Lao Cusine of Thailand’s neighbor from the Bee Satongun who is chosen as the best female chef in Asia
Bee Satongun chosen as the best female chef in Asia last year. The successful chef told Janice Leung Hayes about everything from Fine Dining Lovers to Loatian cuisine in Luang Prabang Laos, which has a similar culture due to its neighborhood to Thailand and Vietnam.
In the Michelin-starred Bankong, Paste’s headquarters, Jason Bailey, asked Bee Satongun and his wife to open a restaurant in Luang Prabang, where Lao cuisine is served in Laos, right next to Thailand, where Satongun was born.
Lao culture was a part of Satong’s life, even though he had been away for a long time. Referring to a prominent ethnic group in Laos, Satongun said, orum I don’t know exactly how long it was before my ancestors came to Laos from Thailand, but I know that my family lived the same traditions.
He spoke of eating fresh juicy green algae called ip kaipen ken when he was a child in Lao, but was unheard of in central and southern Thailand, a tradition that his father and family loved. Describing that Kaipen’s image looks like hair, he thought that Satong didn’t really understand at that time and that Kaipen was a strange food, but when he grew up, he understood what they were cooking.
Kaipen is made like this, tomatoes, garlic and sesame seeds are placed and then dried together like a cracker in Laos. Satongun also said that he can be found anywhere in Laos, where he opened his restaurant in Luang Prabang last year and offers Kaipen as an appetizer to his guests with crab meat.
Bee Satongun is rediscovering his roots with the help of Phia Sing, the official chief of the royal palace of Luang Prabang, one of the most important culinary figures in Lao cuisine. His book, published after Phia Sing’s death, was one of the most important helping in developing the kitchen of Satong to research and develop ancient texts.
Herbs and vegetables
Satongun said, ’I think that Lao’s food is simple and elegant. Laos’s people don’t like sugar. However, people living in the center of Thailand love sugar. Southern Thailand uses a lot of spices and black pepper in its dishes, but Lao dishes do not have much spices. One of the most important ingredients in Lao food is the sakan wood. Curry is added and gives the food a peppered taste. Lao people also believe it’s some kind of medicine. What I learned from Phia Sing’s cookbook was the basis for Lao food. Lao gave me the limits of what I could do with the food, not to go too far, not to change the kitchen too much.”