Mok Pa Recipe: Laotian Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves

Dish recipes: Mok Pa
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Mok Pa is a traditional Laotian dish that features delicate fish fillets seasoned with fragrant herbs and spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed to perfection. This cooking method allows the flavors to infuse into the fish, resulting in a tender and aromatic dish that is bursting with taste. Mok Pa is not only delicious but also showcases the rich culinary heritage of Laos.


1 lb fish fillets (such as tilapia or catfish), cut into pieces

2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced

4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon galangal, grated

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon palm sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon chili paste (optional)

Banana leaves, for wrapping

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, garlic, galangal, fish sauce, oyster sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, and chili paste (if using). Place each fish fillet on a piece of banana leaf. Spoon the herb and spice mixture over the fish fillets, ensuring they are evenly coated. Fold the banana leaves over the fish to form parcels, securing them with toothpicks if necessary. Steam the fish parcels in a steamer basket or pot for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Once cooked, carefully open the banana leaf parcels and transfer the fish to serving plates. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.


Mok Pa is traditionally served with steamed sticky rice and fresh vegetables, such as cucumber and lettuce. Enjoy the fragrant fish parcels with a side of dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, and chili for an extra kick.

Mok Pa is a delightful dish that celebrates the vibrant flavors of Laos. With its aromatic blend of herbs and spices, tender fish, and unique cooking method, it is sure to impress both your taste buds and your dinner guests.