Or Lam

Translation: Luang Prabang-Style Stew

Alternate Spellings: Aw Lam, Or Larm, Orlam, Awlam

Cuisine: Lao

Region: Luang Prabang

Recipe Type: Soup

Average User Rating: 1.32 / 5

Vegetarian / Vegan: Vegan

The pride of Luang Prabang, Or Lam is one of the most satisfying and unique recipes you'll come across. Designed specifically to take advantage of the bounty of the Mekong jungle, this stew is classically prepared with water buffalo. Some of the ingredients will be nearly impossible to find anywhere outside of Laos, and even then, probably only in Luang Prabang. We have listed the authentic ingredients, as well as proper substitutes.


1 cup tofu, cubed and browned in oil
4 cups vegetable stock
3 Thai eggplants
20 pea eggplants (if available)
1 small bunch Mekong monkey vegetable (substitute watercress)
1 cup long beans (or green beans), chopped
4 or 5 cloud ear or wood ear mushrooms, quartered (substitute fresh shiitakes instead of dried wood ears)
3 inches of "chili wood" (substitute a mix of 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. szechuan peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth)
2 green chilis, sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
golf ball sized lump of sticky rice
1/2 cup Thai or Lao basil, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 TB dill, chopped
8 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. soy sauce


Grill sticky rice ball over open flame until it browns and hardens. Add to pot with the eggplant, chili wood, chilis, and lemongrass and simmer until eggplant is soft. Remove chilis, eggplant, lemongrass, and sticky rice and pound to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Remove chili wood (or peppercorn sachet) and add paste back to stew, along with tofu, watercress, beans, basil, cilantro, dill, green onions, and soy. Cook for 10 more minutes over medium heat and serve with sticky rice.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4-6

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