  • neutral tasting cooking oil (น้ำมันพืช) for deep-frying

For the seasoning broth:

Seasoning:

The herbs:

Instructions
 

Prepare the fish:

  • Clean the fish and fillet the meat, reserving the heads and bones.
  • On a cutting board and using a knife, mince the fish meat along with the coriander roots and spring onions.
  • Continue mincing until the herbs are incorporated into the fish meat. Do not use a meat grinder or an electric food processor. Set aside.

Prepare the broth:

  • In a pot, bring water to a strong boil. Add bruised lemongrass and coriander roots.
  • Add the fish head, skin, bones, and belly.
  • Skim off any foam and scum floating on top of the stock. Simmer on low heat and reduce to a concentrated stock.
  • Strain the stock and discard the aromatics. Set the stock aside.
  • Slice the cooked skin and any pieces of fish meat into thin slices and set aside.

Prepare the crispy ingredients (เครื่องหมี่; khreuuang mee):

  • Thinly slice the shallots lengthwise along the growth axis.
  • Slice the ginger and galangal into thin juliennes.
  • In a mortar and pestle, pound unpeeled Thai garlic. Use just enough force to mash the garlic cloves, leaving the peels intact. Do not try to make a smooth paste. The peels will crisp fry and add a desired textural element.
  • Mix the shallots, garlic, galangal, and ginger.
  • To a cold wok, add all the ingredients. Cover with cold oil and turn the heat to medium-low.
  • Stir constantly in one direction only until the ingredients are very light golden in color. They will develop a deeper color as they cool.
  • Strain the oil and set it aside.

Prepare the herbs:

  • Thinly slice the spring onion. Roughly chop the coriander leaves. Set aside.

Combine the laap:

  • To a cold wok, add some of the oil from frying the aromatics, and turn the heat to medium-low. Add bruised Thai garlic and fry until fragrant.
  • Add phrik laap and fry until fragrant.
  • Add fermented shrimp paste (kapi) and continue frying.
  • Fry until fragrant and then dilute with the broth.
  • Add the minced fish meat and fry until cooked. Dilute with broth as necessary to get a dry texture.
  • Optional: If you prefer to serve a raw fish laap, mix the fish with the broth in a bowl, away from the heat.
  • Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Adjust spiciness with ground dried chilies; adjust numbness with makwen.
  • Adjust saltiness with either fish sauce or makwen-infused fish sauce.
  • Adjust the spice aroma with the laap spices mix.
  • Mix in the cooked fish skin and belly.
  • Mix in the herbs.
  • Mix in the crispy ingredients. Keep some for garnish.

Serve:

  • Serve alongside phak gap laap (ผักกับลาบ) – fresh herbs and vegetables.
Keyword laap (ลาบ)
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