March 26, 2022

Mok Pa (Lao Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves)

In effort for my sister and I to connect with our roots and learn more about our culture, this recipe hit the spot for Mok Pa, also known as: Lao Steamed Fish. It is truly a Laotian classic!

This recipe for Mok Pa, otherwise known as, Lao Steamed Fish is a Laotian classic!
I’m not going to say the Lao recipes I share are the *best* or that it is the most authentic.
Instead, I will call it what it is: It is my family’s attempt to connect with our roots and learn more about our culture!My sister Elisha and I researched handfuls of versions of Mok Pa, thanks to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Google. Eventually I even purchased a few books to learn more. Though all in all, the best teacher is patience, practice, and above all, love.

Because let me tell you, when arguing with a sibling over every little detail, you’re going to need A LOT of love haha!

That said, here is the version we agreed upon and progress shots along the way! Towards the bottom you’ll also see polaroids from our actual experience and needless to say, it was a good time.

So on that note, I would love to share these moments from our kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

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Mok Pa (Lao Steamed Fish)



  • 2 cups lemongrass, thinly sliced (or buy frozen and sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups shallots
  • 1/4 cup ginger
  • 1/4 cup galangal
  • 2 1/2 Tbs kaffir lime leaves (about 15 small leaves)
  • 1 cup dried sticky rice (soaked for at least 1 hour)
  • 3 lbs fresh salmon, cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 3 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup padek
  •  1 1/2 cup dill
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
  • banana leaves for wrapping (you can find in the frozen section at asian markets)

Method for Mok Pa (Lao Steamed Fish):

  1. Place all ingredients except for the salmon and banana leaves into a food processor and blend until consistent.
  2. Next, mix the contents with the salmon in a large mixing bowl. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes. (The longer it marinates, the more the flavors will mellow and meld into each other to harmonize.)
  3. Afterwards, portion into (roughly 10″x10″) pieces of banana leaves, then fold, and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Use a large steamer to cook the wrapped fish for about 30 mins or until thoroughly cooked, working in batches, until all are steamed. When ready, serve alongside romaine lettuce, jasmine rice or sticky rice. Share and enjoy!