Monday, March 3, 2008

Ban Keun Soup

When I first moved to Laos I lived for a year in Ban Keun. My kitchen was fashioned from a concrete shell of a room with old school tables for benches. There was no glass on the windows and I used to wipe the red dust from the surfaces daily. I had no sink, cupboards or stove - just a bucket of water, an electric frypan and a few bowls and spoons. To put it quite simply, it was uninspiring. But it was from here that Ban Keun Soup was created.

Essentially a one-pot dish created from whatever fresh ingredients you can get your hands on, plus some longlife staples such as miso paste, canned tuna and eggs, Ban Keun soup for me is now one of the most soothing, simple, healthy things I can think of. It is Monday night food!

Serves 2
1 brown onion - sliced
1 small piece of ginger - diced small
1 japanese eggplant - halved longwise and sliced
handful of oyster (or other) mushrooms - sliced
1 small green cabbage (or chinese cabbage - wong buk) - sliced
1 small bunch morning glory - cut into thirds
1 medium sized can of tuna
2 tbsp miso paste (shiro or the light brown one)
2 tbsp soy sauce (yellow boy brand is best)
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
3 cups water
1 egg
2tbsp fried red shallots (pre bought is far easier) (to serve)
chilli paste or sauce ( to serve)

Fry onions in a small amount of oil in a wok or deep based saucepan till transparent. Add ginger, eggplant and mushrooms and fry for about 3 min, until the eggplant is a bit soft.

Add water (it will pleasantly sizzle!) miso, soy and vinegar and bring to boil. Add tuna. Taste for flavour, adding more miso, soy or vinegar if necessary. Turn heat down to a simmer and add vegies. Cook for another 1-2 min. Break egg into liquid and stir a little. Cook for another minute or so and you're done.

Serve with a spoon of deep fried shallots and some chilli sauce.

* this version had tomato too....flexibility is the key!


Us said...

Oooh I miss those luscious Lao soupy goodness things. This looks like it might almost be manageable to try over here in the herb black hole! Yum

Us said...
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