These days when I call my relatives in Laos, it is mostly about food talk. Since I live in a tiny student apartment, I can’t make many Lao food dishes that I would normally back at home. I can only ask for the recipes from my four aunts (two in Vientiane, two in Pakse) but have no way of making some of the dishes due to various limitations.
One of my favorite dish as a kid is Laos was Thom Khem. I only ate it a few times from the first grade to the third grade. When my parents became very strict with our diet, we didn’t eat pork for many years due to religious reason. As a result I have not eaten Thom Khem since I left Laos many years ago. I wanted to know how to make it for myself and asked my aunt in Pakse for the recipe.
My aunt gave me instructions over the phone and gave me tips on how to get a nice brown color of Thom Khem for the pork and for the eggs. Start by browning the pork with a little bit of oil and sugar, when the sugar is turning brown, add the hard boiled eggs to the pan, then gently mix the pork and eggs together before adding water and seasonings.
For breakfast today, my aunt made Thom Khem with plenty of bamboo shoots in it. She also made Jeow Padek, raw and all with lots of chili peppers to go with the meal.