steamed mushrooms in banana leaf (ໝົກເຫັດ—mok hed)

Called mok hed(ໝົກເຫັດ) in Lao, meaning steamed wrapped mushrooms, this simple dish is a flavorful mushroom mixture wrapped and steamed in banana leaf. The banana leaf, herbs, and spices imbue mok hed with Lao jungle flavor; rice adds texture; and steaming keeps everything juicy.

Pound spices until smooth, then mix in chopped herbs and mushroom. Place the mixture in the center of a large, square piece of banana leaf. Fresh leaves tend to be softer and more flexible; older leaves may need to be warmed or layered to prevent tearing.

Wrap by folding two opposite sides so they come around the mushroom mixture and hold them together in the center. Bring up the each remaining side so the corners overlap the edges already together. Place a wooden pin through the leaf to hold it in place.

Mok hed makes a great dish on its own or with other wild dishes. A similar grilled version of this dish is aeb hed


(serves 1)

1 clove garlic
1 bird’s eye chili
½ tsp salt
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
1 thumb galangal or ginger
1 shallot, sliced
4 kaffir lime leaf, minced
1 tbsp toasted rice powder
4 stem rice paddy herb, chopped
1 stem dill, chopped (optional)
4 oyster mushroom, chopped
2 shiitake mushroom, chopped
½ cup beech mushroom

• pound garlic, chili, salt, lemongrass, galangal, shallot, kaffir lime leaf, toasted rice powder
• mix in rice paddy herb, dill, mushroom
• place on banana leaf
• wrap
• steam 20 minutes
• serve